Men of faith: reflections on their time in Faith Hall

By Bella Agnello

Faith Hall’s 30 men are Davids facing Goliath: Faith Hall will not be continuing as a traditional dorm next year.

While it is undecided what Faith will be used for, Logan Riber, Resident Director of The Hill and Faith Hall, announced to the men in February that it will most likely be housing for traveling athletes or guests.

Because Faith became a men’s dorm this year, not many people are aware of the vibrant culture the men created, nor why leaving Faith Hall is going to be difficult. Through intentionally created moments, Freshman Psychology major Logan Hoffman says the men are growing in more ways than one in a way that is idiosyncratic to Faith.

“I guarantee you I would have made friends in other dorms – I wouldn’t have struggled,” Hoffman said. “But this was one of the best dorms for me to grow socially, for me to become more independent, and to grow in my faith as well.”

Sam Randall, a junior Molecular Biology major, is one of two Resident Assistants at Faith along with Ben Vincent – his roommate last year. They moved to Faith for the potential of working with a brand new group of men.

“We really didn’t know what we were going to get because we got a lot of freshmen coming in – no one would probably move to Faith on their own,” Randall said. “It was a mixed bag of personalities and a lot of different majors.”

Hoffman remembers his first impressions of some of his hallmates the day he moved in.

“The guy I live across from was in the most gym bro outfit imaginable,” Hoffman said. “He had an Ohio State hat on with massive headphones and was in a gym cutoff, and I was like, ‘I am not in the right place.’ And then the guy next to him had a mullet. It was really jarring for me.”

Randall and Vincent wanted to establish a culture of intentionality. The first night, they played Secret Hitler to help everyone get to know each other better.

“It was really easy to tell people’s personalities from that because that got very heated very quickly for a lot of people,” Hoffman said with a smile.

Then, every Monday for the first three months of first semester, Randall and Vincent created a space for the guys to share their testimonies.

“I think that’s one of the reasons our dorm is so close,” Hoffman said. “Everyone’s comfortable around each other and willing to go to people for deeper discussions because they know what they’ve been through.”

The more the guys learned to trust one another, Randall says the men began establishing their own culture.

“The guys definitely have an identity as Faith,” Randall said. “The Hill has a stereotype but they don’t have an identity. The guys at Faith love Faith. To have an entire dorm around you – 30 people to intimately know you – is special.”

The men at Faith share an array of moments throughout the school year that distinctly display the identity they created for themselves.

During Deck the Halls in December, Balen Allain, Randall and Hoffman created a Batman skit in which the entire dorm participated. Though their showing period ran from 10:30pm to 12:30am, people began forming a line at 9:30pm that extended past Mom and Dad’s, and they were letting people in until around 1:00am.

This semester, Faith held a superbowl party. At the halftime show, Faith’s numbers doubled as over 30 of their friends showing up to watch the show together. Hoffman remembers being crammed on a couch with five other guys and that several people were standing up because all the seats were taken.

Furthermore, Hoffman notes the uniqueness of certain friendships that would only come from living at Faith.

“There’s people you would never see together ever,” Hoffman said. “The guy who lives right across from me: huge gym rat, engineer – he does not get out much between those two things.  I’ll see him interact with the really quiet guy at the end of our hall that only plays video games, and I’m like, ‘You two talk?’”

When they found out that Faith Hall was no longer going to be a traditional dorm, they did not take the news well as many of them hoped to live in Faith next year. Hoffman remembers that he was eating dinner at Panda with friends when he found out.

“That walk back to the dorm from the SSC was really bad,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman stated that many of the guys wanted to start a petition or paint the rock – which they eventually did – to spread awareness about the decision to the rest of campus.

Since discovering that their time at Faith was coming to an end, more of the men are regularly showing up to dorm dinners. They are even spending more time in the lounge, whether that is to do homework or just to spend more time with each other.

Though this group of nomads will be forced to disband, several members of Faith will be moving to different dorms together. Hoffman will most likely be moving to Brock with some friends while most of the men will move to The Hill. Randall will continue his position as an RA in the new dorm.

While he will miss the guys at Faith, Randall sees the growth they went through over the past year and how they were able to support each other.

“There’s a lot of growing that happens your freshman year, and they were able to accent that like a greenhouse within a greenhouse,” Randall said.

Faith Hall has seen many changes over the years, but what will not change is the community the men of Faith Hall will continue to build by keeping up with dorm dinners, intramurals and sports fantasy leagues.

Randall reflects on the time the guys shared in Faith, knowing it will be remembered as a unique time in Cedarville’s history.

“It was something special that I hope happens again sometime, but it may be a one hit wonder.”

Bella Agnello is a freshman Broadcasting major with a concentration in Journalism. She enjoys thrifting, listening to records, and reading classic Russian literature in her spare time.

Photo courtesy of Balen Allain

Pictured left to right: Carson Walls, Sam Randall, Ethan Hostelter, Logan Herschenberger, Hudson Pylate, Caleb Watson, Josiah “Big Jo” Thiessen, Abraham Kinney

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