There’s pomp and pageantry, noise and stealth, body paint and mascots. Props include ropes, soccer balls, marshmallows and mattresses. There may be fire trucks, helicopters or giant paper maché turtles.

It’s Chaos Day—the 43-year tradition that is the World Series of dorm competitions. Students in seven residence halls compete in pseudo-Olympic style for the glory of winning—and for two trophies. First prize is a plaque engraved with a long history of past winners; the second prize, the Cup of Perspective, goes to the team with the best attitude.

The tradition is rich; the outcome is meaningless. Unless, of course, your residence hall wins.

VERGE: winter 2011

First-Year Experience