Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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April 01, 2011

Spring Carnival: Marketplace, Memory Lane Add to Midway Offerings

By Maria Zayas

A time machine will be part of campus soon.

It won’t hurl anyone into the distant future or the pre-historic past, but it will walk attendees through the 91-year history of Carnegie Mellon’s annual Spring Carnival, which takes place April 14-16.

An entry into the Midway will sport collages of images from past Spring Carnivals as far back as 1920 in a fitting tribute to the Carnival theme, “When I Was Your Age.”

“The entryway used to be this wooden card that just said ‘carnival’ and maybe had our opening hours,” said Chun Yu, publicity co-chair on the Carnival Committee. “We wanted to bring something elaborate to Midway.”

The display also will include icons representing student organizations and their booths.

The second major change attendees will notice on Midway is the addition of the Midway Marketplace.

“This year, the focus was on making something completely new for Spring Carnival, rather than to augment it, and I think Marketplace was borne out of that,” Yu said.

What used to be a small concert tent will have tables for student organizations and individual students to display and sell merchandise and creative work. Merchandise will include items such as student artwork, jewelry and T-shirts. Organizations also may use the space for projects, discussions and more. For example, the Online Gaming Society is planning to host a video game competition.

Additional changes the student Carnival Committee implemented include updating booth construction guidelines, said Nick Harper, chair of the student Carnival Committee.

The Carnival Committee has worked with the booth organizations on the plan review process and guidelines for erecting structurally sound buildings. The Carnival Construction Standards have been rewritten and the new codes are based on the International Building Code and guarantee a safer Spring Carnival.

This will be the second year that all of the decade-based reunions will gather at Spring Carnival. With more alumni than ever coming back, the weekend promises a bustling and full campus.

“Spring Carnival traditionally has been a student-run event,” said Dan Barnett, director of alumni on-campus programs. “In recognizing that more alumni were
attending the events surrounding the weekend, reunions and additional programming have been layered onto what the students had typically planned.

“It is an exciting opportunity to showcase the efforts of Carnegie Mellon students. We are seeing more participation by the colleges and various departments around campus. I know that the student committee is also working hard to enhance the programming and events that they coordinate,” Barnett said.

With that in mind, the committee hopes more of the campus community takes advantage of activities.

“I would like to see more involvement from graduate students in the future. Right now, graduate schools don’t get the days off for Carnival and there is generally a bit of a disconnect between graduate and undergraduate students in terms of involvement in student activities,” Harper said. “I think Carnival would be great for grad students to get involved with, considering how many people from the Carnegie Mellon community and the surrounding Pittsburgh community come to attend.”