By Jaci Schneider, Opinion Editor
The Olympics may be finished in Athens, but in Abilene the games are just gearing up.
A residence hall Olympic tournament is just one activity planned to give underclassmen an opportunity to build community within their residence halls.
“Building community in the halls is the best place to start,” said Todd Ormsby, residence director of Adams and Smith halls.
Each residence hall is required to provide monthly programs, and Ormsby said events can form friendships and create community, and students can get to know people they wouldn’t normally be drawn to.
He said that happened earlier this semester during a backyard slip-n-slide activity.
“It breaks down barriers when everyone’s covered in mud,” Ormsby said.
Residents of McKinzie Hall also slipped and slid to get to know one another. Spiritual life assistants in McKinzie lead a fellowship every week based on the book Wild at Heart for the spiritual life program, said Steve Sargent, residence director of McKinzie Hall, in an e-mail.
“I want my R.A.s and S.L.A.s to touch the lives of the students around them with the fingerprints of Jesus,” Sargent said. “That can happen in several different ways, but programming is a way that many can be impacted at one time.”
An array of activities is in the works for all residence halls this semester. Along with a cross-hall Olympic tournament, directors have planned cookouts, video game tournaments and touch football games.
Women’s halls also plan to participate in the Olympic games and a volleyball tournament and birthday parties.
Jacquetta Etheridge, residence director of Gardner Hall, said in an e-mail that residents recently participated in a spa night, and she hopes to do joint spa nights with other halls.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for others to get to know one another and for community,” Etheridge said. “We are fellowshipping in a way that is indescribable.”
Required programs don’t only include activities, Ormsby said. Most nights in Adams and Smith halls, residents watch movies or play board games, he said, and programming also includes bulletin boards, calendars, prayer fliers and T-shirts.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff going on,” Ormsby said.