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Carnival presents new changes and challenges

Credit: Brandon Hong/Photo Editor Credit: Brandon Hong/Photo Editor

This year’s Spring Carnival saw several changes in terms of layout and location. From the relocation of Midway to the College of Fine Arts (CFA) parking lot, to the rides being set up on CFA lawn, the 2016 Spring Carnival faced a new set of challenges. The chair of Spring Carnival Committee (SCC), senior mathematical sciences and computer science major Patrick Koenig spoke to The Tartan about the changes to Carnival this year and the challenges that arose because of them.

Koenig initially commented on the positive aspects of Carnival’s relocation saying, “This move allowed the Spring Carnival Midway to be located closer to Sweepstakes [Buggy] and in the heart of Carnegie Mellon’s campus.”

Koenig was also asked about how the CFA lawn was chosen to be the future host of Carnival. “The process that resulted in choosing the CFA parking lot as the new home for the Spring Carnival Midway took place long before I was the Spring Carnival Chair,” Koenig said. “Originally the plan was for the relocation to take place for the 2015 Spring Carnival. However, construction delays for the new Tepper Quad resulted in this being pushed back to this year.” Koenig also explained that this move was not new information for most organizations. After having previously worked on Booth for the Mellon College of Science and being on Booth Committee, Koenig said, “I recall a presentation given to Booth chairs in the fall of 2013 discussing possible locations for the relocated Spring Carnival Midway.”

Koenig also spoke about the changes that organizations faced as far as building booths. “Some of the biggest challenges were simply due to space constraints on the smaller CFA parking lot. Ensuring that organizations were able to safely reach all sides of their booth during constructions was a significant challenge.” Koenig also commented on how SCC plans to address these challenges more carefully in the future when deciding the layout of the booths to comply with “an acceptable standard of safety.” While maintaining safety for the booths was difficult, the layout and delivery of the rides also proved to be a problem. “[SCC] had to repeatedly resolve issues that arose the week prior to Carnival regarding the layout [of the rides] and access to the CFA parking lot and lawn for deliveries. These were issues that [SCC] and other university departments overlooked while planning for the relocation this year.”

When asked if he thought the change was as drastic as people were expecting, Koenig responded “There was a significant concern about the impact of Midway on the CFA building and the activities in the [CFA building]. However, it appears that the inconvenience placed on CFA students and faculty by Spring Carnival was much less than either side had anticipated.”

He felt that the transition of Carnival was heavily facilitated by “the incredible cooperation with [SCC] by both university administration and booth-building organizations.” He talked about the work SCC did all year long with several departments to prepare for any concerns that arose during the transition. He also commended booth-building organizations for being “extremely patient and understanding as they dealt with the new space constraints and adapted their booth-building process in the new location.”

While this year was definitely a learning process for SCC and booth-building organizations alike, Koenig seemed hopeful that the lessons learned this year will allow for Carnival to be a much smoother process moving forward. “Hopefully, with the knowledge gained from this year, these challenges will become non-issues in future years.”