Campus organizations host spirited carnival

Photo by Scott Medway

On Friday, Oct. 25, several of Tech’s fraternities and sororities, and a smattering of other campus organizations, hosted the Annual Homecoming Carnival, an event open to the entire student community. In accordance with this year’s Homecoming theme, Wreck of the Titans, the carnival was aptly named Party at the Parthenon.

Several of the hosting organizations ran themed booths, offering crafts, games and treats to the attendees. Admittedly, it was hard to tell if some of the fraternities and sororities were really keeping with the theme or simply proud to be in a Greek organization.

Despite the cases of questionable adherence to the theme, the carnival was a success. While it is true that those who arrived at five in the afternoon were greeted by frantic people putting last-minute touches on their tables and no festive music, anyone who was patient or who arrived later was treated to a prime carnival experience.

Though there were no rides or cotton candy, the Party at the Parthenon lived up to its title. When a student arrived, he or she simply showed his or her BuzzCard to receive eight tickets and some popcorn. The student was then set loose on the rest of the festivities.

Each hosting organization had a table and an event to participate in, costing one or two tickets, at the discretion of that organization.

While many organizations opted for the more traditional carnival attractions, such as throwing a pie in someone’s face, there were several groups that could not help showing the traits of their organization. In this manner, the carnival shined with the unique and multifaceted spirit of Tech’s campus.

The Society for Women Engineers, for example, had people pay a ticket in order to solve word or number puzzles. If the participant got the puzzle correct, he or she earned a piece of candy.

MOVE, Tech’s predominant community service organization, asked two tickets of students who wished to race each other in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which would later be collected and donated.

Although there were no rides or cotton candy, the Party at the Parthenon lived up to its title.

These two activities might not sound like actual carnival games, but they were fun nevertheless. Both organizations presented their event in such a way as to make it enjoyable, and if a carnival-goer did not wish to tax his or her brain, it was easy enough to avoid that table. However, true to the competitive nature of the Tech community, many students took up the challenges.

Such a non-intrusive presence is what made these tables successfully work in the carnival atmosphere. Those who did not like the idea of making a sandwich did not bother themselves with MOVE, and those that did enjoyed themselves.

However, while the Party at the Parthenon was a fun diversion from the monotony of a cold October Friday afternoon, it probably could have been better orchestrated. Each organization seemed to have their own ideas with no central approval or coordination.

Take, for example, the organization that was selling donuts for a dollar to help raise money. While this is normally a fine idea, they failed to realize that on the other side of the carnival, Zeta Tau Alpha, one of the sororities present, was giving out donuts for two tickets, the equivalent of free for Tech students.

In addition to this rather humorously routed fundraiser, there were several organizations dealing in both pie throwing and balloon popping as well.

Even with the redundancies, though, the event as a whole was enjoyable because enough organizations were hosting tables that the repetitive themes could be avoided long enough to spend all eight tickets.

Once a student’s tickets were spent, there was little reason to remain at the carnival.

The music was good, but listening to it while merely standing on the outskirts of the Party at the Parthenon and seeing everyone else having fun was not particularly enjoyable. The only reason for a student to stay after spending all eight tickets would be if he or she was engaged in an enthralling conversation with a friend.

Even so, this conversation could easily be moved inside, where it was considerably warmer; the weather was a bit nippy. Basically, there was no reason at all to stay after spending the tickets.

Though Party at the Parthenon is one of Homecoming Week’s relatively lesser events, it was by no means ill-attended. The Ferst Plaza was filled with students milling about, happily going from table to table, game to game. Once the music started, the atmosphere became lighthearted despite the cold weather.

The success of the Party at the Parthenon, being one of the first Homecoming events, heralded  the beginning of a grand Homecoming celebration for 2013.