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College Sophomores Christian O'Conner and Helen Fetaw revisiting Kings Court English 

Experiencing New Student Orientation is like drinking from a hire hose for many freshmen, and not just because some consume more alcohol than their bodies can handle. Lonely new students form early friendships with their roommates and hall mates, and bond over shared new experiences. Many of these relationships fade — but some lucky halls stand the test of time.

Ware College House, Butcher 3rd Floor:

Halls that drink together, stay together. But halls that watch Harry Potter every Thursday stay even closer. Engineering sophomore Gwen Eastaugh says that even after each movie ended, dozens of friends would sit around and debate about nihilism and Nietzsche. One night they acted out the Two Generals’ Problem, a thought experiment, and on another they debated Newcomb’s paradox.

The hall didn’t restrict their activities to philosophizing about Harry Potter. Wharton and Engineering sophomore Chris Painter coordinated a Super Smash Bros. tournament that involved games three days a week. Resident Advisor and 2015 Engineering graduate Amit Pujari watched movies with the hall, took them to the beach and biked around Philadelphia with them. In December, Painter recalls dressing up as Santa Claus for Christmas and giving his hall mates gifts as they sat on his lap.

“We celebrated birthdays and we had one ceremony where someone would wear this one crown, and then we’d blindfold them, wrap them in a toga and knight them,” Painter said. The hall even went so far as throw their own formal at Iztaccihuatl at the end of the year.

College sophomore Johanna Matt-Navarro credits their closeness in part to Pujari, who planned activities for the hall. But even more important than their RA was chips and salsa.

“We put salsa in everyone’s fridges and the salsa was distributed throughout the whole hallway. There was this one kid who would steal the salsa,” Painter said.

The hall remains close a year later; just this past fall break some of the hall-mates vacationed together in the Catskills.

Kings Court English College House, 3rd Floor:

Wharton sophomore Christian O’Conner couldn’t take his un-air conditioned room anymore. So he sat down in the hallway outside his room. Within minutes, he was debating foreign policy with some newfound friends. Days later, they played drunk Mario Kart together — and lifelong friendships were sealed.

“You would literally come back from the worst day of classes and you’d find the entire hall sitting on the floor,” said College sophomore Helen Fetaw, whose birthday the hall recently celebrated together. “We’d sit there for hours and talk about our life’s problems.”

One night Fetaw remembers an intoxicated hall mate coming home with a lobster he’d taken from Han Dynasty, convinced it was a fake.

The hall was quirky and fun, she said. Of the approximately 35 hall mates, half still live together a year later.

Now sophomores, the friends get together for dinner, hang out in each other’s apartments as if they all still lived in the same hall — and play drunk Mario Kart for old time’s sake.

Hill College House, 3rd Floor, Purple Suite:

Most Saturday nights, the hall mates of Hill 3rd Floor Purple awaited a single GroupMe text: “Turndown?” And with that, a dozen friends would gather in the hall lounge, scavenge for food and hang out. Less then twelve hours later, when the “Brunch?” text came through, they’d head down three floors to get breakfast.

“We bonded a lot at the beginning of freshman year. There was this one kid from our hall who would look at people and give them a new name,” Engineering sophomore Shawn Srolovitz said. College sophomore Lauren Murski was renamed Taylor, for example, and Nursing sophomore Erin Hartman was renamed Annie.

During NSO, the hall went out first in groups of 15 and later in packs of 30 to 40. “It was not uncommon to come home and find several people in my bed,” Srolovitz said.

But the real reason the hall became close has nothing to do with names or parties according to Engineering sophomore Keen Butcher, from Houston. “The reason why we’re close is because we’re from Texas. You can’t be close without Texas,” he said.

While Murski, whose ranch in Dallas the hall plans to visit later this year, agreed, state pride was certainly a point of contention. “Don’t put that in the article. Don’t give them the satisfaction that Texas is better,” Srolovitz, who is from New Jersey, said.

For Hill 3rd Floor Purple, pride extended far beyond state rivalry. The group placed bets on Eagles – Cowboys football games and bought purple Fling tanks to represent the hall. Over Christmas, they played Secret Santa and exchanged bowties, alcohol and even sex toys.

One year later, the hall still gets brunch together – albeit, no longer in Hill. Just a few weeks ago, they met for an off-campus hall party, and danced together for four hours.

Third-floor halls do, sometimes, just want to have fun.

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