ThurtenE mixes nostalgia with modern tech

Dylan Basset | Staff Reporter

Although this year’s ThurtenE theme centered on the past and nostalgia of the event, the carnival saw new developments, with ThurtenE Honorary releasing a mobile app to guide visitors.

This year’s theme, “Endless Discovery: Explore the Tradition,” was intended to remind attendees of the history behind the oldest student-run carnival—or, as it was once known, “Younivee Surrkuss”—in the country.

Although the honorary ordinarily hands out advertisement books, it introduced a smartphone application for 2014’s carnival. Complete with schedules, maps and a short storybook about the origins of ThurtenE, the application allowed carnival-goers to connect their photos and statuses on social media with the application. In keeping with the theme, the storybook re-imagines Brookings Hall as a castle with an empty throne, discovered by an every-kid protagonist.

About this year’s theme, junior Muhammad Zargar, ThurtenE’s public relations chair, said, “It was really geared toward all of the parents and grandparents who have been coming to the carnival for years and have really enjoyed, you know, their own sense of mystical fervor surrounding the event.”

Veronica Jong

Students enjoy themselves on the Cliff Hanger ride at ThurtenE over the weekend. ThurtenE's theme focused on the past to remind attendees of the history of the century-old carnival.

Current students built and operated 34 booths and seven facades for the carnival. More than 80,000 attendees came to the event over the weekend, which took place during Alumni Reunion Weekend to give current and former students the chance to network and bond.

In one such case, Josh Landman, a freshman and Theta Xi pledge, was introduced to one fraternity brother who graduated from Washington University in 1950.

“Being able to meet people who have a place in the history of the school and the history of our traditions regarding ThurtenE was really just an incredible experience,” Landman said.

Students also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with members of the St. Louis community. Freshman and Alpha Phi Omega member Gina Rhee said she enjoyed selling donuts customized with the ThurtenE logo to local families.

“There were a lot of [parents] with their kids, and kids really like donuts, so when they saw our booth, their faces really lit up,” Rhee said. “It was really nice interacting with them because as Wash. U. students, I feel like we’re in a bubble sometimes,” she added.

The carnival will benefit Team Activities for Special Kids (T.A.S.K.), a local charity that provides athletic and social opportunities to kids with special needs. In addition to their charitable donation, the honorary paid to bus more than 1,800 T.A.S.K. participants to the carnival and pay for their rides and treats. When asked about how much it expects to raise for charity, ThurtenE declined to comment.