Cluster Warfare

Vicious competitions, age-old rivalries, and the most ferocious warriors in the land. Sound like a new installment of “Lord of the Rings”? Not quite. This was the scene of Andover’s Cluster Day. Cluster Day allowed members of the Andover community to blow off some steam they already started to accumulate with the commencement of a new school year. With some delicious food provided by the Andover Barbeque Society and some of summer’s hottest hits playing in the background, students were able to enjoy summer’s last stand. Quad Day, Cluster Day’s predecessor, was sponsored by the West Quad North (WQN) and West Quad South (WQS) Clusters. The dorms in these two clusters arranged fundraising booths in order to raise money for charities, decorating common rooms and funding better munches. Some well-remembered booths were Taylor Hall’s Kisses, Adams Hall’s potted plants sale, and Eaton Cottage’s Italian Sodas. Aside from the dorm fundraisers, various inflatable activities and games added to the overall atmosphere of Quad Day. However, Student Activities created Cluster Day in an attempt to incorporate each cluster. The day featured many inter-Cluster, competitions including an inflated obstacle course and volleyball and foosball tournaments. Travis Wright ’08 enjoyed the change in location for this event. He said, “It was really great to see the inter-cluster frolicking. Quad Day showcased more of the dorms in the quads while Cluster Day aimed to unite everyone.” Malin Adams ’09 from Taylor Hall added, “I met a lot of people who I never really would have had a chance to see.” WQS ruthlessly took first in the foosball tournament, beating Abbot and WQN in the semi-finals. Pine Knoll was victorious in the volleyball tournament, beating WQS in the semi-finals. Sherene Davidson ’07 said of the tournaments, “It was fun to see clusters yelling and arguing whether the ball was in or out of bounds, and seeing T-Unit [a nickname chosen by Taylor Hall] still there giving us all kisses!” While Taylor Hall still organized a “kissing booth” and Day Hall created a similar fundraiser, other dorms did not participate in the old booth tradition of Quad Day. Many students who have experienced Quad Day in previous years agree that there is no comparison between Cluster Day and Quad Day. It was considered to be a magical event and was missed. Additionally, Genevieve Clark ’08 says, “It was a totally different atmosphere – there definitely were a lot less people participating in the events.” Cluster Day was well-received by most Andover students, but it lacked in Quad Day’s organization. In the past, booths were set up outside respective dorms and everyone there were clear distinctions between booths an other activities. As with Cluster Day, the set up was a bit confusing. It was difficult to find certain events and people. Mary Doyle ’08 said, “There was way too much going on at once. The Club Rally, [which took place at the same venue] drew a lot more attention than the actual events of Cluster Day.” Andover students spend the majority of their days in academic buildings in Flagstaff Cluster. Aside from the students living in WQN and WQS, most students rarely visit the quads and miss out on some of campus’s most beautiful buildings and scenery. Nick Anschuetz ’08 said, “I was aghast. There really is no place better than the Quads.” Quad Day gave new students a reason to visit the Quads, meet some new people, and take a quick study break. Doyle puts it best, “The dorm booths, the bucking bronco, the giant obstacle course, the sumo wrestling matches, we missed all of these things this year.”