ROC fest starts with a board game tournament


Cassie Buchman

Residents of Lincoln Hall decide where to put a letter during a game of Bananagrams.

Cassie Buchman, Editor-in-chief

Students could feel the friendly competition in the air as Residents on Campus fest started Monday evening with “Tournament Night,” a part of its 2017 “Panther Family Game Night” theme.

Throughout the University Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, students played a life-size version of Battleship, Bananagrams, Just Dance and Super Smash Bros. Throughout the games, they cheered on friends and members of their halls during ROC Fest’s first event.

Ashley Wheaton, a senior biological sciences major and the head of ROC Fest this year, said RHA members came up with this year’s ‘game’ theme because it is something a lot of people would enjoy.
“Whether it’s board games, mobile games — I thought there would be a little something for everyone,” she said.

Wheaton said part of what she likes most about planning ROC Fest is seeing people enjoy themselves.

“It can really bring together people from (different) halls and really brings people together,” Wheaton said. “It adds to your overall college experience. If you stay in your room all day, it’s not nearly as fun as going around and meeting people around campus. It gets you more engaged in the school.”

This year, all the residence halls have jars students can add money to that will go to a charity that supports efforts to help those affected by the recent hurricanes. The hall with the most money by Thursday wins extra points.

ROC Fest is an annual festival the Residence Hall Association, puts on each fall. It allows all the residence halls to compete against each other throughout the week for points. The winning hall wins the ROC Fest guitar and “bragging rights,” according to the website.

Katie Conlin, a freshman special education major and programming chair for Taylor Hall, said she likes getting involved and not just sitting inside her dorm.

Conlin playfully competed with her roommate at Bananagrams.

ROC Fest has been intense, but fun, she said. One her favorite activities so far has been window painting.

“It took a lot of time, but ours looks really good,” Conlin said of Taylor Hall’s windows, which are now adorned with Mr. and Mrs Pacman, the ghosts from the video game, fruit and balloons.

Breya Cooper, a junior sports management major, worked on finding letters during a round of Bananagrams with other members of Lincoln Hall.

Her team ended up winning the round, jumping up and down and cheering when their victory was announced.

“I love to win,” she said, smiling.

But Cooper got more out of the night than winning a game. She said she got the chance during Tournament Night to make friends and learn about the community.

Shawn Hammers, a sophomore political science major and president of Douglas Hall, came to Tournament Night with his hallmates.

“Douglas Hall comes out (to ROC Fest) every year,” he said. “It was a good time (last year,) especially the boat race.”

Last year, Douglas won first in the cardboard boat races. This year, Hammers said they have an even better boat.

“It’s sturdier, it’s got better engineering on, it looks like an actual boat,” Hammers said.

He said the activities at ROC Fest are especially good for bringing the Douglas Hall Council Executive Board Together.

“It brings a fun atmosphere to it, so it’s not all just in the office stuff,” Hammers said. “It got us closer as a team.”

He said getting closer with other halls is another perk of ROC Fest.

“You can do events together, get your (executive) boards to mingle, so (you don’t) just look after your team but others as well,” Hammers said.

The next ROC Fest event, EIU Go! where students can participate in a Pokemon hunting game will begin at 5 p.m., followed by Trivia at 6:30 p.m. and Bingo at 7 p.m., all in Pemberton Hall.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-1812 or [email protected]