On Saturday, February 15, the Office of the President, Divisions of Student Life and Administration, and the Rensselaer Union held their fifth annual Winter Carnival from 12–9 pm at the East Campus Athletic Village. The Winter Carnival has been held by a multitude of organizations over RPI’s history. In 2009, the Union revived it to promote school tradition and create a day of memories for students and faculty alike. This year’s theme was Arctic Frost and was host to a variety of winter related activities.
The Winter Carnival was kicked off with an ice carving contest and the inaugural Rensselaer Heart Walk, hosted by the American Heart Association. These events were followed by a cardboard sled race. Teams, which consisted of up to seven people, built a sled made of cardboard, duct tape, and paint for aesthetic purposes, to race down a hill; only up to two contestants were allowed on the sled during the race. Sleds were judged based on performance and aesthetics. From 12:45–3 pm, the RPI Jazz Ensemble, Duly Noted, and Partial Credit performed for carnival attendees in tents in front of the East Campus Athletic Stadium. Inside ECAV, inflatable games such as an obstacle course, jousting, and skeeball were offered. Additionally, a caricaturist drew guests’ faces on the first floor and free food was offered on the second floor. In addition, from 12–4 pm, the “Tundra Spirits” sled dog team sled around Harkness Field and answered questions, while attendees were allowed to pet the dogs. During the same time, clubs and Greek organizations ran carnival games in tents in front of the stadium. Carnival guests were able to play games such as ring toss, balloon darts, and plinko and win tickets. Tickets could be traded in on the first floor of ECAV for Winter Carnival themed souvenirs such as mugs, shirts, and lanyards. They could also be used to enter raffles to win a computer monitor, an Xbox, and Lego sets, among other prizes. The winners were announced during intermission at the women’s hockey game against Cornell University, which began at 4 pm; attendance was mandatory to receive the raffle prizes. Following the match, the Houston Field House held an open skate celebration to end the Winter Carnival from 7–9 pm. Free skates were available and UPAC Sound and UPAC Lights provided music and lights.
Held annually, the Winter Carnival promotes tradition and campus culture from its involvement of most of the student body clubs and organizations. For more information on the Winter Carnival or future Union events, visit http://www.union.rpi.edu.