Hate Your Body Week


Photo Courtesy of Rory Arnold

Rory Arnold

For those of you who somehow don’t know what Hate Your Body Week is, I’ll explain: it’s a week in which students form study groups for different classes in order to ensure everyone is on track to achieve a successful final grade. Yes, there is a stigma that surrounds students potentially staying out late at different houses, but believe me, after hitting the books for so many strenuous, study-filled evenings, I end each night with a warm glass of milk before being taken swiftly to sleep.

Actually, I might have gotten Hate Your Body Week mixed up with finals week—which is the one where students spend each night drinking obscene amounts of alcohol? Both? I guess it is both. I’m sorry for my mistake.

Named for its creator, James “Hate Your Body Week” Millikin, Hate Your Body Week is a week during the school year where students incorporate the lessons of school founder, James “Hate Your Body Week” Millikin.

His main message, written at the southern entrance walls of Shilling Hall, states, “Millikin University is where the alcoholic, the partier, the inebriated shall have a place of equal importance, side by side with the sober and hungover,” or some iteration of that.

Despite its correlation with the end of a sports season on Millikin’s campus, Hate Your Body Week is no relaxing break. Instead of working your muscles, it works your liver. Instead of getting a good night’s sleep, you falter to a drunken stupor. Instead of urinating in the toilet, you pee your pants.

During this week, everything includes drinking: drinking in the shower, drinking in class, drinking while studying, drinking during Decaturian meetings (to be fair, this one happens weekly for me), drinking on the toilet (we call this a “poo brew”), drinking in the cafeteria, drinking at sporting events, and of course, drinking at parties every night.

Each night of the week has a different party theme. These could range from “Flannel Friday,” to “Socialism Sunday.” From “The Wolf of Wine Street Wednesday,” to “Satanism Saturday,” or even “Thirteen Going-on Thirsty Thursday.”

Now don’t get me wrong, the students on campus who participate in these events ensure that everyone drinks responsibly. When interviewing one student on how he drinks responsibly, he replies, “I do a lot to make sure my friends and I drink responsibly. We keep tabs on one another to make sure we don’t spill our drinks, we check to see that we’re getting the right price on a bottle of Vermouth, and we absolutely do not let a single cup go unfinished. We chug until it’s gone. That’s responsibility . . .”

This week is a controversial subject amongst Millikin faculty and staff who try everything in their power to shut it down. I understand where they’re coming from since I get upset when I don’t get invited to parties, too. Even writing this column, I acknowledge that some faculty are going to read this and think, “Damn, Hate Your Body Week sounds dope. I wonder if I can participate in ‘Socialism Sunday’?” and the answer is no. In an interview, one professor talks of these events: “I didn’t want to come to your stupid parties anyway.”

One participant of this week’s events who I found drinking New Amsterdam Vodka in the UC says, “Drinking is just a release for me that I think every college student needs.” When asked about her participation in Hate Your Body Week, she states, “I’m not a participant—I’m just a normal Millikin undergrad.”