Lights from the Susie’s patio shone brightly on students struggling to keep their grip on a bucking mechanical bull, one of the many activities available at this year’s Fall Carnival. Half an hour into the event, an impromptu roller skate dance battle broke out between Jeffrey Steele ’20 and Amelia Meyer ’21. A crowd gathered around the square in front of Paresky Commons to watch the two bust their moves on wheels.
“It was definitely one of the highlights of the [carnival] because I got to meet an amazing person. I was so happy to see that others were enjoying the fair, because I know in previous years, this could be a pretty boring time. I was really happy to see that other people had a moment to enjoy it and there was something that they would remember and and say, ‘That was a fun time,’ ” said Steele.
The Fall Carnival, organized by the Student Activities Board, was held last Saturday in front of Paresky from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. All students were encouraged to come out and mingle in activities including hayrides, an antique photo booth, and other smaller attractions. The carnival gave students the chance to meet new people and relax with friends.
Stephanie Cormier, Student Program Coordinator, said, “The Fall Carnival is something we’ve run for a really long time, but things change from year to year. For instance, this is the first year we’ve had hayrides instead of pony rides. We have a professional DJ instead of a student DJ to make it more authentic. We bring those together to put together an event that the students will really enjoy.”
According to Mary Muromcew ’22, the carnival provided an opportunity for the entire student body to meet and interact, regardless of grade.
“It’s a way to bring the community together, and I feel like it’s a great way to meet people, especially upperclassmen… With such a big campus, it’s really easy to feel isolated from every other grade. I think this event is really good for bringing us all together and also reminding us that this is a common experience we’re having, even if we’re new to the campus,” said Muromcew.
Hugo Solomon ’19, a member of the Student Activities Board, says he believes that the Fall Carnival addressed a common concern regarding the lack of interaction between students in different classes and clusters.
Solomon said, “An issue on campus is that classes [at Andover] are separated by grade, and because of that, Seniors and upperclassmen don’t really get to interact with the new [Juniors]. Especially with new Lowers, it can feel like they’re divided from the rest of the school, so it’s events like this, where the whole campus is involved, where you get to meet new people in an environment not defined by something like a sports team or cluster or class. It puts people on equal playing ground.”
According to Solomon, the carnival’s high turnout was a marker of its success.
“The event went really well. I got a bunch of great feedback from people. I think the most important sign of whether an event is going well is whether people actually show up or not, and so many people have been coming… It’s the beginning of the year and people are excited,” said Solomon.
Editor’s Note: Hugo Solomon ’19 is an Associate Video Editor for The Phillipian.