Hiram College

Long the new freshman arrivals had lugged their belongings into their new rooms, unpacked, met their roommates, and bade their families farewell, Institute Week officially kicked off with Harlan Cohen’s “The Naked Roommate” program on Wednesday, August 24.

Over the course of the program, Cohen offered the freshman class tips on adjusting to college life, describing how he dealt with issues of roommates, self-image, confidence and relationships while he attended college.  The performance was packed with music, advice and even an attempt at personal match-making with students in the audience.  At the end of the program, Cohen began a question and answer session, where he answered several student questions.

Thursday began with the “What Will You Do?” program, which was designed to inculcate students with an understanding of Hiram’s five core values:  Diversity, Community, Innovation, Responsibility and Learning.  The night concluded with Judson Laipply’s renowned “Evolution of Dance” performance, in which he opened with inspirational stand-up comedy, advocating personal responsibility and choice to achieve happiness, and finished with his illustrious and hilarious “Evolution of Dance” routine.

Friday was the most event-filled day of the week.  The Hiram community converged at Oliver Plaza at 1 p.m. to partake in the new drum-circle activity.  Asides from a few wasps that were aggravated by the loud banging of the drums, the event ran smoothly and let students have some fun before the heavy-hitting “Proof of Consent” program that evening.

“Proof of Consent” helped familiarize the new students with the meaning of “sexual consent” to promote a safer, more informed campus.  The night ended with a bang at Colloquium Dodge Ball, where each freshman colloquium battled another in an elimination-style dodge ball tournament.  Team “Control, Alt, Destroy,” garbed in keyboard armor, won the award for most-spirited while “Black and White Soldiers of the Civil War” won the tournament.

On Saturday, students were encouraged to participate in Hiram’s oldest tradition, the square dance.  A huge group of students danced their hearts out on the new football field, while others played corn-hole and participated in dizzy-bat and three-legged races.  Students won awards for best couple dancers, best costume and best overall dancer.  At the variety show later that night, the new Hiram students displayed a whole lot of talent by dancing, singing, playing piano, beat-boxing, baton-twirling, poetry-reading and boasting other assorted talents.  Shortly thereafter, the freshman danced, listened to music and signed each other’s shirts at the late-night Sharpie Party.

On Sunday, the last day before the fall 2011 semester officially began, freshman had their choice between canoeing, hiking, outlet mall shopping, Walmart shopping or visiting a game emporium.  The week ended that evening with Live Band Karaoke in the basement of the Kennedy Center.

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