A Change for the Better: This Year's Winter Carnival

Madeline Cohen Staff Writer Winter Carnival. It’s Latin’s pick-me-up in the middle of the season when, along with the sun, almost every bit of school spirit seems to have disappeared. Planning for the week starts as early as November, choosing spirit days and contests, finding places and times when each event can take place, and getting people to participate. This behind-the-scenes work culminated in a successful Winter Carnival last week, the majority of people dressing up and getting involved. Every grade seemed to take a big step up in terms of effort compared to last year, kicking off the week with particularly impressive lip sync performances as Juniors took the lead. Winter Carnival has faced many changes over the past few years, and this one was no exception. Starting last year and continued into this one, Winter Carnival has been shortened from two weeks to one, blocked on either end by the Loyola basketball game and Winter Ball. Instead of drawing out activities to span over fourteen days, struggling to keep everyone interested and involved, the condensed version makes the week much more exciting and accomplishes everything before all the energy has time to die out. One of the biggest changes was the absence of banners. Last year’s banners wavered back and forth between being shown and being cancelled, pushed back each week to the following clubs block or gathering. This lasted for months, and by the time everything was figured out, it was already the end of May. This year, instead of reliving the argument, teachers met halfway through January and decided to eliminate the banners altogether once and for all. While in theory banners are a great idea, they’ve tended to be Winter Carnival’s Achilles heel, disrupting the carefully planned schedule and sending the structure of week spiraling downhill. Banners often walk a fine line between being humorous and being offensive, easily inappropriate or hurtful without many people even realizing it. After already being on edge for a few years, the deans officially decided a few minutes of video weren’t worth the stress and work that went into making them. It also seems as if this year, all of Winter Carnival’s events are taking place during clubs blocks or gatherings. This decision was a strategic one, as there have been fewer people willing to get involved in these activities. Scheduling them during these times makes them much more accessible to people who are busy or don’t want to come in during a free block or after school, allowing a greater number of people to participate. Even when activities were optional during clubs blocks or advisories, they were still successful and an impressive number of people still chose to attend. There have also been some slight changes in scoring. “It’s less about points this year and more about who’s winning what, who’s dressing up, and who’s participating in Winter Carnival,” commented Miya Coleman, Student Government’s Communications Chair. Trying to take and keep track of every grade’s individual points is difficult and has in previous years led to confusion and possibly even some inaccuracy in the results. This slightly different point system will find more accurate winners. The future of Winter Carnival only looks optimistic. Each year brings more improvements, eliminations of the things that don’t work and the addition of brand new ideas to keep the week exciting. We look forward to hearing the upcoming announcement of who won this year’s Winter Carnival.  ]]>