Several students from Schultze-Eldersveld, including one who jumped on top of a minivan, chased Calvin’s legendary Moses statue before Chaos Day Saturday morning, prompting the statue’s failure to appear at the event.
Moses is a statue that has changed hands many times since it was given to the chapel by the graduating Class of 1925. It has caused several brawls over the years as students try to get their hands on the statue and many speculate over who currently holds it. Today’s statue is not the original statue given to Calvin in 1925, but was a similar statue introduced in the early 2000s.
SE’s resident director (RD) Emily Colledge originally saw Moses riding in a white minivan around 8:30 a.m.
“This morning I was talking to my RD Emily who saw the van go up Knight Way toward the turnaround, so I said we have to get it now,” said Schultze resident assistant Tyler Slamkowski.
Since his freshman year, Slamkowski, a senior, has run into Moses several times and has maintained a commitment to tracking down the statue.
“I ran up to the road and yelled to all of SE who was out in front of the building, ‘It’s Moses: we have to get it!’ So we all ran over and we blocked the road. Then Moses turned and went on the path in front of the building.”
A large crowd from SE quickly managed to surround the minivan containing Moses.
“We had people jumping on it, we had guys pushing on the front of the car and we got the door open. We had some guys in there yanking on it, but there were people with their faces covered,” said Slamkowski.
“There were about five people in the car,” added resident assistant Nate Brees. “They like to open the door to show Moses, so we got someone in there and we tried to pull one of the bodyguards out. He managed to hold on, but we had somebody hanging on the roof.”
That somebody was freshman Devin Schweigert, who also described his experience to Chimes.
“I was just standing around and I heard people call ‘Moses, Moses.’ It was still early in the morning, but when I heard someone call ‘Moses,’ I wasn’t tired and I sprinted to the white minivan,” Schweigert said.
“Everyone was going crazy around the van. Everyone was shoving. I got to touch him, but I got pushed out of the car. So I just jumped and kind of grabbed the railing. There was a lot of confusion,” he continued.
“Once I got up on there, I wanted to steady myself, so I sprawled out and grabbed each of the sides and I was holding on for a ways. There was another guy hanging onto the hood, but he got off when they slowed down.”
As Schweigert held onto the roof, he realized that the minivan was approaching the East Beltline and decided to knock on the top of the car, stopping the van and allowing Schweigert to safely get off the vehicle.
“I am perfectly fine and ecstatic that I actually got to touch Moses,” said Schweigert.
No one was seriously hurt during the entire incident.
In a conversation with the alleged keepers of Moses via the Twitter account @iamcalvinmoses, Chimes was able to learn about the incident from the perspective of the assaulted statue.
“Due to the hostile nature of the brethren of SE, I was encouraged to retreat to safety and give up my visit to the games,” read the Twitter account. “Those little punks at SE are feisty! Who jumps on a car?”
“It was all because one of my handlers did not lock the doors when told to lock the doors,” the Twitter account continued.
The Twitter account also cited scripture in its narrative of events.
“As it says in Exodus 2:15: ‘Moses fled from pharaoh and went to live in Midian,’” read one tweet.
Another read: “Exodus 3:15 ‘“Do not come any closer!” God said.’”
“‘Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!’ Genesis 19:17.”
Slamkowski said that he would love to get in contact with Moses again before Slamkowski’s graduation this May.
“We have a deep love for Moses in SE and we would love to see him again,” he said. “And if he doesn’t come this way again, we’ll try to make an arrangement to find him.”
“I feel that, as a tradition, not as many people know about it anymore, which is sad,” continued Slamkowski. “I think it’s one of the coolest little things,” he continued. “He needs to be more present throughout campus throughout the year or it’s going to slip into a small group of people.”