ThurtenE offers sustainable fun for local community
Carnival-goers were treated to seven student-constructed façades, the construction projects of sorority and fraternity partnerships as one of the oldest carnival traditions of any college in the country. A lot that was filled with only wooden frames eight days earlier was transformed into a variety of elaborate structures.
This year’s facades included a 1950s-style gas station (Alpha Epsilon Phi and Theta Xi), a refrigerator (Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Sigma), Captain Hook’s pirate ship (Alpha Omicron Pi), a house of cards (Alpha Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon), a summer-camp-style log cabin (Chi Omega and Beta Theta Pi), a toy box (Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Epsilon Pi), and a bed with monsters underneath (Delta Ganna and Sigma Nu).
Inside the façades, each partnership staged a play based on the theme of their construction. Productions included Beta Theta Pi and Chi Omega’s chronicle of a “West Side Story”-like battle between two rival summer camps while Delta Gamma and Sigma Nu told the story of a group of monsters in their haven underneath a young girl’s bed in search of the tooth fairy who has “stolen their scariness.”Students, alumni, members of the Greek community, parents of students and members of the St. Louis community attended the carnival en masse. Although the sorority and fraternity partnerships compete for construction, production and overall awards, members of ThurtenE junior honorary believe that the carnival is an event for more than just those involved in construction or plays.
“It’s really about bringing the community together. We don’t want people to think of this as a competition and focus too much on the numbers instead of what we are doing in the community,” junior and ThurtenE honorary president Zach Swanson said.
Alongside the façades a carnival including rides, food and games covered the parking lot near the engineering complex. This year, ThurtenE honorary worked with Coca-Cola for funding. Juniors and Public Relations officers Jonathan Jackson and Lauren Nippoldt managed to secure sponsorship from Coca-Cola through the company’s sustainability initiative.
“The big thing they want to show at the carnival is how they are, as a company, very sustainable,” Nippoldt said. “[At] our carnival this year we created waste stations where we sort everyone’s garbage into recyclables and composting and hope we can make a [greener] ThurtenE.”
The Department of Sustainability organized a new feature in which tents were designated for garbage disposal. The only designated garbage, recycling and composting bins were in those tents.
Honorary members believed that this year’s carnival successfully reached out to a broader St. Louis community than in previous years.
“We’ve been really trying to innovate within the traditions that have been passed down to us,” Swanson said. “For example, we always have a stage for student performers…this year, we also have people from the community on it.”
Community groups such as Chabad on Campus and St. Louis Contra Dancing were present at this year’s carnival alongside Wash. U. student performers like the National Prestigious Society of Collegiate Jugglers.
“We try to expand our reach; we try to get more people from the community to come…we try to push outward more than we have in the past,” Swanson said.
One of the largest student-group efforts at the carnival were food booths. Some of the groups’ treats have become almost as traditional as the carnival itself, whether it be funnel cake from Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity or fried goods from Zeta Beta Tau.