The Feud: The real reason behind the North Village split

April 11, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Clarionion | Collin D'Kopps

The Feud: The real reason behind the North Village split

North Village is harboring a dark past and trying desperately to keep it hidden.

As you may have heard, unless you’ve been living under a rock or napping for a very long time, North Village as we know it is soon to be no more. Starting next year, the Village is being split into two separate dorms: North Woods and North Waters.

We have been told that this change was made in order to provide CAS students with more on-campus living options. They say that it will give more students the opportunity to experience the “Bethel community life.” They say it will allow more students to live independently while remaining on campus.

Now, all of these things are well and good, but they’re not telling us the real story of why North Village is being split up.

It can all be traced back to The Feud.

In the year 1964, Shirley Waters, an RA in Wessman, and Stanley Woods, an RA in Turnwall, found themselves chatting theology over lunch.

It didn’t take them long to discover that Waters was a Calvinist and Woods was an Arminian. What began as a friendly discussion soon turned into an all-out shouting match. Our sources say that the fight came to a breaking point with a joke. The dialogue went a little something like this:

Woods: “How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?"

Waters: “Um … I don’t know.”

Woods: "None, because God predestined the light bulb to burn out."

Waters: “Oh yeah? Well, how many Arminians does it take to change a light bulb?”

Woods: “Well, I don’t know.”

Waters: “Only one, but first the light bulb must want to be changed.”

After such an intense, theological argument, each of the RAs received sympathy from their residents and neighboring halls. Waters received support from many seminary students in both Widen and Wingblade, while Woods received support from the students in Danielson and Chalberg.

Throughout the remainder of that school year, tensions built up as the groups continued to taunt each other.

However, during finals week in the spring of 1965, words turned into action. After months of avoiding each other, Woods and Waters met unexpectedly in the North Village parking lot. A moment of awkward silence passed, and then fists started flying.

This showdown quickly got the attention of many villagers. Students came running from everywhere – the woods, the lake, the disc golf course – some fighting for Woods and others fighting for Waters.

After finally breaking up the fight, the RD of North Village called all of the villagers together to form a peace treaty. And since the signing of the Treaty of the Village, there have been no further incidents … until this past fall.

This September, sophomore Calvin Woods, grandson of Stanley Woods, snuck into the Bethel archives and stole the Treaty of the Village. He then publicly tore up the document, yelling, “For Arminianism, and for Grandpa!”

As you can imagine, this action began The Feud all over again, and tensions mounted in the weeks to follow. Although they put on a united face for the homecoming cheer, North Village was on the verge of a civil war.

One evening in late October, students from both sides of the debate formed ranks in the North Village parking lot. The students were armed with weapons such as disc golf discs, musical instruments, home-cooked food, camping gear and a plethora of theological jokes.
At the blow of a trumpet, objects began flying and students began yelling.

“I never thought I’d fight in a real battle before,” recalled one Arminian villager. “It was both terrifying and exhilarating.”

The battle lasted for quite some time, since no one really hears about or knows what goes on in North Village. However, freshman Emily Roberts was going for an evening jog when she heard the ruckus. After observing the battle from a distance, she ran to tell security.

“I had heard that the villagers can be a little weird, but I didn’t think this was normal,” Roberts said.

Despite what we have been told about the North Village split, the truth has finally come out. North Village is being divided because the rift between halls is too wide to mend.

Only time will tell whether The Feud will rear its ugly head again, but until then, start sharpening your instruments and studying your theology.


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