Freshmen River James and Emmy Brady enjoy a dance with other Lawrentians at the President’s Ball. Photo courtesy of the Campus Life Office
The Winter Carnival, a campus tradition, arrived at Lawrence once again last week. This year the Event Planning and Organization Committee (EPOC), a student-run organization supervised by the Campus Life Office, hosted the events. This is the first year that this committee has taken over the carnival.
Some of the events that took place during this year’s carnival included broomball, which took place on the frozen “lake” in front of Ormsby Hall; a concert featuring three Lawrence-based music groups: MF Gritz, CRME SCNE and Rat Park; games and hot chocolate hosted by Gaming House and the Chinese Student Association (CSA) and, of course, the President’s Ball at the end of the week. President Mark Burstein, along with other faculty members, including Dean of Students Curt Lauderdale and Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Life Rose Wasielewski, attended the ball.
Sage and Hiett Residence Hall Director and Campus Life Organizations and Events Coordinator Andrew Stuart acknowledged the complaints made by many students concerning the absence of the chocolate fountain at the President’s Ball this year, saying, “We will have to make the chocolate fountain a priority next year.”
Sophomore and president of EPOC Alfiza Urmanova described the Winter Carnival as an enjoyable week for students. “Everybody has midterms this week, so it was just a nice way to relax and forget about them for a little while,” she said.
Past Winter Carnivals have been modeled off of the one in 1976, which offered activities throughout the week such as figure skating, tug-of-war games, a treasure hunt, a horse-drawn sleigh ride around campus and a stargazing session.
In the 1850s—the early days of Lawrence—students enjoyed sleigh rides and maple candies.
In 1928, the athletics department held the first “winter sports carnival.” A “winter weekend” ski trip to Sturgeon Bay became an annual tradition in the 1940s.
Quoted in a January 1976 issue of The Lawrentian, Coordinator of the Winter Carnival Committee Eloise Frick felt that the revival of the tradition could benefit the students of Lawrence, saying, “It would be neat to provide an activity where people could be outside enjoying the snow instead of just being inside and hating it all the time.”
In 2011 the Winter Carnival was revived again, also marking the year of the first President’s Ball.
On the event, Urmanova commented, “I’d say overall it was pretty successful.”