32 Dorms. 12 Unprecedented months. 1 Survivor.

Author: Juliet Hare


Each spring, Hall Presidents Council gathers to decide the Hall of the Year, and given this non-traditional year, I don’t think it’s right to decide HOTY the usual way. Who wants to sit through thirty two PowerPoints with different iterations of Zoom trivia nights that “built community” even though only six people showed up and three were the trivia moderator’s roommates? For the sake of HPC members, we need to spice things up! The past year of lockdowns, quarantines and Zoom meetings has been a social experiment unto itself, so it’s only fitting that Hall of the Year is decided in the manner of “television’s greatest social experiment:” “Survivor.” 

Picture this:

A new banner replaces the HERE sign hanging down the front of the main building: “Survivor’s” iconic oval logo stamped with “outwit, outplay, outlast.” HPC is split into the North Tribe and South Tribe. Every three nights, the presidents gather around a Library Lawn fire pit and ruthlessly vote out a fellow hall until only one remains.

Imagine the drama! The intrigue! Without football, what else do we have to rally around? Besides, “Survivor” hasn’t aired in nearly a year. I need my cutthroat entertainment back.

Imagine the iconic “Survivor” food-eating challenge, except instead of castaways downing a bowl of petrified beetle larvae, the Mod Quad vice presidents face off with plates of North Dining Hall’s most watery scrambled eggs. Immunity challenges would take on a whole new meaning; the dorm with the most residents with COVID-19 antibodies gets to sit out tribal council, ensuring their survival for another week. I now realize that sounds eerily descriptive of what we’ve been doing this whole year, and maybe the irony of playing “Survivor” when we’re struggling to survive a pandemic is just too great.

But how could we abandon this idea when we have several fantastic options for who would play the character of Jeff Probst, “Survivor’s” host? My top picks:

- Rev. JayJay Jaykins: always dresses in the same outfit, wields considerable power behind the scenes, clearly comfortable with snuffing out dorm’s torches (read: Zahm).

- Father Pat McCormack: charismatic, iconic dimples.

- The person who decided that artificial snowboarding outside LaFun was a great Valentine’s Day activity: whoever you are, I trust you to channel your creative genius into Survivor-style challenges for HPC.

And finally, picture the gleeful insanity of alliances, blindsides, backstabbing and tribal councils. Would brother and sister dorms stay true to one another? Would Baumer and Johnson Family claw their way up from obscurity and topple the West Quad HOTY hegemony? Would Pasquerilla West weasel their way into an alliance and send Pasquerilla East’s chances up in flames? We won’t know until we see it!

As for the prize for the last remaining dorm — in CBS’s version of “Survivor,” the winning castaway gets a million dollars. But I don’t think we should make the Hall of the Year stakes that high. A million bucks can buy you a lot, but a Dome Dance? That’s priceless.