Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

As Carnival season rolls around, Carnegie Mellon students rush to get their Buggy times down, finish building their booths, and complete those last few exams, papers, and assignments before the much-needed long weekend that is a staple of campus culture. Aside from being a weekend of relaxation and fun, Spring Carnival is one of Carnegie Mellon’s oldest traditions, celebrated not only by students, but by alumni, faculty, and staff as well. Held annually, the weekend’s events are truly diverse, incorporating not only food, rides, concerts, and entertainment, but competitions, talks, and of course bagpipes.

The theme

The Spring Carnival Committee tabled on the Cut earlier this year in order to gain ideas from the student body for this year’s Spring Carnival theme.

“Picking out the theme is a complicated process that all Booth organizations get to take part in,” said Katie Menzies, Midway Chair of this year’s Spring Carnival Committee. “It consists of multiple rounds of theme nominations and voting.”

After the necessary procedures were implemented, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” was picked as the theme of Spring Carnival 2008. Many committee chairs believed that this theme would give organizations much freedom and flexibility in choosing a Booth topic.


Few Carnegie Mellon students know that Buggy is actually called Sweepstakes, as it was originally named in 1920. Buggy, one of the most well known events of Carnival, began as the “push mobile races” of Campus Week. There were 12 cars entered, and each was required to have four wheels and weigh at least 75 lbs. In 1928, the course assumed its present route through Schenley Park. Buggies are pushed and driven to speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, through a course measuring more than 4400 feet. Currently, SPIRIT men’s team has the record for the fastest overall time of 2:06.2. Eric Blood, this year’s push captain for Fringe, stated that the group has been practicing for about 20 hours per week for the past month; Fringe’s A team placed second to PiKA last year, which won with a time of 2:07.39. In last year’s women’s final race, SDC’s team won first place with a time of 2:31.00. This year, the races will take place on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 from 8 a.m. to noon each day. Races will begin in front of the Margaret Morrison Rotunda.


Booth will sport this year’s Carnival theme with sheer craftsmanship and creativity. Some of the booth topics will include MayurSASA and ISU’s “Celebration at Taj Mahal,” TSA’s “Dinosaurs on the Loose,” and Delta Delta Delta’s “Red Carpet Premiere.” Competitive booths are 15 by 18 feet and are judged on various aspects of design, originality, and structure. Blitz booths are 7.5 by 18 feet and are not formally judged with the competitive organizations; however, the Spring Carnival Committee will award one “Chairman’s Choice” award to the blitz booth with the overall best guest experience.

Alumni events

Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association will also be sponsoring events throughout the long weekend. Current Carnegie Mellon students count as alumni and are encouraged to participate in the events.

Dan Barnett, director of on-campus programs at the Office of Alumni Relations, said, “The Alumni Association is very excited not only to have a welcome area on Frew Street at the Buggy finish line but also on Midway this year. Students and alumni can stop by either area, grab their class pins, and pick up a Spring Carnival souvenir.” He also hopes that students will attend the Alumni Association All-Campus barbecue on Friday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Another event that should interest some students is the annual “History of Buggy” talk by Tom Wood, Class of ’74, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Furthermore, the 10th annual hoopla, the alumni vs. undergrad basketball game, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 for all to attend. Lastly, various organizations, including fraternities and sororities, Kiltie Band, SoHo, and more, will host individual receptions for alumni of those particular groups.