The Native North Central-ite

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The Native North Central-ite

You might be a North Centralite if…

Alex Zamarripa, Brianna Olsen, Kristen Rigney enjoy a sunny fall day sipping coffee outside the Elliot East Condominiums. Photo by Jenny Scott.


“Let’s meet with the RAs and DLs in the caf before PG to go over changes that need to be made about all the brothers trying to date their sisters in Philler.”

If the sentence above makes perfect sense to you and provokes genuine emotion, you have possibly scratched the surface of conquering the art of becoming a North Centralite. The unwritten laws of North Central become known, as seasoned North Centralites are inquired for their historical wisdom. Yet, the freshmen’s role and response to the traditional history on campus is unforgotten.

The fall always starts with Welcome Week, where brother and sister floors meet to go on “the walk.” Junior biblical studies major Marcus Barrios explains his first experience on the walk when he met his sister floor and they walked in two single file lines, allowing 30 seconds to talk to each sister.

“Everyone says it’s the speed dating walk because then of course all the guys go back and talk about who they’re going to date.”

But dreams are brutally crushed by one of the most well-known rules of North Central, yet the most violated: brothers and sisters don’t date.  It’s what nature intended. As a freshman North Centralite, brother and sister floors are viewed similarly to how an “outsider” would view their kindred. Dating them is seen in the same way – wrong.  Once you become an upper-classman however, this “brother-sister” business is dismissed and you are free to date.

“It’s just known that you cannot date your brother,” said freshman Maja Nord, “dating at all your freshman year seems to be against a rule.”

“But someone always does,” said Barrios “and it gets really awkward when they break up.”

The North Central men have events, like fight night and the Lake Calhoun jump, that test their masculinity as well as get their minds off of their sisters.

“Two floors will come against each other to fight,” said Caleb Brose, junior secondary education major. “The group decides who will fight and people get really serious during the fight, but afterwards people are usually cool.”

That isn’t the only way one can show his manliness. Carlson gives its residents an opportunity to display their tough side by stripping down to jump into Lake Calhoun at 5 a.m. when Minnesota is close to freezing. But as winter rolls around, students try anything to get out of the cold by using the skywalks in HCMC, the local hospital.

“The music students will walk through HCMC during the winter,” said Se Young Kipp, assistant dean for community partnerships and global service.  “It’s not very long, but they are able to warm up a little on their way to Mensing Hall.”

The first significant snowfall causes an increase in distraction during the day because it can only mean one thing around North Central. When the clock strikes midnight on the first snowfall, the entire campus participates in its massive annual snowball fight.

“It was probably one of my favorite memories last year,” says sophomore ICS major Hannah Stoddart. “It was the night before finals and everyone took a break from studying to have the snowball fight and then we went hiking by the stone arch bridge.”

The traditions change with the seasons, but one thing that holds true year-long is the caf.  North Central’s cafeteria is home to many rules that, as a North Centralite, must be understood.

“Your floor picks a table and that’s your table in the caf,” said Barrios.  Reactions are dramatic because it feels as though your possessions are being taken if someone is found sitting at your table.

“There are certain tables for certain floors and you just respect that,” said Stoddart.

Due to the length of the tables and the lack of napkin dispensers, students have found it very helpful to just flutter their fingers in the direction of the napkins indicating that they are in need of a napkin.

“Some people see it as rude, like you aren’t worthy enough to be communicated to,” said Stoddart, “But I don’t mind it because I’m used to it.”

At the end of the day, each student, expert or not, proudly considered themselves a North Centralite, because beyond the skinny jeans and apple products, North Central’s leaders work hard to create a community, “where people feel welcome and at home,” said Brose.  Living among others in a community inevitably creates quirky traditions that ultimately unify and bond the group as a whole.

6 people were asked to describe three things that make up a North Centralite

Maja Nord: Freshman Undecided major

  1. The clothing, the way people communicate through their style, tattoos, and piercings.
  2. Going to coffee shops, thrift stores, or cool little restaurants.
  3. Being a ministry or music major.

Hannah Stoddart: Sophomore ICS major

  1. Hipster clothing: skinny jeans, leather boots, cardigans, scarves, beanies, and a long board.
  2. Random outbreaks of singing.
  3. A lot of Jesus jokes.

Marcus Barrios: Junior Biblical Studies major

  1. Skinny jeans.  You’ll feel like an outcast if you don’t wear them.
  2. Apple products
  3. Guitars

Caleb Brose: Junior Secondary Education major

  1. Their heart for God
  2. Their heart for people
  3. An integration of faith into all aspects of their life even academics and other secular activities.

Se Young Kipp: Alumna Assistant Dean for Community Partnerships & Global Service

  1. Very high-tech. Always on Instagram or Twitter.  For instance, the event hasn’t actually happened unless there’s a hashtag with the event title.
  2. Learning the bus system to get around the city.
  3. Getting away with getting up at 8:02, having class at 8:05 and making it to class on time.

Nicole Palser: Alumna Assistant Dean for Leadership & Experiential Learning

  1. Online Documenting of the events that are going on.
  2. After about three weeks in you can pretty much recognize everyone on campus.
  3. An understanding of all the acronyms like DL, RA, SAC, and knowing how to correctly use them.