Fieldstock, chariots await town approval

by Jennifer Garfinkel | 7/27/06 5:00am

The 2008 Class Council has planned Fieldstock, a College-approved day of chariot races around the Green and a barbecue at the Big Empty Meeting Area, for Saturday, Aug. 12 as an alternative to the summer tradition of Tubestock, a 20-year-old event that was never sanctioned by the College.

Fieldstock will begin at 3 p.m. on the eastern side of the Green with chariot races, a Dartmouth tradition being reinstated this summer after the College ended it during the 1980s for safety reasons. The afternoon will continue at the BEMA from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and will include a barbecue, mud pits and a performance by the band Allstar -- the New York Rangers' house band. Safety and Security officers will patrol the BEMA during the event and will man the sole entrance where they will check Dartmouth ID cards and potentially bags as well, Fieldstock committee member Michelle Gladstone '08 said.

In addition to Saturday afternoon's activities, the 2008 Class Council is working to turn Fieldstock into a full weekend akin to Winter Carnival or Green Key weekend, during which Greek houses will throw their signature theme parties, according to Class Council president Tess Reeder '08. Some fraternities have already agreed to partake, she said.

The Fieldstock committee members sent out chariot guidelines Wednesday evening to the 2008 class, and will use their Greek house representatives and fliers to promote the event, Reeder said.

Reeder added that the College only recently approved the use of the Green and so now publicity can begin. The Class Council sent guidelines for building a chariot via BlitzMail to the sophomore class Wednesday night.

There will be three heats of chariot races -- male, female and coed -- and any Greek house or group of students can enter the competition.

The Fieldstock committee will not be able to finalize their plans until the town of Hanover signs the outdoor activity permits that are necessary for all outdoor events in Hanover, including those that take place on College property.

E.J. Kiefer, manager of Conferences and Special Events for the College, said he planned to signed the Fieldstock permits Wednesday night before turning them over to the town on Thursday morning. Before Town Manager Julia Griffin signs the permits, however, Hanover fire and police chiefs will review them and submit any changes they feel should be made.

"I think we're going to be alright but I don't know for sure until I see the details," Town Manager Julia Griffin said. "I never like to second-guess what concerns our police and fire department may raise." The permits will most likely be finalized and returned to the College by the middle of next week, Kiefer said.

Due to mixed feedback around campus, some Fieldstock committee members are unsure about what kind of turnout and participation to expect.

"Most people are going around saying this is a lame step-in for Tubestock and it's not going to be as fun, and trying to replace traditions isn't going to work," Gladstone said. She said that the committee has been planning for a maximum of 600 attendees at Fieldstock.

Committee members hope, nonetheless, that the event will be a success and said it will depend on the participation of sophomores.

"It will be a different sort of event but hopefully people are open to the new ideas," Fieldstock committee member Carrie Thompson '08 said.

But some students are skeptical of the event's success, and others are still in the dark about what Fieldstock is at all.

"I couldn't tell you where, when or what will happen at Fieldstock," Bridget Alex '08 said.

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