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Winter Carnival warms up campus

February 15, 2007

This year's Winter Carnival, held during the week of Feb. 5, gave the option for students not involved with an established student organization to participate.

The Homecoming Committee, which plans both the Winter Carnival and Homecoming, opened the events up for everyone to increase student participation. Only students involved with an organization were allowed to participate in previous Winter Carnivals.

"Any five can play, whereas years before, you had to be a recognized student organization," Homecoming Committee Advisor Sara Gliniany said.

The committee required a minimum of five students per team to participate.

The theme for this year's Winter Carnival was Winter Wars. Because several of the events were hosted in the University Center, there were some minor technical problems with the facility. These problems included the lack of projection screens in the meeting rooms, and the television screens in the University Center were not working properly prior to the event. Along with the setbacks of the facility, the committee also had new people in the advisor and chair positions.

Abby Maliszewski, the new chair of the Homecoming Committee said they were "testing out the building" this year to see where events like the Winter Carnival can draw in more students.

Because the committee decided to allow all students to participate, Maliszewski said there was not enough advertising to get the word out on campus that this was an option. For future Winter Carnival's there will be more advertising before the event, but this year was difficult because of e-mail outages and minor technical issues with the University Center.

The Homecoming Committee designs the events around other aspects of campus activities.

"We worked with [Recreation (REC)] to plan into already ongoing events," Gliniany said.

Points awarded at each event and totaled at the end of the carnival determine the winners. Each team must register the team prior to the event and must participate in the events they signed up for or they will be disqualified.

Feb. 5 events included a food drive and sledding competition at Hoffman Park. The food drive was located in the downstairs food court of the University Center. Teams were awarded one point for each new, unopened and non-perishable item. Two points were awarded for items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, feminine products, baby food, diapers and wipes. All the items collected in the food drive will be donated to the River Falls Food Shelf. The winner of the food drive was Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR).

According to the informational flyer in the Involvement Center, the sledding competition stipulations were to "design, build and race a three-person cardboard sliding apparatus capable of surviving a mind-numbing and teary-eyed descent down Hoffman Hill." Teams were also allowed a 20-foot push zone at the starting line. The winner with the fastest time was Alpha Omicron Pi (AOPi). At the end of the event, teams were instructed to remove the sleds from the park whether they were whole or in several pieces.

"Having not much snow on Monday's sledding event created opportunities for groups to help other groups with giving them a push down the hill," Maliszewski said.

Feb. 6 events were Change Wars and a brand new event called Curdled Combat.

Change Wars consisted of loose change collected in individual team jars. This event was a three-day event, which accumulated all the change from Feb. 6-8. Each penny was worth one point and for every piece of silver or paper put into the jar, points were subtracted for the value of the silver or paper. The committee decided to subtract points for silver or paper money because teams could put silver change or dollars in the opposing teams' jars and make them lose points, which makes it more of a competition, not to mention it gave teams more incentive to accumulate money. Therefore, teams could only add points for collecting pennies. All the proceeds collected will go to the Relay for Life.

Curdled Combat, which was held in the University Center, is a twist on a cheese-eating contest. Each team was required to consume approximately 65 cubes of cheese, which were provided by Falcon Foods. The event was set up with the cubes of cheese on wax paper on the floor. Once the signal was given, one member of the team crawled on his or her hands and knees, navigating between cheese cubes. Team members were not allowed to use their hands to pick up the cheese. After the first team member ate all the cheese he or she could consume, he or she had to crawl back to the starting point where another team member would continue with the competition. Each member could eat as much as possible, but the rules stipulated that each member had to eat at least one cube of cheese. The winners of this very-Wisconsin competition were Delta Theta Sigma (DTS) and their little sisters.

Feb. 7 events included Change Wars and viewings of "The Mighty Ducks." The movie was shown three times in the University Center Theater and was sponsored by REC.

Feb. 8 events included Change Wars and the annual Winter Carnival Lip Sync. The winner for the combined three days of Change Wars was team Hathorn Hall.
This year's theme for the Lip Sync was "War of the Worst Love Songs."

The rules for this event included a limit of eight people per group participating in the actual performance, a limit of three minutes for each production and the teams had to supply their own costumes, props, music and support. Also new this year to the Lip Sync were student MCs, Jeff Parker and Mike Bremer.

"They [provided] hilarious time-fillers involving audience members," Maliszewski said, "They were amazing."

Freshmen Tanya Wonton and Katie Wright were at the event supporting their Parker Shenanigan team. They said they were unable to attend other Winter Carnival events because of "scheduling conflicts," but both were going to attend Friday's events.

Because the theme for the Lip Sync was "War of the Worst Love Songs," some of the musical selections included "What is Love," "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," "Love Hurts" and a few songs from the Spice Girls. Winning with "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" and "Love Stinks" was team Hathorn Hall.

Immediately following the Lip Sync was S'more Wars. S'mores and hot chocolate were provided behind the University Center at the fire pit.

Another new event this year was the Feb. 9 event, Yell Like Hell. This event included a minute and a half cheer, which promoted the individual team, Winter Carnival and the hockey team. The winner of the event got to "Yell Like Hell" after the second period of the hockey game. The winner of this event was team Hathorn Hall.

The overall winner for this year's Winter Carnival was team Hathorn Hall. Second place went to DTS and third went to Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri Sigma).

"Although there wasn't a massive turnout for every event, all participants had a lot of fun," Maliszewski said.

Participating teams included Hathorn Hall, Alpha Sigma Alpha, AGR, AOPi, Parker Shenanigans, Tri Sigma, Theta Chi & Dez, Asian American Student Association, Block and Bridle Club, Hall, Sigma Tau Gamma and DTS.