South 40 Week

| News Editor

Students gather for the first event of the Residential College Olympics, a 5K race, on Saturday, April 3. (Courtesy of John Hergenroeder)

The sun was shining, the air was warm and a palette of colored T-shirts dotted the South 40. This past weekend, the Congress of the South 40 held the annual Residential College Olympics.

According to sophomore Hannah Bowling, outgoing CS40 speaker and current Student Union senator, almost 600 residents of the South 40 took part in the weekend’s festivities.

“RCO was an incredible success,” she said. “Our turnout was 200 more than we what had last year. The Swamp was smaller than in previous years, but we’ve managed to deal with that.”

In RCO, each residential college comprised a team that participated in numerous sporting events, including basketball, soccer and a five-kilometer run. Wayman Crow Residental College won the olympics.

RCO’s events had been in the works for at least a semester, according to the newly elected CS40 speaker, freshman Joe Sutherland.

“Since fall South 40 Week, we have been planning for spring South 40 Week,” he said. “If you combine every college council on the 40 combined with the CS40 board, it adds up to a lot of effort and a lot of money as well.”

Sutherland saw the event as a success.

“RCO went very, very well,” Sutherland said. “The clouds opened up at 8:30 before the 5K; we could not have asked for better weather.”

The atmosphere was relaxed, and students seemed to enjoy themselves.

“Everyone seemed really stress-free and carefree and just really excited and laid-back,” freshman Bryné Hadnott said.

Bowling saw RCO as a good opportunity for students to learn about the South 40’s governing body.

Junior Dithu Rajaraman, a Koenig RA, launches the ball during a dodgeball game. (Courtesy of John Hergenroeder)

“I hope [students on the South 40] get a sense of what CS40 does, and hope they get the chance to meet the new exec board and learn how the exec board will be working for them next year,” she said. “RCO and events like it help strengthen the bonds between individuals that res-colleges have fostered.”

Students agreed.

“I think it was all about promoting school spirit and pride for where you live, and for us to come together and remember our Wash. U. community and have some stress relief and good clean fun,” sophomore Bernell Nevil said.

RCO is just one event that is part of the now biannual South 40 Week.

This year’s South 40 Week jumpstarted on April 2 with an RCO kickoff party, which included, among other things, a showing of the Walt Disney movie “Cool Runnings” on a large screen on the Swamp.

The week continues on Monday with an appearance by Duff Goldman, known as “The Ace of Cakes,” who will tell the story of his bakery, Charm City Cakes, in Graham Chapel at 7 p.m.

“I’m really, really excited to see him,” sophomore Catie Gainor said. “I think it was a great idea to bring him. I never would have thought of it, but as soon as I heard I was thrilled.”

Sophomore Caitlin Lutsch agreed.

“I think it’s really cool they bring interesting people like him here,” she said. “I hope he makes cakes we can eat.”

On Tuesday, CS40 has arranged for ballot machines to be placed in Ursa’s Fireside so that South 40 residents can vote on St. Louis County’s Proposition A, which includes a half-cent sales tax increase to restore previously cut MetroBus and MetroLink services and to provide for future expansion.

On Wednesday, Assistant Dean of Arts & Sciences Richard Ewan Harrison will deliver “The Last Lecture,” in which he will be answering the question: “If this was your last time to tell students something, what would it be?” Harrison’s lecture will take place in Seigle Hall 006 at 7 p.m. Previous speakers for this event have included Assistant Dean of Arts & Sciences Darla Dale and Ralph E. Morrow Distinguished University Professor Richard Smith.

Sophomore Ben Winston is looking forward to Harrison’s talk.

“I’m excited because I know [Harrison] pretty well and I think it will be interesting,” he said. “I don’t know what he is going to talk about. He’s really close with the students, and I think he’ll give an interesting perspective since he’s from Britain.”

The week will end on Saturday, when Augustana, a nationally renowned band most famous for its song “Boston,” will perform at 4:30 p.m. as part of WUStock, an annual music event on the South 40. Augustana will be preceded by opening bands Sobriquet and Noam Chomsky’s String Theory, who will start performing at noon. Last year, The Hush Sound performed in the live music event as part of South 40 Week.

Senior Nick Chang (far left), a Gregg RA, and other Brookings residents play tug-of-war on Saturday on the Swamp as part of the Residential College Olympics. (Courtesy of John Hergenroeder)

“I love Augustana. All of my friends went to Afroman, but having Augustana a week after is fantastic, and that’s not even considering W.I.L.D.,” sophomore John Moynihan said.

According to Sutherland, South 40 Week has no set budget. Each college council has an individual budget. According to sophomore He Qi, outgoing director of finance for CS40, the RCO cost about $6,000. The budget for Duff Goldman was $30,000 and the budget for WUStock was also $30,000. Funding for South 40 Week comes from the $142 student activity fee that is allocated to CS40.

The budget for each year’s South 40 Week is based on the previous year’s budget and turnout.

“Previous years’ South 40 Weeks were very popular,” Qi said. “People liked the headliner band last year, so we figured, why don’t we send some money and get a band that is very famous? Because of the success of the spring South 40 Week last year, we decided to create one in the fall.”

The plans for the fall’s South 40 Week are already underway, according to members of the CS40 executive board.

“We’ve taken the feedback that we got from yesterday’s RCO and other events and have been incorporating that in what we want to do next year,” Sutherland said. “Planning has begun and the seeds have been planted.”

With additional reporting by Alan Liu

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