SGI President, Student Affairs Chair talk Winter Carnival themes

Angelica Acevedo , News Editor

This year’s Winter Carnival is well underway, with the festivities beginning earlier this Christmas season from Monday, Nov. 28 to Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Chiara Miuccio, president of Student Government Inc. (SGI), as well as some representatives of the Student Affairs Committee, spoke about the themes for this year’s celebrations.

“Winter Carnival is always about tradition and the holidays, so what we wanted to do was just cultivate that spirit,” Miuccio said. “We added a brunch this year to kind of get people in the holiday season, we’re doing our classic events like Java Johnnies, Santa’s Workshop and Fireworks – so the theme has been very traditional holiday spirit and St. John’s spirit, of course.”

According to Miuccio, this year’s Winter Carnival is not as extravagant as last year’s. Last year, the Winter Carnival had its 25th anniversary, which meant that the events were planned to celebrate the jubilee. The budget for last year’s Winter Carnival was over $60,000, according to Dominick Salvatori, SGI’s former Treasurer. Miuccio explained why.

“Being that it was the 25th anniversary last year, we went a little bit over the top,” Miuccio said. “We brought the ice skating rink on campus, that’s why there was additional costs, we extended our firework show because it was a big anniversary event… However, we kept the integrity of the event even though it wasn’t the 25th anniversary this year.”

Miuccio insisted that the expenses were less for the this year’s Winter Carnival, explaining that last year’s anniversary influenced the budget. However, they have not yet made their expenses public for this year’s Winter Carnival, as Chiara said that they “couldn’t get an accurate number because bills kept coming in.”

“We had to scale down some things, obviously,” Miuccio said. “We have a Student Affairs committee, who puts together the event, and what they really wanted to do was to bring students together and change things up from last year … We kept some of the classic elements that we had, we just changed up some details.”

The classic events that come with the Winter Carnival were still in full swing for this year’s celebrations, including last week’s Ice Skating at Bryant Park and the Horse and Carriage Rides, as well as the Fireworks show scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Miuccio credit the Student Affairs committee, who is in charge of organizing the Winter Carnival, for making it all happen.

During Java Johnnies on the night of Friday, Dec. 2, Catherine Sheehan, a senior and the chair of the Student Affairs committee, talked about her experience with organizing the event this year.

“Last year was the 25th Winter Carnival so it was really big, and we wanted to kind of continue the momentum of having that real Christmas, community feel,” Sheehan said. “Everything changes from year to year with Winter Carnival, so I aimed for more of a community, home-y feel this year.”

Sheehan also said that the budget was less than last year’s Winter Carnival, “Everything’s bigger for anniversary years, so that’s why you see things change year to year, because how much funding we get always varies.”

“Certain things were scaled back,” She continued. “We get amazing help and support from so many different departments here … Campus Activities, they’re really the ones who kind of hold us down; Alumni Relations has been great this year helping us out, they wanted to work with us to kind of bring more alumni back, especially for the finale.”

Sheehan also thanked her co-chairs for helping her bring the events to the students.

Sophomore and Co-Chair of the Student Affairs committee, Danielle Woodman, said that planning this year’s carnival was easier to plan.

“We kind of have an idea of what we want to do already so then we just think about making it bigger and better” Woodman said. “So each year is just a build up on the year before, what we learn from students that could be better and what we personally think students would want.”

Nicole Cocca, also a sophomore and co-chair in the Student Affairs committee, said that planning it was organized thanks to Sheehan.

“[Sheehan] is phenomenal, she did most of the work, but we helped organize and plan the timing, decorations [and] volunteer work,” Cocca said. “Each year it just keeps getting better and better, like our fireworks are getting better, we’re getting more volunteers … Everything is just great this year.”