Winterfest Weekend proved to be a surprisingly successful and popular series of events, highlighting an increase in school spirit among UR students. The annual occasion has drawn mediocre audiences in past years and has been overshadowed by community events such as Yellowjacket or Meliora Weekends.
Due to declining turnout in recent years, the Campus Activities Board and the Class Councils collectively employed a different strategy this year by replacing Casino Night with a Winter Wonderland. This created a new approach for students to experience Rochester during the winter months.
Beyond Winter Wonderland, the weekend also displayed good turnouts at nearly every event scheduled. The Class Councils co-sponsored Spirit Night on Friday, where the University unveiled Rocky, the new school mascot. The same night, Demetri Martin performed in front of a sold-out audience at Strong Auditorium. Other organizers such as the Black Student’s Union, Creative Arts Club, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity and the Student Activities Office also hosted popular events.
This was truly a collaborative effort to organize the weekend’s schedule. In addition to CAB and the Class Councils, Dining Services and Facilities helped to create an imaginative Winter Wonderland. This is a step in the right direction for the University community, as Winterfest proved that combining several groups and UR divisions is one path for success.
Hopefully this model will be employed by other groups to garner popularity for their events and increase a sense of unity around campus. Any event that can break the mold of the traditionally indifferent UR student body can only help to enhance the social aura of the school. CAB and the Class Councils should be commended for creating a celebration of winter in the bitter cold students generally dislike enduring.