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NESCAC News

By Min Sohn ’15

February 21, 2013

Bowdoin reinstates Winter tradition

Last weekend, the Bowdoin Student Government (BGS) and the Entertainment Board (eBoard) brought back an old Bowdoin tradition: the Winter Weekend.  During a three-day weekend, horse-drawn carriages, snow sculpting, giant snowball fights, dog sledding and more provided the festivities.  In the spirit of celebrating the Maine winter, the Winter Weekend, as Todd Herrmann ’85, associate director of employer relations, told The Bowdoin Orient, had once been as much of a mainstay on Bowdoin’s calendar as Homecoming and Ivies. 

According to The Orient, the history of Winter Weekend dates back to as early as the 1920’s.  By 1940, the event had become such a phenomenon that Life Magazine published a three-page pictorial of the 1939 festivities and said, “The Northeast offered no gayer, jollier college parties.”  For roughly 70 years, the Winter Weekend continued to be immensely popular.  In 1994, the Winter Weekend was Casino-themed and offered impressive prizes, such as a trip for two to anywhere in the U.S. for free. Alumni also have fond memories of their Winter Weekend experience during their time at Bowdoin.  In 2010 Alumnus John R. Cross ’76 recalled seeing snow sculptures of “Venus de Milo, a Polar Bear engineer on a locomotive of snow, the Statue of Liberty, a likeness of JFK’s head and other wonders of the world,” in a post on the Bowdoin Daily Sun.

The tradition had a rich and impressive history, but it was on the decline by 1998.  For one reason or another, this wonderful event that served as a critical break between winter and spring break disappeared.  In 2009 and 2011, there were attempts to revive it, but they, the “Frozen Ivies” and the “Winter Carnival,” did not enjoy the same type of excitement and success that the Winter Weekend did in its heyday.  Thus, both Michael Hannaman ’13, co-chair of the eBoard, and Dani Chediak ’13, president of BSG realized that there was an uncomfortable gap, and the uncovering of this recently forgotten tradition offered the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Hannaman told The Orient that this was “a huge thing” that required contributions from many sources, and he was happy to provide an event that could bring the Bowdoin community together “without the focus being on alcohol.”

 

Wesleyan: Senior cocktail event gone wrong

According to The Wesleyan Argus, Senior Cocktails event, “Freaks and Geeks, Valentine’s Day Style,” which took place at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Conn. this past Friday, was forced to end prematurely.  Although there have been no official reports regarding the reason for the early exit, event attendees reported raucous behavior.  On Wesleying, the school’s social site, one student posted on overhearing museum staff commenting that students were engaged in sexual activity, illegal drug use and destruction of property.

Rebecca Coven ’13 told The Argus in an email that there had been some miscommunication regarding which floors and exhibits were open to the event guests, but that still does not excuse the way the seniors acted, and she hopes that “this won’t affect the rest of the senior events.”  Matt Lichtash ’13 offered some light commentary in an email to The Argus writing, “At least some of the students kindly left baking soda in the bathroom and stairs to help clean up all of that disgusting vomit.”  Needless to say, a science museum may never be a good idea as a location for a party involving college students and alcohol, unless, as Genelle Faulkner ’13 suggested, “We might need sippy cups next time.”

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