Despite the lack of snow, this year’s Winter Carnival was a great success. Moogano 1998 was a completely student-run event sponsored by the Outing Club and the International Club. The Asian feel throughout the weekend reflected both the Nagano Winter Olympics theme and the sponsors.
The co-president of Moogano, Austin Chang ‘99 said, “I feel this Winter Carnival went very smoothly. The activities that were brought in got many students involved. The sumo wrestling and the karaoke were both hits and there was a great turn out on Baxter lawn for Singled Out.”
The Opening Ceremonies took place the evening of Feb. 19 after special theme dinners at the dining halls. Each dining hall had a special menu with an Asian theme. The dishes, for example, the eggplant and tofu, sushi and green tea ice cream elicited mixed responses among Williams students. “Greylock was as exotic as usual,” Meghan Freeman ‘00 said. About the Dodd dinner, Jane Vaughn ‘00 said, “The atmosphere was great â€” very warm. What made the dinner really special was the amazing assortment of fruits, like pineapple and blueberries, which we usually never get.”
The Opening Ceremonies began with Director of Athletics, Bob Peck and Dean of the College Peter Murphy, both dressed in Asian attire, being heralded down the center of Chapin by a fanfare of trumpets. Murphy and the co-presidents of Moogano 1998, Abby Ramsden ‘98 and Chang made opening remarks.
After these remarks, five Williams a cappella groups: Octet, Ephoria, Spring Streeters, Ephlats and Good Question, sang in between introductions of the ski teams. The Octet got into the spirit of Moogano by singing the Olympic theme preceding their own song.
Following in Williams Winter Carnival tradition Moogano officially began with the throwing of the ski. Peck threw a ski across the stage to Ramsden and Chang, who successfully caught it.
Ramsden commented on the organization of the opening ceremonies. “Because people were so willing to help out, the organization wasn’t that hard.” One challenge did present itself, however. “The hardest part was trying to find a kimono in Western Massachusetts,” Ramsden said.
The torchlight procession followed immediately after the Opening Ceremonies in Chapin. The audience, consisting mostly of Williams students, was led to Weston Field by the music of the Marching Band. Traffic was blocked as hundreds of students crossed Route 2 on their way to Weston Field. The procession grew along the way as students and members of the community joined to see the fireworks. Although the muddy conditions on the field provided somewhat of an inconvenience, the fireworks were met with cheers and applause. “Because of the procession there was a lot more community involvement than in previous years,” Ramsden said.
The next day, things got underway with sumo wrestling on Baxter Lawn. Students and children from the community were fitted into giant sumo wrestler costumes and left to battle it out on a wrestling mat. One duel, between Chris Bell ‘98 and Ethan Gutmann ‘99, ended with both wrestlers off the mat and in the mud. After the fight Gutmann remarked, “It’s hard to move around in those things. It’s a lot harder than you think.” Bell said, “We just need to gain a few pounds and we’ll be ready for Moogano 2002.”
On a quieter note, Origami didn’t attract such a large crowd but participants, including children and adults as well as Williams students, worked diligently to learn the tricky art. Jennifer Kingsley ‘00 said of her experience, “It took me a very long time to figure out how the tabs went. Fortunately there was an instructor there to help.” She added, “There were a lot of kids; it was really fun.”
The largest crowd this Winter Carnival gathered in front of Chapin steps to watch the Williams version of the popular television show Singled Out. Bill Stebbins ‘99 was the host of both the male and the female games. “I had a blast. It gave me the opportunity to torture girls, mock ball players, and get applauded by the audience at the same time,” Stebbins said. Scott Zinober ‘99 was the man in the spotlight for the first game. After ruling out the mathletes, Jolly Green Giants, and GI Janes, only ten women were left. The remaining contestants were weeded out through various means which included orders to bark like a dog and make your face into a sundae using whipped cream and cherries. The lucky winner of a $50 date at Mezze with Zinober was Katie Minton ‘99.
Stebbins said the second game got a little rowdy as a date for Mari-Claudia Jimenez ‘98 was chosen from a group of eager Williams men. Ian Macallister ‘98 was the successful contestant to win a $50 date at Hobson’s Choice with Jimenez. “Justice was served,” Stebbins said.
After the day activities, on Saturday night the reggae group “Third World” performed from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Following the concert there were a number of parties in the row houses. Ramsden said, “The parties were really fun.”
“As for the races, the conditions weren’t ideal but they were fun,” Chang said. Ramsden was a patroller for the two-day ski races and she was glad to see no one was injured. Because of the poor weather conditions on the second day the gates kept coming out but the Williams team still managed to ski well. “Not many people came out to watch the races,” Ramsden said, “but the team appreciated those who did come.”
Compared to last year, Chang said of this year’s Winter Carnival, “The greatest improvements over last year were the fireworks and opening ceremonies. There was a great turnout for both. It really got the community involved and lots of students out together.” Overall Chang said of Moogano 1998, “It was a lot of work, but all worth it because people had fun.”