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Dorm Wars

Campus' Northside full of friendly fire

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

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Package by Cindy Osborn, Chris Griffin - The Battalion

Sitting down at a crowded Sbisa table with a tray full of food, Matt 'Booger' Ryan looks around and sees nothing but familiar faces. Ryan eats dinner with his resident hall, Walton, on most weeknights. This one is no different.

A quick shout and a wet smack from a damp tater-tot to the back of the head are the only warnings he receives as a nearby table initiates a food fight.

"There is always a lot of yelling, and there have been a lot of food fights," said Ryan, a junior history major.

Every weeknight many of the Northside resident halls such as FHK, Moses and Walton meet at 5:30 p.m. and enter Sbisa Dining Hall together as a resident hall. Each resident hall has its own table. Shouting matches and food fights are a common occurrence, and the projectile of choice is called a 'Bisa Ball. The ingredients and techniques for making one are a closely guarded secret, but the recycled napkins provided by Sbisa seem to constitute most of this hastily manufactured creation.

"Walton doesn't get along with anybody on campus," said Ryan.

The Walton resident isn't the only one who shares this sentiment.

"There are quite a few dorm rivalries that go on, on Northside," said sophomore aerospace engineering major Jason Kelliher from FHK. "Walton and everyone has a big rivalry."

The random food fights in Sbisa are just one example of the many manifestations of Northside resident hall rivalries that are an integral part of Texas A&M University campus life. Aggie Yell Practice is also a place where the Northside rivalries come to life.

"In the middle of, I forget which yell, Walton always yells 'Walton' real loud," said Kelliher. "Then all the rest of the Northside dorms yell 'Sucks' real loud. That's at the expense of those at yell practice."

It isn't exactly clear whether or not Walton has always been the target of this rivalry, but it is clear that its actions are always cause for reaction from the other resident halls.

"It's like, 'Oh Walton did this and that, so we gotta band together and do something else'," said Kelliher.

Some of the outcomes of the rivalry may be negative, especially if Sbisa diners don't like getting food in their hair or getting heckled at yell practice.

"It's not particularly harmful in any way," said Kelliher. "I mean it's the same kind of friendly rivalry between us and Texas. It's not there to cause problems. It's just kind of a friendly back-and-forth thing that everyone has. It promotes a lot of spirit and community within the dorms to have a little bit of rivalry."

Junior finance major and Residence Hall Association president Ben Williams believes that freshmen are the reason that the Northside rivalry is still going strong.

"Most freshmen live on campus; the on-campus community creates our spirit," said Williams, a junior electrical engineering major from Moses Hall. "It begins after Fish Camp on campus."

The freshman may fuel the rivalry, but everyone all the way up to the seniors contribute to this continuing tradition of strong Aggie Spirit, coupled with pride in one's dorm.

"It is a great way to get freshmen to connect with previous classes," said Williams.

Ryan sheds some light on what makes the Northside rivalry so important to the overall Aggie Spirit.

"(It) builds pride in community within individual dorms," he said. "But the dorms will band together, ultimately creating the Aggie Spirit."

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