Students anticipate weekend traditions
By Hannah Wang, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, February 8, 2013
Winter Carnival offers students a chance to celebrate despite the freezing temperatures that define Hanover’s grimmest season. While students are excited for this year’s festivities, they acknowledge that many of the weekend’s main events rely on cooperative weather. Students expressed disappointment that several events have been canceled for the second year in a row.
After last year’s unseasonably warm winter, students said they hoped for a snowier Winter Carnival so that they could participate in traditional events, such as the Polar Bear Swim, 99-cent ski day, Occom Pond Party and sledding on the golf course.
“Last year wasn’t very memorable due to the lack of snow and the warm weather,” Steven Chen ’15 said.
During last year’s Winter Carnival, students were disappointed by the lack of snow, which resulted in the cancellation of several events, including the human dog sled race, the Carni Classic and the campus snow sculpture contest.
“I think the lack of snow was a bummer, and I think a lot of people were kind of down because of that,” Jillian Dunne ’13 said. “A lot of freshmen were disappointed by their first Winter Carnival, since a lot of events were canceled.”
Gabby Josebachvili ’15 said she believes that Carnival raises students’ spirits.
“In the dead of winter, you need something to lift you up and [a reason to] be excited about winter,” Josebachvili said. “I really like that aspect of Winter Carnival.”
Since there will be little snowfall this weekend, multiple events that did not occur last year have been canceled again.
“It’s disappointing that ’15s have never gotten to participate in most of the Winter Carnival events due to lack of snow,” Avalon McRae ’15 said. “If this weather trend continues, we should come up with alternative events that do not depend on snow, rather than going from a full schedule to almost no events during the day.”
Irvin Gomez ’14 said he was disappointed by the current weather because he had not been on campus for a “real” Carnival.
Alejandro Gomez-Barbosa ’14 said that the cancellations would not affect his weekend as long as the Polar Bear Swim will still be held.
Hannah Williams ’14 said she understood why the Carni Classic had been canceled but remained disappointed.
“That’s too bad,” Williams said. “The school can’t control the snow, and you can’t very well ski on grass, and you can’t carve ice if there’s no ice.”
Williams said she would be upset if the warm weather affects the Dartmouth Skiway, as she is planning on taking advantage of the 99-cent ski day.
Some student groups were planning on participating in the snow sculpture contest before it was canceled, Jessica Frieder ’15 said.
“It’s unfortunate,” Frieder said. “I know that a bunch of groups were planning on doing some bonding by building a sculpture.”
In past years, there was greater student enthusiasm for the weekend, and more students were involved in building the snow sculpture, which often featured elaborate designs, according to Rona Sun ’15. Sun said she hopes this year’s sculpture will be more impressive than last year’s, a Candyland cupcake.
“I was looking at pictures of sculptures from past years, and one of them was a giant castle,” she said. “I would like a sculpture I could walk through, because it is in the middle of the Green, and it is very inconvenient to walk around it.”
Seniors said they fondly recall their first Winter Carnival because it marked former College President Jim Yong Kim’s arrival on campus.
“We started off strong, but it has been pretty weak the last two years,” Daniel Kim ’13 said. “Everyone was excited to have President Kim open the ceremony, so we had a pretty good showing on the Green.”
The warm weather has dampened Winter Carnival spirit. Last year’s high temperatures prevented students from being able to celebrate the weekend fully, Kim said.
In order to commemorate her last Winter Carnival as a Dartmouth student, Dunne said she plans to participate in the Polar Bear Swim.
“I’ve never done it before, and it’s on my bucket list, so I’m pretty excited about that,” she said.
Silpa Raju ’16 said she heard that Carnival was the “least exciting” of the College’s major weekends. Although she does not plan to partake in the Polar Bear Swim, she said she is looking forward to observing the event and respects those who participate.
Freshmen said they are hoping for an eventful first Winter Carnival and are glad that they do not have to attend class today.
“I’m so excited because winter is my favorite season,” Tiantian Zhang ’16 said. “No classes is nice, but the x-hour schedule is really weird — it messes up my studying schedule.”
Laura Bergsten ’15 said she believes that the theme, “A Very Grimm Carnival,” which covers several Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale stories, will allow for a more intricate and impressive snow sculpture than last year’s.
Francis Slaughter ’16, however, said he was uncertain about the theme selection.
Jamie Mitchell ’14 said he was not familiar with Grimm fairy tales. He said he believed there were “unlimited” other theme options.
Staff writers Jennifer Dalecki and Stephanie McFeeters contributed reporting to this article.