Forum

Carnival should not be characterized by alcohol

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Students look forward to Carnival every year, but not for the reasons that most alumni return to campus. Carnival should not be characterized by the large amounts of alcohol that many students consume during the festival.

Yes, we’re all college students and Carnival may seem like one of the only times when Carnegie Mellon students can relieve their stress, so it may be obvious that they want to go crazy.

However, there’s a difference between drinking with friends while socializing, and drinking dangerous quantities of alcohol that can have lasting effects on your body.

It’s no secret that students on campus celebrate Carnival by boasting about alcohol consumption. The Carnegie Mellon-famous Tumblr blog, cometomymellon.tumblr.com, posted a meme for last year’s Carnival reading “Happy F****** Carnival” with accompanying pictures of alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, doyouhearbagpipes.tumblr.com, another Carnegie Mellon-themed Tumblr blog, dedicated a post to the event this year with pictures of people guzzling alcohol.

Meanwhile, there were no allusions to the attractions that allure people from beyond the student body to Carnival. The website isitcarnivalyet.com answered the website’s question with phrases like, “No, but it’s never too early to pregame.”

While there is no problem with drinking alcohol during Carnival (if you’re of age, of course), drinking to the point of bodily harm — which many students look forward to most — should not be the festival’s focus, especially when there are so many events and opportunities to take advantage of during Carnival.

It would be a shame not to remember or to miss these events due to the negative effects of alcohol. Of course, there’s Booth and Buggy, Carnival’s two main attractions. There are also less-hyped events like Mobot, Downhill Derby, Scotch’n’Soda’s annual Carnival production, and opportunities to network with alumni.

What is the point of going to Booth drunk? Students work countless hours for these impressive structures. Having the experience of Booth distorted by alcohol does not allow students to truly appreciate the work that their peers put into it — same goes for the robots, art, and shows that students produce for Mobot, Downhill Derby, and Scotch’n’Soda, respectively.

This festival happens once a year. Taking the time to soberly and respectfully view the attractions at Carnival may even make this annual event more enjoyable each spring.

There are also several alumni events during Carnival, which give students the opportunity to meet former students. Choosing to consume alcohol during the day may cause students to miss these prime opportunities for networking.

I don’t have a problem with drinking casually in the evenings with friends during Carnival. What bothers me is the mentality that students will drink excessively simply because they can, making them unable to appreciate the attractions during the day or the morning after a heavy night of alcohol consumption — not to mention the physical danger of this mentality.