The semester-long Southside Olympiad has begun, pitting the deKiewiet and Valentine Towers Residence Halls against each other in academic and athletic competition to foster pride in Graduate Living Center housing.

The goal of the games is to initiate a greater sense of community in the two towers. Residents report that GLC is often sorely lacking in both character and unity between fellow residents.

“I’m happy as long as people are into the competition,” Southside Community Organizing Group President and senior Sasha Kucherov said.

This competition is comprised of physical and non-physical contests. In February, a game of capture-the-flag in the snow is planned. Pending the renovation of the pool tables, the two halls will participate in a pool and darts competition in March.

The halls also competed at the gambling table, holding a Casino Night competition to test nerves and avarice. DeKiewiet Hall won a well-fought match, with Valentine making a last second all-or-nothing bet and losing.

Valentine currently has the lead over its neighbor, winning the bowling and football contests. DeKiewiet is putting forth a good showing – its success at casino night leaves the deficit at one.

“I think Valentine’s definitely going to win,” Valentine team member Kucherov said. “We’re very enthusiastic about the entire competition.”

Kucherov reports that the towers’ residents are a closer-knit group than ever as a result of participation in shared events.

Each month, the winner of the current competition receives a few extra rewards. The winning side gets T-shirts, a food party and – through approval from Dean Paul Burgett – its flag flown on the Eastman quadrangle.

Additionally, participants who attend all games receive medals. Ultimately, at the conclusion of this inaugural derby, the winner will earn the first Southside Cup trophy.

More important than the hardware is the feeling of community that organizers hope to foster through the Southside games. Just a few weeks into the competition, they are happy about the turnout at each event.

“If we don’t win, I’m fine with that,” Kucherov said. “The main point is to foster a greater sense of community at Southside.”Scott can be reached at tscott@campustimes.org



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