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April 05, 2022

Greenwald’s a Spring Carnival Treasure

By Bruce Gerson

Since his days as a student intern on the Rachael Ray Show, Andrew Greenwald has become quite good at working behind the scenes to put on a show.

Greenwald, a coordinator for the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Civic Engagement (SLICE), has quite the production schedule. He’s the advisor to the Spring Carnival Committee, Greek Sing, Scotty Saturday, Donut Dash, Winter Welcome and Senior Week. He also advises the Undergraduate Student Senate and SLICE student interns. 

“Living in New York City and working in that environment gave me the ‘hustle culture,’” he said. “You just got to get things done and have fun while doing it.” 

A Pittsburgh native, Greenwald earned his bachelor’s degree in media and communication arts at Pace University in New York. As a student, he interned at the Rachael Ray Show, where he helped producers and directors film three shows per day.

“That’s where my work ethic comes from,” he said. “It was taped but we ran the show like it was live. It was a hustle. A lot of prep work.”

Greenwald is looking forward to “the vibe, the feeling of excitement and opportunity on campus” that carnival brings.

Greenwald joined CMU in 2014 as a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Activities while pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Less than two years later, he became Spring Carnival advisor and shortly thereafter a coordinator for SLICE.  

“The students taught me everything I needed to know about Spring Carnival,” he said. “Being a Pittsburgh native, I had a rudimentary knowledge of the event, but there’s so much more. The students taught me all the ins and outs.”

This year, he’s returning the favor by teaching the students, as the majority of the Spring Carnival Committee members have never experienced carnival before. In 2020, a virtual talent show was held and in 2021 events were hosted virtually with a few in-person activities. The committee’s institutional knowledge was lost, due to COVID, except for Greenwald.

As Spring Carnival advisor for the past seven years, Greenwald is a treasure trove of information for the students. He works with the student organizing committee to keep them on track with decision-making, timelines, outside vendors and communications. During the spring semester, he and the committee meet once a week with campus stakeholders to keep them abreast of plans and progress. He has also enlisted the help of alumni — former carnival co-chairs and heads of Booth — to pitch in with the planning this year. 

Senior Asad Sheikh, this year’s Spring Carnival Committee Chair, said Greenwald has been “incredible.”

“Every single question I have always goes to Andrew,” Sheikh said. “He has been so instrumental in making all of this happen. None of this would be put together without his knowledge and dedicated support to making sure carnival happens the way it does. He’s been a mentor to me in making sure everything is going as planned to make Spring Carnival the way it should be."

“Experience as much as you can, and download the CMU Events App for the schedule to see all that’s going on.”

As Spring Carnival returns in full swing this weekend, Greenwald, who will be pushing a buggy in a housefellows exhibition heat, is looking forward to “the vibe, the feeling of excitement and opportunity on campus” that carnival brings.

“Carnival is our most joyous time of the year and it’s my favorite time of year,” he said. “You get to see our students disconnect for a few days, give themselves permission to have fun and have a really good time. They need that.”

Greenwald said his two favorite parts of Spring Carnival are the very beginning and end. “Move-On” is when student organizations move their booth-building materials to the College of Fine Arts parking lot and begin building their booths. The Booth and Buggy awards ceremony is a joyous finale.

“The excitement in the air for that event is unlike any other event on campus,” Greenwald said. “Hundreds and hundreds of students gather at the main stage by the tennis courts to celebrate each other’s wins and successes. They’re bonding and supporting one another. That’s the big culmination of Spring Carnival weekend.” 

If you’re new to Spring Carnival or getting reacquainted with the celebrated university tradition, Greenwald has a few tips for you.

“Experience as much as you can. Walk through all the booths, and get to a buggy race,” he said. “And download the CMU Events App for the schedule to see all that’s going on. You’ll be surprised by how much there is.”