Hear ye! Hear ye! Ladies and gentlemen of Northwestern, it is time once again to experience one of the greatest events this campus has to offer. At 6:30 p.m. on the eve of Sunday, April 26, the Green will fill with armor and weapons smashing together with the great “whumping” noise of discarded cardboard and multi-colored duct tape wielded by the Hospers men.
In preparation for this massive battle, a time of folklore is needed. So gather around as the story is told. In the years of our Lord, 2007 and 2008, a Resident Director by the name of Seth Currier initiated the first battle during his time at NW.
“The cardboard duct tape battle story is one steeped in oral tradition, so we have had a difficult time pin-pointing the original start date,” current Resident Director Corey Kundert said. “We have tried different ‘dating methods,’ such as carbon dating and radiocarbon dating, on some of the old weapons and armor that we have found over the years, but after the guys in Hospers realized the ‘dating methods’ had absolutely nothing to do with finding a girlfriend, they were less interested.”
Similar to preparing for most research papers, the weeks before the battle are calm and quiet. The night before the battle is chaotic and frenzied.
“Cardboard shards fly above their heads; duct tape strips hang from their faces,” said the great Lady of Hospers, Amanda Kundert. “Lots of sobbing and teeth gnashing. It’s a great sight to behold.”
“The feelings of excitement and panic can collide in preparation when you finally get your armor done and feel excited,” Corey said, “but then the panic hits when you realize that Jimmy Juergens, who could snap you in half, has also finished his armor and will be running at you full-boar in about a week.”
A mammoth amount of cardboard and duct tape has been used to create chain mail, battle axes and shields.
“We use Scott Van Ravensway’s truck every year to clean it up and take it to the recycling,” Corey said. “So if I can use Scott Van Ravensway’s truck bed as a unit of measurement, we use four Van Ravensway truck beds worth.”
For the warriors of Hospers, the process of building a battle together is a bonding experience — one that can incorporate the entire dorm.
Making the armor is as thrilling of an experience as the actual battle itself. Most freshmen have heard of the legend of the cardboard battle.
“At its best, this event really solidifies an awesome college memory of being a member of this great group of guys,” Amanda said.
Unfortunately, this year’s addition to the cardboard saga is tinged with a bittersweet flavor. This is the last battle for the Kunderts. Moving on to other exciting opportunities, they are watching the preparation of this great event with smiles and are reflecting on the fond memories.
“I got into it,” Amanda said. Hard. “And maybe it’s embarrassing for my high school friends to see photos of me dressed up as cardboard Princess Zelda or Princess Peach, but I don’t care. The battle will be one of the fondest memories I’ll take with me when we leave this summer.”
“If guys want the battle to be the program that everybody gets excessively pumped for, then that is wonderful, but if the culture of the hall changes and the students want that event to be something else, then let’s change it,” Corey said. “Hospers will constantly be changing with the students who invest themselves in the community.”
The legacy of the battle will be left in good hands. It is something that encourages creativity and community within the dorm and will bring joy and victory for many years to come.
“It’s for any guy who’s ever wanted to run out onto a battle field and kill his best friend in front of an audience of children and community members,” Amanda said.