Our Friday article on the upcoming revival of “Winter Weekend” incorrectly stated that the last such event was in 2006. In fact, there was a two-day “Winter Carnival” (or “Frozen Ivies”, or “Winter Ivies”) the weekend of Friday, January 30, 2009. 

Several alumni have reminded us of this fact, with varying color and fondness:

  • “They did a Winter Ivies in ’09. They pushed hard for social houses to get into it and only like Helmreich and someone else did (Ladd maybe?) so it was pretty lame, but it happened.” –Class of 2011
  • “2006? False. There was a semi-lame winter weekend in 2009. Andrew Bird played a show and I have the t-shirt to prove it.” –Class of 2012
  • “Uhh bitch we partied in ’09.” –Class of 2011

The festivities included:

  • concerts by Andrew Bird, Ahmad Hassan Muhammad ’10, and the small rock band “Backbeat”, plus a “DJ Daryl” pub night;
  • t-shirts (surely a serious collector’s item by now);
  • crafts, cookie decorating, cocoa, cider and snacks;
  • a rail jam, ice skating and broomball on the Quad;
  • College House snow sculpture competitions on the Quad;
  • track and field events, swimming and diving events, a Men’s Basketball game and two Men's Hockey games.

The weekend was sponsored by the Inter-House Council. The Andrew Bird concert was sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (“CAB” or “A-Board”), predecessor to the Entertainment Board (“E-Board”). The Backbeat concert was sponsored by Quinby and Mac houses.

In addition, there was a smaller “Winter Carnival” on Sunday, February 20, 2011 from 1–4 p.m. on the Brunswick Quad featuring ice sculptures, games, and food.

If the 2009 and 2011 events are understandably forgettable, the unintended consequences of the 2005 event should not be. The lengthy account of crime beat reporter nonpareil Joshua Miller ’08 should be read in its entirety, but this is the gist of it: three violent confrontations at Ladd House, leaving the wall blood-stained (see photo above), and one at Super Snack.

  • A sophomore at Ladd’s (appropriately villain-themed) campus-wide party punched a junior. The junior ripped the sophomore’s shirt. The sophomore later went looking for the junior, but mistook a first year for his mark, and punched the first year instead.
  • A visiting student was accused of harassing a girl on the Ladd dancefloor, dragged outside, and “sucker punched harder than I have ever seen anyone sucker punched before” by an unidentified Bowdoin student, knocking him unconscious for anywhere from five seconds to ten minutes (reports varied).
  • Finally, food was thrown at Super Snack, students entered a restricted part of the kitchen, and a student by the salad bar hit another student in the head with a tray.

“There have been fights on the campus before,” said Assistant Director of Security Michael Brown at the time, “but this is the most serious series of incidents I’ve every witnessed, and I’ve been here seven years.”

“I’m from the ghetto, man,” an anonymous student said. “I came here to get away from that kind of violent stuff.”

In the aftermath, Ladd House proctor Steve Gogolak ’05 wrote, “The events Saturday night at Ladd House were a disgrace to the entire school. I have never seen that level of pure destructive power in four years of being a student here at Bowdoin, and I am thoroughly disheartened that whatever disagreements took place resulted in fighting.”

In response, an alumnus from the Class of 1986 wrote a letter comparing Gogolak to the overly-pious “Douglas Niedermeyer of Animal House fame.” No fewer than nine students retorted with letters to the editor the next week, with Animal House analogies and quotations of their own.

So, as we look forward to the February 15 reincarnation, we’d do well to remember Burke on the fate of those who forget the past.