By Lili Gundersen
At this year’s Courtyard Carni one student will win a 32 inch TV and a Blu-ray disc player, worth around $300, Kari Reyburn, Campus Activities event coordinator and Student Activities Board adviser, told Lumen.
Courtyard Carni will occur on May 4 in the Assisi Courtyard as part of WOW Week.
WOW Week is short for “WithOut Worries Week,” Reyburn said. “Since it is the week before finals, we wanted to do programming that would allow students to take study breaks and to de-stress. We try to stick with the ‘don’t worry be happy’ theme. Courtyard Carni is the end of the year celebration and a great way to end WOW Week.”
“I think Courtyard Carni began in the 1970’s,” Sister Bernyne Stark, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, told Lumen.
It began with Father Tom Finucan, the first lay president of Viterbo, Stark said.
“In my memory Viterbo learned to celebrate with Father Finucan,” Stark said. “It was the era of brats, bands, and beer.”
“There was a fenced in beer tent with a guard,” Stark said. “Some of the faculty and students would enjoy a beer, but the privilege was abused.”
The beer tent was a dropped from Courtyard Carni in 2006.
“I came to Viterbo three years ago so at that time everyone was still adjusting to getting rid of the beer tent, but now the seniors haven’t known it any other way so the students are used to it, “ Reyburn said.
“It’s difficult to get an exact headcount of Courtyard Carni, but based on our lunch count we had close to 650 people go through the lunch line last year,” Reyburn said. “WOW week had 264 students participating in activities. Thirty percent were commuting students. We don’t have homecoming week so students and faculty really grab on to it.”
“The cost to produce last year’s Courtyard Carni was an estimated $7,500,” Reyburn said. “This year we’re looking for it to cost about the same. The cost comes out of the $95 SGA student activity fee that each full-time student pays per semester.”
“Courtyard Carni is when we take over the Assisi Courtyard to create a carnival with booths, food, inflatable, henna tattoos, and other artists,” Reyburn said.
The hours of the event have changed from last year, which were 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., to be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..
“We changed the ending time from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. because we noticed that by 4 p.m. people started moving out,” Reyburn said.
Courtyard Carni will begin an hour earlier than last year to include the annual luncheon, Reyburn said. Lunch booths will be set up from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.. Students and faculty will receive three free tickets to purchase their lunch items.
“One lunch booth will have corndogs, cheeseburgers and veggie burgers, another booth will have waffle fries and cheese curds, and the third booth will have fruit kabobs, lemonade and slushies,” Reyburn said.
Each item will cost one ticket and any combination of items is possible.
“A student can get three helpings of waffles fries if they want to,” Reyburn said.
Students with meal plans will be asked to use them on the luncheon to cut costs, Reyburn said.
Courtyard Carni will have four different inflatables and nascan car racing, an event that was also part of last year’s Courtyard Carni, Stephanie Kane, a senior mathematics major from Geneseo, Ill., told Lumen.
“In nascan car racing, you sit on motorized cans that are on wheels. We’ll have a small course set up to drive around on,” Kane said. “It’s really fun.” All of the events are planned by the Student Activities Board (SAB) and are based off last year’s event’s popularity, Kane said. “We will have 18 different clubs participating by setting up booths and events,” said Kane. “We want as much of a variety as possible.”
“SGA (Student Government Association) gives away T-shirts, the Biochemistry Club does tie dye. There will be a beanbag toss, a gold fish toss, and a root beer keg,” Kane mentioned. “Most stuff is free or very inexpensive, between $1 and $2, so students will want to bring a little cash.”
“For every inflatable and club booth that you visit, you will get a punch in a card that we will be handing out at the SAB table,” Kane said.
A card will need six to eight punches to be full. A full card can be placed in different prize boxes and a winner will be drawn, Kane said.
Another change from last year’s Courtyard Carni is that “we’ll have two caricature artists instead of one, because it was very popular,” Kane said. “We’ll also have a henna artist, like last year, and a photo booth, all of which will be free.”
The inflatables will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Club booths will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. A tug-of-war will take place in the middle of the Assisi Courtyard at 3 p.m..
In the case of bad weather Courtyard Carni will be held in the Mathy Center, Kane said. Kane said that she did not think Courtyard Carni was a distraction to students.
“Courtyard Carni is meant to give people a break,” Kane said. “People can come and go from studying. It’s meant to be something to take their minds off the stress of studying.”
Reyburn’s long-term plan for Courtyard Carni is, “to continue to do what the students like.”
“The trick to building school spirit is taking something that the students already like and building it up,” Reyburn said.