November 4, 2008

Residents toss Plato, run with Liebniz at Shorelympics

With the Shoreland living out its last year as a University dorm, some spent the weekend adding fanfare to the farewell. Shoreland housing staff and residents held the first—and last—Shorelympics on Saturday, honoring the storied former hotel with a day of festivities.

Over 250 of Shoreland’s residents put down their books on Saturday to participate in the 11 events that comprised the Shorelympics, held Saturday in Burnham Park and Promontory Point. The contests ran the gamut from the conventional to the Snitchcockian, from schoolyard favorites like dodgeball and soccer to the more intellectual—although by no means nonathletic—Leibnizian Relay and Plato’s Republic toss.

Points were awarded to Shoreland houses in each event, with the three top-scoring houses netting prize money. Dudley and Michelson House split the first-place prize.

“You have to incentivize for the econ students,” said Shoreland’s Resident Master Lawrence Rothfield, who helped plan the Shorelympics, adding that most students participated for the fun of it.

House pride seemed to be the day’s strongest motivator.

“Filbey had the most house spirit out of anyone, so the other houses united against us,” said first-year Dan Hartsough, whose house placed fourth overall.

Third-place finisher Dewey House played to its strengths, focusing on a win in the Liebnizian relay, in which four students passed off a calculus book as they raced around Burnham Park.

“Dewey House kicked major butt,” said third-year and Shoreland House Council vice president Andrew McLeod.

Fourth-year and Bradbury House R.A. Bryan Duff commended the teams’ ability to compete fairly.

“The sportsmanship was exceptional,” he said, referring to the soccer games he refereed. “The lack of organization [was] a strong point, because people just wanted to have fun. It was a fluid atmosphere.”

The atmosphere was so fluid, in fact, that initially no one showed up to the Republic toss, which involved throwing three copies of the book discus-style.

Bishop House Resident Head Johnnie Byrd and Bishop R.A. Ozair Ali, a third-year, who were in charge of the toss, approached Rothfield as he watched the Leibnizian relay racers streak around the park, informing him that their event had not been attended.

Rothfield waited until the relay—his favorite event—finished, picked up his bullhorn, and gathered a crowd of 20 or 30 competitors, who proceeded to hurl the classic text as far as possible.

“Fantastic,” Rothfield later remarked of the day’s events. “Look at all these sweaty kids.”

The idea for the Shorelympics arose out of “a group of students we pulled together to think of some fun things to do [to commemorate the Shoreland] and a special fund that housing provided us,” Rothfield said, referring to the Shoreland Memories Committee, which has been planning ways to commemorate the Shoreland’s past.

Assistant Director of Student Housing Jim Wessel said that there is a Shoreland Arts Week being planned for February, a Prohibition-era gala with period music with an Al Capone look-alike competition potentially in the works for April, and “a huge good-bye event” slated for the end of the year.