“Are you afraid of a little rain? Does this strike fear into you?”
Junior Austin Whitaker yelled to the crowds as rain fell and thunder boomed behind him. Draped in a toga made from a bed sheet, he welcomed the crowd to the games.
EMR students gathered together on Monday, Oct. 28, to participate in the first Mantosterone Monday.
“I don’t know where the term Mantosterone Monday came from,” Zach Holderness, a freshman, said. “I think I came up with it. It was something about testosterone, something about ‘man’ and something about Mondays.”
Mantosterone Monday is a brand new, monthly event where students from EMR compete against other wings in various games. It is entirely student led.
Holderness, Whitaker and sophomore Nathan Roberts came up with the idea to build unity amongst wings of EMR and the building as a whole.
After community meeting, EMR students gathered in the rain to compete against other wings in two games. Girls from Claudius and a few students from Towers came to watch, forming a huge circle around the competitors.
In the first game, which Holderness called Flag Tag, each wing sent out two “champions” to represent their team. They tucked two torn up t-shirts into each of their waistbands as makeshifts flags. If both flags were pulled, they were out.
Youngblood and Kingsmen were the wings that made it to the final round in a huge game of tug-of-war. After winning two out of three matches, Youngblood took the first Mantosterone Monday Championship.
The second round of the games came last Monday. Instead of a toga-themed night, kilts and the Braveheart sound track marked the atmosphere.
After playing two games testing physical strength, speed, teamwork and more, Fred Creek came out as the winners.
“I was blown away with the success [of Mantosterone Monday],” Holderness said. “I didn’t think the guys would get into it. First of all, because there’s a freshman running around in a sheet trying to get them to come and do something besides sleep.”
A couple days before the first games, Roberts and Holderness got into trouble and had to see dorm director Jonathan Baker. The idea for Mantosterone Monday originated in his office.
“We were being stupid,” Holderness said. “Because of the nature of our offense, he thought we were really creative and adventurous guys.”
Baker proposed the idea of trying to bring unity to EMR. After finding out Holderness and Roberts worked as camp counselors in the summer, he knew they would be good at creating games.
“For a couple years, the idea of brotherhood at ORU has been sitting on my heart,” Roberts said. “Building up camaraderie through guys being guys and doing manly things gives us something to yell and cheer for.”
Baker said the games also allow students to release energy in a safe, constructive way.
They held the event outside so they could, “get dirty and do manly things,” Holderness said.
After refining the idea and setting up preparations, they trekked through each floor wearing togas and carrying torches. They invited students to come to the games, yelling things like, “Bring your best warriors!”
“We were kind of scared people wouldn’t show up,” Roberts said. “But as people started gathering, the hype was palpable.”
Roberts said it felt like he was preparing for battle. He noted that he would have never had the opportunity for the games if he hadn’t got in trouble with Holderness.
“Sometimes the view of administration is they’re out to get us,” Roberts said. “Which is a complete lie. They want the best for us. They’re trying to preserve the integrity of the university and all the students, and protect everybody.”
In addition to Roberts and Holderness getting in trouble, other infractions indirectly led to the games. After administration broke up “Alpha Male Competitions,” or floor wrestling tournaments, Whitaker talked to Baker.
“I said ‘We need to come up with something that gets guys excited and creates activity,” Whitaker said. “Something that lets them compete but also builds brotherhood and unity.”
Whitaker said Mantosterone Monday allows guys to channel testosterone and energy into a more constructive direction.
Future Mantosterone Mondays will happen once a month. Students can expect games, togas and more. Roberts said there are some “good things rolling” that are yet to be announced.
“Whatever people want to see happen,” Roberts said. “Suggest it, and we’ll make it happen.”