OK Floors, It's Time to Announce Yourselves
View Fusion Gallery. Photos by Luke Rutan
The sky grew dark as the men of Third West Emerson mounted the stairs of Martin Square. They turned and stood in three rows: a row of green shirts, one of yellow shirts, and another in purple. Their leader turned and faced them, raising a long, curved kudu horn to his lips. The audience sat with rapt attention as the mournful sound of the horn faded away.
In the silence, the men joined hands and, on cue from their leader began to sing, "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family …" Then the second row jumped in with the next round. Soon, the whole floor of Third West Emerson was swaying back and forth, serenading their audience with rounds of the Barney song, much to the audience's amusement and delight.
Welcome to Fusion, SPU's annual celebration of residence hall communities and the people who compose them — a memorable and zany night of floor bonding over dinner in Gwinn, skits, and top-secret floor traditions.
The night kicks off at 5 p.m., when Gwinn Commons opens for dinner. Floors — some with as many as 50 people — cram themselves around tables, talking, laughing, and gesturing wildly as they eat fajitas. There are men in togas, women sporting mascara mustaches and eye -shadow beards, floors in Technicolor t-shirts, a smattering of '80s clothes, a robot and a unicorn — a taste of what's to come in the skits that begin at 6 p.m.
Second East Ashton Peer Advisor Sabrina Yates likens floor skits to a debutant appearance. "You're presenting yourself to the SPU community," she says.
The Fourth West Ashton men presented their patriotic side. While decked out in a uniform of dinner jackets, bow ties, ball caps, and shorts, they gave a solemn Pledge of Allegiance as one of their men walked through the crowd with a large American flag.
The First Emerson women, dressed in their concert finest, displayed their musical prowess in a completely silent iPod concert. After silencing the crowd, the maestro noiselessly instructed the floor to insert their iPod ear buds, and then led them in a pantomimed orchestral performance of epic intensity. The audience could feel the energy of the piece through the frantic bowing of the air violins, the vigorous conducting and hair whipping of the maestro, and the climactic drum solo.
And the Sixth Hill men, as is tradition, used their skit to advertise their speed-dating event by ripping off their shirts to reveal the event information painted on their chests. The female floors sitting in the front of the stage shrieked and scrambled to get out of the way of the falling shirts, grabbing and flinging them away with their fingertips.
When the last skit ends, the sky is dark and spirits are high. The laughter and shouts begin as floors scatter, heading back to their halls for a night of individual floor traditions and bonding activities. These include scavenger hunts, art projects, and a game of Fishbee (Frisbee with a frozen fish).
First Moyer Peer Advisor Taylor Burgoyne admits that Fishbee may seem ridiculous, but that's exactly what makes it memorable. "I can always say, 'Hey, remember when we chucked a fish around and smelled like fish for three days?'" he says. It builds camaraderie, and it's just plain fun. And that's really what Fusion is all about.
A Few Ways to Bond
Curious about what bonding activities were going on after the Fusion skits? We wish we could tell you all of them, but many of the floors are sworn to secrecy. Here's a taste of three actual activities:
Light the Candle
The Third Moyer Women held a candle-lighting ceremony where secret-pal-style "big sisters" (upperclasswomen) revealed themselves to their "little sisters" (freshmen) of the week.
Steal the Bacon
The Third Hill Men played a game where you stand in a circle and send two men in at a time to fight for "the bacon" — which in this case was a rolled-up newspaper.
Deck the Hall Mates
The First Hill women used chocolate syrup to get the other team as "sundae-ish" as possible. The prize? Whoever was the cleanest at the end got to shower first.