Surprise support spurs Emerson to Nationball win

Emerson claims victory in a surprise turn of events during this year’s Nationball.


Sophomore Joey LeSuer and his fellow Emerson Hall residents link arms to protect the women of Alpha for the last time in history at Nationball 2014. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Grace Gibney and Torie Hamilton

Sophomore Joey LeSuer and his fellow Emerson Hall residents link arms to protect the women of Alpha for the last time in history at Nation Ball 2014. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES. See the full photo gallery HERE.

UPDATED: Sep. 12 at 4:12 p.m.

"Surprise support spurs Emerson to Nationball win" has been updated to better reflect the events that took place. The Chimes mistakenly reported that the Resident Director of each dorm sent out an email to students asking them to wear green in support of Emerson but failed to report that Resident Advisors discussed the idea and then asked their Resident Directors to send out emails to students on September 9th. The Chimes regrets this error and has updated the story to reflect these facts.


In recognition of Emerson Hall’s last Nationball, all dorms forgot competition between residents and fused together as one cohesive mass of green to advance Emerson to victory. This dramatic turn of events during the final round allowed Emerson, which will be repurposed as faculty offices after this academic year, to prevail against two-year reigning champion Off-Campus Community.

During resident advisor training, RAs juggled the idea of campus dorms coming together to support the all-male dorm, said sophomore business major and Emerson RA Andy Divjak. Divjak executed the final plan in contacting RA’s from each dorm, who asked their resident directors to send students emails on Sept. 9 asking Nationball participants to bring a green shirt in addition to their own dorm spirit colors.

“We wanted to rally everyone and come together as a school in honor of Emerson’s name,” Divjak said.

Students across campus responded and displayed a sense of Emerson pride throughout the entire evening. As Hope Hall stepped up to face the OCC team in the final round, representatives announced they were playing for Emerson. Students from all dorms donned green and rushed the gymnasium floor to challenge OCC with overwhelming numbers.


Overall, the event inspired competition between the dorms and their off-campus counterpart. Senior cinema and media arts major Emily Browning and sophomore biblical studies major Luke Mountain kept the levels of excitement pumping as emcees through a dance-off and a sing-off that included representatives from each dorm. OCC claimed dance-off victory when a student dressed as purple sweatsuit-clad grandmother shook it to Taylor Swift’s new song “Shake It Off.” However, an Alpha resident in a blue gown won the sing-off after belting out Beyonce’s “Love On Top.”

“I love Nationball. It’s really all about bringing the Biola community together. I think we did that tonight. It was very fun to see Emerson in their last year so yeah it’s definitely a great start to the year,” said Associated Students President Tyler Hormel.

Sigma entered the gymnasium solemnly and intensely bearing a Hunger Games-esque salute. Just as the salute was made to the fallen tributes as a sign of solidarity in the popular book and movie series, students honored Emerson with the gesture.


Emerson’s last dance at Nationball began with a solemn procession of residents filing into the gym to the tune of “Funeral” by Band of Horses. The dance routine was introduced with a black, makeshift coffin with a portrait of Wallace Emerson resting on top.

Emerson residents exerted care and effort into the planning of their final Nationball performance by practicing an hour every night for one week, said freshman nursing major Christian Tichon.

“I thought their dance was amazing. I’m honestly very sad that it’s their last year, but I’m excited that they want to go out with a bang and do something really cool,” said AS Spirit Events Coordinator Marissa Suarez.

Embracing their final year, Emerson residents are extending their legacy outside of Emerson Hall and beyond to other areas of campus.

“Our big focus this year is having a community in Emerson but learning to branch out and form a community around all of Biola,” Tichon said.

As Nationball is the first campus-wide event of the school year, Emerson is preparing to say goodbye to their physical home, but not to their history as a dorm, said Aaron Henderson, junior kinesiology major.

“It’s great that everyone in the school is supporting us and really care it’s our last year. It’s sad for us that it’s the last year but Emerson’s legacy will live on forever,” Henderson said.


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