Cornhuskin’ is a Meredith tradition that is meant to promote unity among the classes. With many events to participate in that require weeks of preparation, Cornhuskin’ week aims to provide students with several opportunities to meet new classmates and strengthen relationships. While some students may find the unity of Cornhuskin’ accessible, other students say they do not feel a sense of camaraderie surrounding Cornhuskin’ week. This year was many students’ first time experiencing Cornhuskin’ in person.
For Megan Burkoski, ‘23, this year was her second in-person Cornhuskin’. She thinks that this tradition is “an extremely interesting experience” that allows students to meet new peers and build friendships. She said, “I think activities like skit, Tall Tale or even Hog Callin’” are some of the events that spark camaraderie because “[they] require girls to put their full trust in those who are speaking.”
When asked if there was any particular aspect of Cornhuskin’ that she felt lowered camaraderie, Burkoski said that “it is not [her] place to ‘diss’ Cornhuskin’ or encourage anyone not to participate.” However, Burkoski did say that participating in Cornhuskin’ “is not an easy task” and that she believes most people who participated would say the dances were the hardest but that of course “depends on how you go into these events.”
Liz Sharpe, ‘23, was a spectator during Cornhuskin’ this year, and she says she does not view any Cornhuskin’ events as sparking camaraderie. She said, “With the limited amount of participation I had this year, I wouldn’t say that [Cornhuskin’] influenced my trust and friendship with my classmates a whole lot...I feel pretty much the same as I did before Corn this year.”
Sharpe stated that she was shocked when she heard about the amount of disagreements that happened during Cornhuskin’ practices this year. “From what I observed, trying to plan, choreograph and teach dances to other class members can be difficult...the fighting I heard about definitely didn’t help camaraderie, and if anything, [it] likely drove people apart,” she explained.
This year, Burkoski was involved in a few activities, including dances and the skit. Burkoski was excited to participate because “Zoom Cornhuskin’ was not as accessible or [as] announced as it should have been.” There was a shared “joy that we all [got] to be together [this year],” she said. Burkoski enjoys the social aspect Cornhuskin’ has to offer each year, particularly as a break from her other commitments like “work, school [and] athletics.”
For students who do not know what to expect with Cornhuskin’, Burkoski recommended they “come with an open mind” even if they are just going to observe. Burkoski recognized the struggles her class faced as freshmen and said that “this year is [their] first real year [when they] know what is going on.” For those who did not participate in Cornhuskin’s main event, she said they were able to build camaraderie in a multitude of other ways, such as the Corn After Party, bonfire and hall raids. Even without active participation, Burkoski pointed out that students were able to dress up, get a few Corn-themed treats and celebrate with friends and classmates who were participating. Burkoski said, “I will never endorse people skipping Cornhuskin’ if they have never tried [it].”
On the other hand, Sharpe stated, “Corn as a whole has never been something I have been interested in, so my opinions might not have the best background to back them up.” She thinks that the fact there are students who are not involved in Cornhuskin’ at all “might be more indicative of what Corn actually does for ‘unity’ or ‘camaraderie.’”
By Shae-Lynn Henderson, Staff Writer