An old tradition enters a new decade

By Genesis Cosme, Special to News@TheU

An old tradition enters a new decade

By Genesis Cosme, Special to News@TheU
Sportsfest 2020 continued its annual competition and community building as residential colleges prepare for decommissioning this summer.

In the spring semester of 1986, IBM released its first laptop computer, ‘‘Top Gun’’ hit theaters and became the highest-grossing movie of the year, and the first official Sportsfest competition took place at the University of Miami. What started as a friendly challenge between Stanford and Hecht residential colleges quickly became a highly anticipated, annual tradition for all undergraduate students.

Sportsfest 2020—

organized by several committees across campus made up of students and  faculty  and staff members—

included more than 1,500 participants who competed in 15 events this past weekend. Activities ranged from Mario Kart competitions and laser battles to Connect Four and flag football. Students of all abilities were able to create a stronger bond with their University community and, of course, to take home the title of Sportsfest 2020 champion. This year’s champion was Stanford Residential College, marking a bittersweet end to their participation in the event. 

Sportsfest 2020 Winners

  • First Place: Stanford Residential College
  • Second Place: Pearson Residential College
  • Third Place: Mahoney Residential College
  • Men's Team Winner: Mahoney Mandalorians
  • Women's Team Winner: Walsh Tower, floor 9 (Stanford Residential College)
  • Spirit Award: Commuter Students
  • Norm Parsons Sportsmanship Award: Mahoney Residential College
  • Team Sportsmanship Awards: Eaton Avocados and McDonald Tower, floor 5 (Hecht Residential College)

As plans for the Stanford building’s decommissioning are on the horizon, Sportsfest 2020 is especially important to its residents, faculty, and staff. The iconic towers and accompanying commons building will be taken down this summer to make way for Centennial Village, the second phase of the University’s strategic plan to modernize campus housing.  

Kickoff for the busy weekend took place the night of Feb. 6 with a torch run at the opening ceremonies. Resident assistant, Reese Pitts, carried the torch and led Stanford's participants on the final leg of the run across Fate Bridge as they yelled their distinct chant with pride: “Who are we? SRC!” 

“As we go into a new era of housing with the Lakeside Village and Centennial Village, I think it’s important to remember and embrace our traditions from the past,” said Tom Soria, associate director for wellness and recreation and intramurals. “The Sportsfest committee tried to make it really special for Stanford this year.” 

Soria mentioned that all of this year’s prizes were designed in black in honor of the residential college. A custom-made football jersey with Stanford's lion mascot and the year the towers were built was also presented to Housing and Residential Life to remember the residential college for years to come. 

“Events like Sportsfest bring the community together,” said Ivan Ceballos, executive director of residential life. “It brings people from different floors, buildings, and interests together to have a shared experience, make memories, and have some good laughs.” 

As for the future of Sportsfest, Ceballos says it will continue. “The buildings don’t matter, the people do,” Ceballos added. “What it does for resident and commuter communities makes it more than just about the buildings.”