The Source

The Source For Dummies

Your Guide to Sign-Ups & Free Stuff

By Ellen Sweet

Every year, The Source gathers all campus clubs and organizations into one place and gives students a platform to showcase their favorite extracurriculars—while trying to convince others to join them. At its best, The Source is a picture of Hillsdale’s vibrant community and the myriad activities available to students. At its worst, it can seem like a throng of over-eager student marketers trying to siphon email addresses out of anyone who makes eye contact. The truth is: The Source opens all kinds of doors for students, be they freshmen or seniors, so long as they know what to look for. Here are ten tips to help make your experience at The Source a great one.

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Download Map of The Source

  1. Otter’s Army T-Shirt
    First things first: Make sure you grab your Otter’s Army T-shirt. It is a different color every year and always boasts the same classic, clip-art-esque design. “Otter’s Army” refers to the football team, coached by Coach Otterbein. You’ll want the shirt to wear to football games. Even if you don’t like football, everyone loves a free T-shirt!
  2. Student Planner
    The free planner you can get at The Source is a handy, spiral-bound way to keep your sanity when the semester gets busy. Some people prefer to buy a different one or keep track of things on their phone; some people have a mysterious gift for remembering their whole to-do list. I am not one of those people. I’ve gone through three Hillsdale planners during my time here, and I can’t wait to pick up my fourth.
  3. Other Free Stuff!
    You’re in college now. Free stuff is your lifeblood. With that in mind, other freebies at The Source have been known to include coffee, candy, baked goods, stickers, coupons, rubber ducks, and flowers. Just because you don’t want that cookie now doesn’t mean you won’t want it later. And you’ll probably regret not signing up for the free pizza sweepstakes if your roommate wins it.
  4. Local Businesses
    Local businesses usually take up the table near the outside of the tents. If you’re new to the area, go find out what Hillsdale has to offer, interact with locals, and maybe even pick up a coupon or two. Chances are you’ll be able to walk to the establishment. We live in a great little community; all it takes is some willingness to explore.
  5. Marine Challenge
    Confession: I have never participated in this. But that makes me a whole lot less cool than the people who have. For those who can actually do a pull-up (or five or ten), don’t miss your chance to do pull-ups for Marine swag.
  6. Campus Rec Activities
    Leave it to Campus Rec to provide some healthy competition. From cornhole to football toss, Campus Rec activities make The Source feel more like a block party than an informational event. And for people like me, it’s a less intimidating way of earning free stuff than doing pull-ups in front of a Marine.
  7. Sign Up for That Thing
    The Source is your place to get a feel for what kinds of clubs exist at Hillsdale. And let me tell you, there are a lot. If you’re interested in journalism, go talk to the people at the Collegian table. If you played baseball in high school and are interested in playing on the club team, give them your email address. If the Humane Society catches your eye because you already miss your dog more than your family, go ask them how you can hang out with puppies. You can always decide later not to do any of these things, but if you’re genuinely interested, this is the time to introduce yourself or get on an email list. I signed up to go to soccer tryouts at The Source my freshman year, and now I’m the president of the Women’s Soccer Club. You might just find something that will become an integral part of your life at Hillsdale.
  8. Don’t Sign Up for That Other Thing
    On the other hand, don’t sign up for everything! Just because a club exists and wants you to join does not mean you should give them your email. Keep in mind that essentially every single club on campus shows up to The Source; this means that you cannot and should not sign up for everything. Your schedule and your inbox will thank you if you just stick to a few things that you’re actually excited about.
  9. You Matter (A Lot)
    As a freshman, you are the target audience for most of the clubs and organizations at The Source, who are trying to garner new interest and replace the seniors who graduated in the spring. All this really means is that people will be really, really excited to meet you. Take advantage of it! Hillsdale is all about the people, and you’re about to meet some incredible individuals.
  10. Wild Bill Sightings
    Last but not least, keep your eyes peeled for living legend Wild Bill. Once the coach of the Hillsdale College track team, Coach Lundberg now runs operations down at Hayden Park. He’s the friendliest guy on campus, he exudes positive energy, and his school spirit is off the charts. If you get a chance to meet him, take it.

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The Source is upon us, and the semester is about to begin. As Wild Bill would say, “Fire up!”

Ellen SweetEllen Sweet, ’17, is an English major and French minor from the beautiful state of Oregon, where the grass is always green. She is the President of the Hillsdale College Women’s Soccer Club, a member of both the Honors Program and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and a firm believer in the power of a good book.