MISHAWAKA, IN—On this past Sunday night, Shiloh Prayer Chapel was flooded with dozens of male students. What caused this influx of testosterone? Meat.
For the past 11 years Dude Week has been a staple of the men’s dorms in Bethel College. It started with Josh Hartsell, the previous Resident Director of Oakwood, hearing about another college losing power for several days, forcing the dorm to spend time with other people in their dorm. The students of IWU enjoyed the time they spent playing card games and other activities and Hartsell thought it would be a good thing to bring to Bethel.
Originally, Dude Week was only an Oakwood activity and was not practiced campus-wide like it is now. The main push was for students in Oakwood giving up technology to spend time with their dorm-mates and roommates. It wasn’t a floor versus floor contest either, again, it was mostly focused on the specific sacrifice of gaming consoles, phones, television, and other types of technology.
In 2013, Dude Week became a campus-wide activity, with Manges and the rest of the Men’s dorms joining in. It remains a major part of Oakwood, but several all-campus activities occur. 2013 was the first year with a designated start to Dude Week, being kicked off with Midnight Meatfest.
Also, in 2013, Oakwood started having organized events and competitions. These competitions are floor versus floor, with the winners being invited to dinner at President Chenoweth’s home and receiving the Champ Chalice.
The Beacon reached out to current Resident Director of Oakwood, Ben Bulgrien, to see what he had to say about Dude Week.
Beacon: Now that we know the history and what goes on during Dude Week, can you give me a look behind the scenes?
Bulgrien: Well, RA’s and RAR’s are a big part. They make sure everything runs smoothly and that everything happens the way it should. They do a lot of last-minute adjustments, because obviously not everything can be planned for.
Beacon: Who does the majority of the event planning? Is that something that you are more in charge of or do RA’s take control?
Bulgrien: Every RA takes control of a certain day. They’re in charge of the specifics.
Beacon: Is there anyone else that helps out with basic stuff?
Bulgrien: I’d like to give a major shout-out to Conference Services to helping with event setup and tear down. IT is a big part as well, they make things happen for everyone. It’s really a campus-wide thing. Not everyone gets into the spotlight for helping. It’s only good if everyone participates.
Beacon: This is your first year as an RD right? Is there a difference between being an RA during Dude Week and being an RD?
Bulgrien: I can confidently say that I was an RA and it’s much different being the main guy.
Beacon: It was great to meet with you and get a little behind the scenes look into Dude Week, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Bulgrien: I’m super grateful for the RA’s and planning meetings and making it all happen and RAR’s for being willing to help.