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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
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Cribz: This is Biz

(From top left to top right) Sean Cullinane, Nate Balcom, Andrew Redhead, Jacob Ekstrand and Gus King, all ’18, are all residents of Biz House. Photo by Elena Copell.

To say that the reputation for 1017 High Street precedes itself is an understatement. For the campus community, the house is otherwise known as “Biz,” and it aims to be a fun time, all the time.

Jacob Ekstrand, Gus King, Nate Balcom, Andrew Redhead and Sean Cullinane, all ’18, are the residents of Biz. To them, Biz is more than just another off-campus house; it is a place of camaraderie, parties and basketball that is available for the enjoyment of all of campus.

All five residents are members of the basketball team. They feel that their house serves as a central space for team bonding, helping to create a community to introduce first years to the basketball team.

“We always try to have the guys together, so [spending time at Biz] helps the freshmen get to know the seniors and that builds a pretty good cohesive unit,” Balcom said.

“We have an open-door policy, so if any of the guys want to come over and watch TV, talk, hang out, play video games, they’re more than welcome to. And it just builds more of our team chemistry,” Cullinane added.

While Biz is a place for current basketball players, alumni affiliated with basketball visit it as well. The house hosts alumni parties and serves as a space for alumni to stay and reconnect with new team members to share their passion for playing basketball for Grinnell College.

Biz has not always been housed in 1017. For the last three years, members of the basketball team had a Cowles apartment. Regardless of the physical location of Biz, though, it will always be a place for both the basketball team and the campus community.

This year, the residents of Biz wanted an off campus house for the social aspect. While Biz hosts many parties that are meant for the team, they also regularly host campus-wide parties, such as Moose.

“We also got the house thinking that we wanted to host stuff, like it’s the nature of having parties at Grinnell, we wanted to live up to it,” King said.

Ekstrand feels that hosting campus-wide parties on a regular basis helps establish that Biz is a place for Grinnell students to enjoy, no matter who the person.

“We’re just trying to have a good time and have a place where people can come and blow off steam and just kind of always be open to having a party and a good time. [And to have] a safe space for people to feel included,” Ekstrand said. “We’re really trying to provide a place to have a good time, because on campus all the new rules are kind of restricting that ability.”

While hosting parties for the campus community and the team helps to bring the residents of Biz together, they think that their bond as basketball players brings them together the most. Their shared background of basketball makes for a more cohesive living environment.

“Having people with some of the same schedules as you, as we’re all on the basketball team, so that’s all the same. A lot of us have the same interests and stuff like that, and we’re better able to communicate with each other about what would work and what won’t,” Redhead said.

Additionally, as the five residents are both seniors and best friends, they can serve as a support network during a time filled with changes and stresses.

“Since we’re all in the same stage of life being fourth years, we can support each other and talk about a job, or whatever else there is,” Ekstrand added.

The Biz residents are always down to host a Moose, open their doors to anyone on campus and have a good time. They want their house to be the destination on High Street.

“[By] creating a positive reputation and positive environment, the basketball team can have people [want to come] over to Biz. It should be a place that people want to go to,”King said.

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