Each year when the spring seems light years away, the winter doldrums at Unity College give way to a cherished campus tradition. During the second week of February, Unity holds its annual Winter Carnival celebration, which culminates in the Snow Ball on February 16.

This year students voted to bring back a familiar theme for the Snow Ball. The ball, which is a catered semi-formal dance at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity, will reintroduce a theme made popular during the early days of the College. The ball is a “semi-flannel, semi-formal,” with students making creative outfits from flannel.

Winter Carnival week comes strategically in the middle of the month of the year when students most need a fun diversion from the dullness of winter.

Students working in the Student Activities office enjoy plenty of opportunities for to take leadership in planning and leading activities during Winter Carnival. Planning for the week of events is coordinated by a group of students as part of the Student Activities programming board.

Miranda Grato is the student leader in charge of planning a weekly do-it-yourself program series. In the two programs leading up to the Snow Ball, students can learn how to make flannel bow ties and make their own party decorations (one set for themselves and one set to contribute to the Snow Ball). Daniel Orlando, a student who serves as the Campus Traditions Coordinator, has been in charge of organizing the Snow Ball event and several others during the week. There is also a lot of collaboration, with various departments across campus sponsoring an array of events which include ice fishing, ice skating, a trip to the University of Maine ice hockey game in Orono, a night hike, coffeehouse performance, bonfire night, snow fort competition, warm afternoon snacks, and wellness related activities like reiki and chair massage. There will also be sleigh (or hay—depending on the amount of snow) rides and healthy events like the Wellness Committee’s “healthy happy hour,” which this year highlights the health benefits of dark chocolate.

On campus promotions for events include the phrase “B.R.R.R…”, meaning Building opportunities to Recreate (get outside and get moving), Reflect (slow down and enjoy the comforts of the indoors), and Rejuvinate (build community and have some fun). A full list of events is online here.

Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Monday, February 11, 2013