BV takes Chaos Night victory


Photo by Jessica Zylstra.

Beets-Veenstra won the 49th annual Chaos Night by a narrow point margin last Friday, Sept. 8. Chaos Night 2017 featured many memorable moments, from the bagpipe-playing RA that accompanied Kalsbeek-Huizenga-van Reken’s chants to the upset of Schultze-Eldersveld’s two-year winning streak. Noordewier-VanderWerp snagged second place and KHvR came in third. SE took fourth.

When the results were announced, the residents of BV swarmed past the barriers and formed a circle to scream and celebrate.

“We knew this was our year,” Frank Jones, a first-year resident of BV, said. “We pulled it together through teamwork.” Jones is a fan of the competition. “Even though it is dorm vs. dorm,” he said, “it brings us all together. I met people tonight that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Rachel Woodward, a junior transfer student living in NVW, shared a similar sentiment:

“Even people who didn’t win cheer[ed] for other dorms. We cheer for each other. … Dorm spirit gets everybody together.”

The last time BV won Chaos Night was in 2014. Their judge this year, Annie Mas-Smith, was the dorm’s resident director when BV won in 2010 and 2011.

In addition to the overall point victory achieved by members of the dorm completing a series of challenges, four other cups were awarded in accordance with Chaos Night tradition.

Boer-Bennink won the cup of decoration for their clever “Monster’s Inc.”-inspired dorm decorations and costumes.

Bennink sophomore resident Sarah Spychalski wasn’t disappointed with the results. The fun was in being a part of it, she said. She added that dorm competition can be a good thing for community as long as the “sophomores bring the freshman in … [with] a sense of ‘let’s do this together.’ Dorm rivalry is a good thing to get us all ‘Go Calvin!’”

The Cup of Generosity is awarded to the dorm whose alumni donate the most to the Calvin Annual Fund in the course of the year, a testament to the sense of loyalty and community that extends beyond the current generation of residents. Bolt-Heyns-Timmer’s extended community won this year’s Cup.

BHT was also awarded the Cup of Perspective, an award that reminds the dorm coming in last place that Chaos Night is first and foremost an opportunity to have fun and build community.

The Cup of Participation is awarded to the dorm which has the highest percentage of its residence in attendance. This year’s cup was awarded to KHvR for the second year running.

Throughout the competition, students from each residence hall took on physical and mental challenges ranging from the traditional tug-of-war to multiple games involving mattresses. One particular mattress challenge involved most of each team sitting in lines across from each other with their legs stretched out. Two residents rode a mattress over the legs of their teammates, racing the other teams. Team members pulled the mattresses along as entire dorm teams laughed and cheered.

English professor Jennifer Holberg judged Chaos Night for the first time this year. As a judge for KHvR, she tallied the dorm’s points and ensured fairness.

“It was great to see so much enthusiasm … and a different side of students,” Holberg said. “I loved the costumes.”

Holberg said she was even louder than she expected and was “a little worried a couple of times” that excited students would run her over. But she found herself “getting competitive for them.”

She said that if she could try one of the challenges, she would have gone for the mental challenge — a word game — but added that the mattress games looked fun.

Holberg commented that traditions “connect [the incoming class] with each other and all these folks for 49 years. … Some of the judges who were alumni were rooting for their dorm. Community is always a good idea. Calvin students are always very encouraging of each other. Doing some crazy stuff on a Friday night? That’s college.”