Winter Carnival sees 43 incident reports

by Sunpreet Singh | 2/17/17 2:05am


The Dartmouth College Marching Band performed on the Green for this year's Winter Carnival.

by Paula Kutschera / The Dartmouth

A blizzard of activities occurred this past weekend as part of Dartmouth’s annual Winter Carnival, titled “Dartmouth College of Icecraft and Blizzardry: A Magical Winter Carnival.” Events such as the polar bear swim and the human dogsled race saw high participation numbers, David Pack, the associate director of the Collis Center for Student Involvement, wrote in an email. Safety and Security director Harry Kinne said that the department received 43 incident reports during Winter Carnival weekend, down from the 52 reports received during last year’s Winter Carnival.

Five people were taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, six people were taken to Dick’s House and four people were arrested by Hanover Police. One of these students ran from Safety and Security twice while going to Dick’s House and was caught both times, later being taken into protective custody by Hanover Police and then transferred to Grafton County jail, Kinne said.

There were 11 incidents regarding violations of liquor laws, which was consistent with previous Winter Carnivals, as there were 15 in 2014, six in 2015 and 11 in 2016, he added.

Kinne said that he thought that there were overall less reported incidents this year, including the number of safe rides called, medical emergencies and alcohol violations. He added that Safety and Security tried to be more visible and mobile this Winter Carnival, in order to prevent people who may have been drunk from experiencing hypothermia, especially considering the snowbanks created by the weekend snowstorm.

The weekend saw the return of classic events such as the polar bear swim, the human dogsled race and the ice sculpture contest, as well as the addition of new magic-themed events such as wand making, broomball and “Fantastic Birds.”

Pack wrote that a record number of students, over 500, participated in the polar bear swim this Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival Council chair Eric Chen ’17 said that people actually had to be turned down for the polar bear swim, since the event had to end by 5 p.m. Chen attributed the high participation to the weekend’s high snowfall and the fact that the swim was held at Occom Pond.

“Last year the polar bear swim was held in a kiddie pool in front of Collis, which wasn’t really the same as having it in Occom Pond this year,” he said.

Pack also said that 20 teams participated in the ice sculpture contest, over 100 people attended the wand making event Saturday afternoon and over 100 people stopped by the “Fantastic Birds” event, which brought owls and raptors to campus from the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, Vermont.

Chen said that the opening ceremony this year had higher attendance than previous years, as it was moved from the top of the Hopkins Center to Collis Common Ground, where hundreds of students came and ate Harry-Potter themed food such as butterbeer, snitch cake pops and cauldron cupcakes.

The students also organized and built a snow sculpture on the Green prior to Winter Carnival. Chen said that there was controversy surrounding last year’s Winter Carnival because there was no official sculpture. He added that he was happy to see students, rather than the administration, lead the snow sculpture creation.

“Over time the snow sculpture migrated to being the College’s responsibility, when in reality it should be handled by students,” he said.

He added that Collis was not involved with the sculpture this year, so the students picked up the responsibility.

In addition, this year’s Winter Carnival poster was more popular among students than those from previous years because it came across as more artistic than the more generic ones from the past, Chen said.

Winter Carnival Council chair Audrey Scott ’19 said that the relatively cold weather and fresh snowfall right before Winter Carnival weekend allowed many students to participate in the 99¢ ski day, when tickets to the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme cost 99 cents. She added that last year many hills were closed due to a lack of snowfall and that this year students had access to the Skiway for the entire weekend.

However, Scott pointed out that the snow also prevented certain events from occurring, such as the scheduled free ice skating day on Sunday. An ice skating rink was created for the first time on the Green this year, but no one was able to ice skate because the snow could not be cleared in time, she said. Other events such as broomball did take place on the ice skating rink despite the snow, she added.

Chen and Scott agreed that this year’s theme of magic was appealing to many people and that it fit well with the new housing system.

“We tried to incorporate [the theme] into as many events as possible,” Scott said.

William Roussell ’20 said that the snow enabled him to participate in many events during Winter Carnival, such as skiing for the first time and participating in the snowball fight, which occurred Sunday night.

“The snowball fight was a perfect way to end Winter Carnival,” he said.