The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Five friends get down to BIZness

Just north of Mac Field, under streams of Christmas lights and behind bottle-lined windows, nestles Cowles 7111—the apartment known unofficially and officially, notoriously and affectionately as BIZ. The apartment is currently home to Conor Cunningham, Hayes Gardner, Elliot Meyer, Rob Storrick and Luke Yeager (all ’15). The name comes from a gentleman’s game of die, but is also a play on the Greek letters, Beta Iota Zeta.

The residents of BIZ have managed to come together primarily due to their love of sports, turning up and entertaining guests. The five residents welcome all students to attend their events, which boast various themes and accommodate several student groups, such as hosting Bible study every Tuesday night.

“We like to think of ourselves as an unofficial official extension of SGA,” Storrick said.

But BIZ’s welcoming reputation has not always been fun and games.

“We always have something going on, whether we planned it or not,” Meyer shared.

Their open-door, open-heart policy has led to a number of problems, such as a broken futon, cracked toilet seat and Gardner’s toothbrush going missing. Additionally, since the five play different sports that span the whole year, it is not always easy for those in-season when fellow BIZ members are noisy during sleeping hours.

However, there have been very few major issues, aside from the noise. Storrick notes that there has never been any fighting or altercations in BIZ, though there was some worry that this would change following the NCAA National Championship basketball game between the University of Connecticut and Kentucky. The match was a true test on the friendship between Yeager, a UConn fan, and Gardner, a Wildcats enthusiast.

“As an impartial bystander, I was surprised at how gracious both parties were,” Meyer said. “There were not physical altercations, which I was really expecting.”

However, Yeager is not always so gracious to his fellow basketball teammate.

“I can’t bear Hayes’s stench,” Yeager said.

To which Gardner retorted: “I’m very hygienic, I have a large amount of hair—it’s not my fault.”

But aside from a large amount of hair, Gardner also possesses a large amount of love for his four friends.

“I like how big Rob is,” Gardner complimented. “Luke hit some threes at the gym—I like that.”

Storrick was equally complimentary of Cunningham, his roommate.

“Every morning I look at him, and it’s warming to know that I’m in the presence of a great, great soul,” he said, to which the feeling was not mutual.

But a feeling that is mutual, not just between Storrick and Cunningham but all five, is their love of Mac Field. The members of BIZ look forward to spending the next few weeks taking advantage of their close proximity to Mac Field, both by being on it and simply admiring it from their two large windows.

Keeping their windows open will also allow a mutually admiring relationship between BIZ and the rest of campus to foster.

“We want the people to enjoy us as much as we enjoy them,” Storrick explained.

Elliot Meyer, Conor Cunningham, Rob Storrick, Hayes Gardner and Luke Yeager (all '15) get ready for prom. Photo by Tela Ebersole.
Elliot Meyer, Conor Cunningham, Rob Storrick, Hayes Gardner and Luke Yeager (all ’15) get ready for prom.
Photo by Tela Ebersole.

Other things that the five enjoy, and are especially proud of, are their three American flags, large television, assortment of posters and, of course, their homemade BIZ sign.

“[The sign] asks the question: “Turn down for whom?”—a question you can ask the whole campus,” Gardner enlightened.

“Grammatically correct, of course,” Storrick added.

Despite the close friendships that have sprouted and grown from BIZ, the five revealed that they will be splitting up after this semester because they plan to live with their respective sports teams. Therefore, in addition to being “The first and the finest,” BIZ may have to add ‘the final’ to their unofficial official slogan.

When asked about the future of BIZ, Cunningham described it through a series of fitting clichés.

“All good things must come to an end,” he said. “We don’t cry that it’s over, we just smile that it happened.”

However, the residents prefer to think of this as an expansion, rather than an end, of BIZ.

“We’ve mutated like a cell,” Storrick said.

Therefore, students should keep an eye out for BIZ-sponsored events in the upcoming year.

Hayes Gardner is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Scarlet & Black.

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