By Katharine Ellis '26
Carnival games, heated competitions, and a performance by musical group MB140 were highlights of the first Dorm Festival, which took place in Main Circle after dark on Sept. 16.
The idea for a Dorm Festival came about last spring when All-School Presidents Anji Ashaye ’24 and Jacquo Pierre ’24 began brainstorming events for the upcoming year. They aspired to incorporate the competitive energy from last fall’s Dorm Olympics into this year’s festival while also seeking to make the competition more inclusive.
To this end, the Dorm Festival offered games that were not as athletically centered as those in the Dorm Olympics. Jacquo said, “While last fall’s event was a lot of fun, we thought that it only catered to the athletically inclined students in our community. Our goal for this year was to create a chill and inclusive environment for a diverse range of community members to enjoy.”
Proctors from each of the 13 dormitories hosted stations around Main Circle, with games ranging from ping pong and four square to a bucket dunk and football target toss. Students earned points for their dorms for successes in the games. Redlich was declared the winner at the All-School Meeting on Oct. 6.
In between games, students enjoyed performances by the band MB140, led by Eva Lependorf ’24, Nate Harrison ’24, and Julia Cooper ’25. They performed Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5, and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Nate said, “The upbeat songs brought a lot of energy and matched the overall vibe of the event.”
The setting was different from MB140’s past All-School Meeting showcases. “The festival’s atmosphere allowed the audience to dance and cheer alongside the music freely. As a result, the performance was a lot more fun for both the singers and listeners," Nate said.
Many students viewed the event as a success. Clemmie Morlock ’26 said, “The Dorm Festival fostered a great environment for spending time with friends, bonding as a dorm and supporting the musicians in MB140. The games were lighthearted and quick, allowing me to try out a lot of different events. My favorite was the limbo contest!”
As one of the opening social events of this fall, the Dorm Festival kicked off the new year under the leadership of Anji and Jacquo. By embracing every students’ talents, the evening encouraged a sense of community and celebration amongst students and their dorms.
A version of this article originally appeared in The Hotchkiss Record.