New Year, new Winter Carnival at Laurier and a week full of festivities

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Jackie Vang

On Sunday, Jan. 13th, 2019, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union annual Winter Carnival event kicked off, signalling the start of a week’s worth of activities for participants in the event.

Winter Carnival is an annual event where teams that range from 20-40 participants get together to compete in various events such as dance-offs, sled building and dodgeball tournaments, among other team building activities.

“Winter Carnival is under the Students’ Union and it is part of student programming. It’s a week of fun, so it’s like spirit building team activities. This year we have 14 teams … and they compete against each other for the winning spot,” said Sammi Marino, Winter Carnival co-ordinator for this year’s event.

“We have three cups: we have an activities cup, a spirit cup and then an overall winner, so the type of programming we have is honestly just fun games where teams can come out, participate and have fun, really building on those relationships and making good friends.”

Students in any year can participate in Winter Carnival and students who may not have a group of 20 friends who want to sign up for the event can sign up as a free agent and be placed on a team to compete with.

“Anybody can join it, anybody can make a team and then the exec team basically facilitates all the programming and makes all the programming for the participants,” Marino said.

“The benefit of joining Winter Carnival is it’s really easy to meet new people, just because you’re not only with your team. You do spend a lot of time with your team, like maybe doing programming together, because there is something in November called ‘Promo Week’ to get excited for Winter Carnival and it’s basically poster hunting around campus.”

“It’s really rewarding to see that they’re having fun putting on this programming that is their own, because we do have activity executives as well as spirit executives.”

Posters and promotional materials for Winter Carnival are placed around campus and teams can find these posters to earn points towards the Winter Carnival week that happens in January.

“The main thing about Winter Carnival is facilitating friendships and getting to know new people on campus,” Marino said.

Winter Carnival has existed for decades at Laurier, as it is not only a way to meet new people and potentially win with a team, but also shows off Laurier spirit throughout the week the same way Hawk Weekend does for first-year students.

“As for events, this year we just finished an event we called ‘the Amazing Race’ and it’s a scavenger hunt around campus, we have a captain’s dance-off and every year we have a mystery event night, so we pre-order busses and we send teams on these busses. They don’t know where they’re going and we literally drop them off at an event space,” Marino said.

The mystery event night is open to any student at Laurier regardless of their participation in Winter Carnival as long as they buy a ticket for $10 on the Student’s Union website.

“I love seeing my team succeed in everything they’ve worked hard for. We had a very late start in hiring — my team wasn’t hired until the middle of first semester — so they definitely worked extremely hard in those couple months and I’m really proud of them to get it together in such a small timeline,” Marino said.

“It’s really rewarding to see that they’re having fun putting on this programming that is their own, because we do have activity executives as well as spirit executives.”

“I also love to see participants come out and compete and have fun because it’s nice to see them doing something other than academics,” she said.

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