Executive privilege: Spring Carnival and school spirit at CMU

To all the parents, alumni, and friends from the Pittsburgh community who are visiting Carnegie Mellon this week, I would like to welcome you on behalf of The Tartan. This year’s Spring Carnival and the celebration of the School of Computer Science’s 50th anniversary are sure to be great fun.

To the hundreds of alumni who served on The Tartan’s staff, I extend a special welcome. The Tartan and a number of other publications on campus are hosting a barbeque for their alumni and current staff. Please join us on Thursday, April 20, at 5 pm in Donner Ditch for lunch and good conversation. Also feel free to drop by your office: University Center Suite 314.

The Tartan is a mere six months away from its 100th birthday. And we’re working hard to get the publication in tip-top shape for the occasion. I’m very proud to announce that, to mark our hundredth year, we will reintroduce home subscriptions, which will hit the post offices on August 28 with our Welcome Back Special Issue.

You can subscribe right now by logging on to our secure order form at You can also call our office at (412) 268-2111 to subscribe by phone. The cost is $37.50 for one year, and you’ll receive 26 issues of The Tartan, including the Carnival and Commencement special issues.
Whether you’re an alum, the parent of a Carnegie Mellon student, a member of the Pittsburgh community, or a trustee of the University, there’s no better way to feel like you’re on campus every week than having a hard copy of The Tartan in your hands. By subscribing, you’ll also be supporting The Tartan as we begin our second century of publishing Carnegie Mellon’s first and only student-run newspaper.

This week is undoubtedly students’ favorite week. It marks the beginning of our countdown to summer. Once Spring Carnival comes, there are only two weeks of classes and two weeks of finals standing between us and summer freedom — at least until our summer jobs, internships, or classes begin.
But more than that, Spring Carnival is the embodiment of Carnegie Mellon’s school spirit.
I’ve heard too many people complain about a lack of school spirit at this institution. Frankly, I don’t buy it.

Where else do you see a community devote so much of itself to creating an event like Spring Carnival? Thousands of man-hours go into building the booths on Midway. Thousands of hours are dedicated to Buggy engineering and training for Sweepstakes. It is an undeniable extension of Carnegie Mellon’s uniquely intense work ethos. And that’s what makes it ours.

Spring Carnival is one of our oldest traditions. Dating back to 1914, Spring Carnival was first dubbed “May Day,” before taking the name “Campus Week” by 1920. Campus Week marked the first year of Buggy races, which one witness called “a conglomeration of rain barrels with bicycle wheels, four-wheeled orange crates, and three-wheeled ash cans.” In 1930, Campus Week was revamped and renamed Spring Carnival, as we know it today.

Everyone will acknowledge that Carnegie Mellon is a unique place, so it’s natural that we would express our school spirit differently from, say, a Division I school. If you keep that in mind you’ll see it for yourself.

Come Thursday afternoon, thousands of people — current students, faculty, alumni, parents, and Pittsburghers — will be swept into the effervescent buzz of Spring Carnival. That, I say, is school spirit.