An ice skating rink is being built on the Fraternity Quad to be unveiled for use on Saturday for WinterFest Weekend 2005.

“We are pleased about the ice skating rink so far,” Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier said.

“This Saturday we are having the grand opening and hoping for a good turnout,” she said.

The Student Activities Office, facilities and the United Greek Council teamed up to make the rink possible.

“I think its a great idea,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “I am grateful for the fraternities and sororities working alongside facilities for taking it on. The ice rink can add a lot of opportunities for students to have fun this winter.”

Saturday’s festivities include free hot chocolate and ice skates for everyone courtesy of ESL Sports Center.

This comes in a weekend packed with basketball games, the Black Student Union Step Off competition, a comedic performance from Mo Rocca, Casino Night, the Masquerade Ball and a Super Bowl celebration.

Spirit Week is a major part of WinterFest that is designed to get students excited about the weekend’s activities.

“There was a Spirit Week dinner in Danforth that I went to,” freshman Alex Aronovitz said. “There was a really big turnout and a raffle and overall I just thought it was a lot of fun.”

The ice skating rink was once built as a tradition in conjunction with WinterFest, but has since been lost.

The ritual was that each year leading up to the WinterFest a new layer of ice was smoothed onto the rink. The rink was ready for unveiling, much like this year, at WinterFest.

“Traditions are really great,” Algier said. “We hope to do this every year.”

Students can bring their ice skates to school with them.

Some students and faculty are skeptical about the placement of the rink and the premise of it in general.

“I’m not sure the Fraternity Quad was the best place to install the rink because of all the traffic the area gets,” Trades Supervisor Tom Calvert, who is on the team in charge of building the rink, said. “We have already run into a lot of problems. We lay the first ice on Thursday and when we came back Friday morning, there were cell phones and beer cans frozen into it and someone had fallen to make a hole in it.”

Some students suggested various other locations around the campus as better alternative locations for the rink.

“I think someone already threw up on it,” freshman Emily Dunstan said. “It is right on the Fraternity Quad and everyone knows what goes on there. I don’t think it is very smart because some people might get hurt.”

The administration in charge of the rink recognizes that this is a concern, but does not feel it should prevent the rink from being built.

“I hope that students use the rink but don’t abuse it,” Algier said. “We do things under the premise that our students are adults and can behave appropriately. I guess we’ll just have to see.”

Many students agree that they are mature enough to use the rink responsibly.

“I can see how some things could be a problem, but I don’t think they will be,” junior William Ferzoco said.

“I already fell on the rink,” freshman Alex Aronovitz said. “It was about 4 a.m. on Saturday and I fell and hurt my hip. I totally understand that this was my responsibility and not the school’s. I still think the rink is a good idea.”

Other students simply feel they will not use the rink and that it is a waste of money to build.

“I don’t think I will use an ice skating rink,” junior Chris Widowski said. “I’m not a big ice skater. Also I’m a Theta Chi brother, and I used to live on the Fraternity Quad and I just don’t think the rink is a good idea. It’s not in a good place.”

Regardless of the mixed reactions across campus, the Student Activities Office and the College has spent $1200 on the ice skating rink and look forward to the unveiling on Saturday.

“I hope students really appreciate and use this rink,” Calvert said. “A lot of work is being put into the rink, so hopefully it will be frozen and ready to go for this weekend.”

Paret can be reached at eparet@campustimes.org



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