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Second annual Holy Cross Spirit Week builds camaraderie through competition

| Friday, January 28, 2022

The Holy Cross Residential Life team hosted an awards ceremony Wednesday marking the conclusion of the second annual Spirit Week.

Throughout the week students could participate in a variety of activities including baking competitions, trivia, and a talent show. Participation in the events counted toward accumulating points for their respective dorms. The dorm that accumulated the most points would win the second-ever Holy Cross Spes UniCup.

“The points are basically to foster a sense of being on a team together so that you identify with your dorm more strongly by having an element of competition. Some of the points have been participation based, such as wearing your hall t-shirt or showing up to an event, and then others have been competitions,” Julia Wall, a hall director at Holy Cross, said.

To end the week on a high note, the Residential Life team created one final event that took place Wednesday prior to the awards ceremony.

Isabelle Kause
Residents of Pulte Hall pose with the Spes UniCup on Wednesday after the dorm won the second annual Holy Cross Spirit Week.

“It’s like capture the flag but with a little different flair. We’ll take the crests that we’ve made for each dorm and then it’s the opposing team’s responsibility to find the other ones and capture it,” hall director Timothy Cleaver said.

After the tournament, students gathered to celebrate the winning dorm, men’s dorm Pulte Hall. Regardless of whether or not they won or lost, many students said they still found enjoyment in meeting new people and fostering deeper connections with their friends.

“I really enjoyed having the tournament. It was fun, and it gave you stuff to do if you didn’t have anything to do. It puts people in contact with other students that they wouldn’t necessarily meet,” Amanda Muhr, a first-year spirit leader for North Hall, said.

Aside from providing students with the opportunity to take time outside of the classroom to enjoy themselves, spirit week was created in order to foster a greater sense of community at Holy Cross, Wall said.

“Now more and more, I think all of the students are identifying with their dorms and feeling some sense of belonging to their dorms,“ she said. “You’ll hear across the street Notre Dame students will identify with their dorms and what they are doing. And, before, I don’t think that happened too much at Holy Cross. You wouldn’t have someone ask what dorm you were in.”

Cleaver said some students attributed forming new friendships to the activities they participated in during spirit week.

“A great thing that happened last year is after a competition I heard people talking outside of the cafeteria saying, ‘Oh yeah, that was great to meet you during capture the flag. I had never met you before, so it was good to see you during that competition’. So there’s an element of that too, just incorporating and increasing Holy Cross spirit and building the community,” Cleaver said.  

For many students, the most important takeaway during spirit week was cultivating a newfound sense of closeness with the people around them, something that was especially important to first-year students.

“Spirit week is about more than just participating in events and winning a trophy, it’s about creating and strengthening connections,“ first-year Abbi Gross said. “It also involves working together as a community and building leadership skills.”

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