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Winter Carnival, Paresky Center Opening Fill Williams Weekend

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, February 16, 2007
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Williams College Assistant Director of Campus Life Jessica Gulley helped Where'd You Get That?! business co-owner Ken Gietz with balloon bouquets sent to the college's new Paresky Center.
Williamstown - By noon, the newly-opened Williams College student center, a $44.5 million project named the Paresky Center, was filling with excited students and college staffers all interested in exploring the finished site.

"It's exciting to have a student center open," said senior-year student Alison Hlivak of Kaneone, Hawaii.

"It's great," echoed Hlivak's friend Sarah Corwin of the Washington, D.C. area, who is also a Williams College Class of 2007 member.

"It's Gorgeous"

At the center's second floor, the Center for Campus Life was a hub of energized activity, with staff and students investigating the office spaces and participating at college Winter Carnival events taking place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. inside the center.

<L2>College Assistant Director of Campus Life Jessica Gulley met Where'd You Get That?! business co-owner Ken Gietz just outside the campus life office arena and helped him maneuver two large gold, black, and white-with-imprinted-cows balloon bouquets through the area.

"Hallelujah, it's open and it's about time," Gulley said. "And it's gorgeous."

For its' vast size - the building consists of 72,000 square feet - there's a warm, welcoming ambiance to an interior gathering space named the Baxter Great Hall. The two-story sofa-strewn, fireplace-accentuated space boasts an abundance of natural light, and off to one side, a snack station. A basement level space hosts a small movie theater, a college bakery and includes a cafe style pub section.

The public is welcome to tour the building tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m..

Student Action Center

Already, the site is playing host to student initiatives. Sophomore Richard McDowell of Paoli, Pennsylvania was sitting at a round table and asking students to "take the pledge."

The pledge referred to is a "power pledge" crafted to support a college-launched campus greenhouse gas reduction resolution announced last month by college president Morton O. Schapiro.

Students who signed the pledge committed to actions that include turning off room electrical devices "whenever possible," unplugging any mini-refrigerators or agreeing to share one fridge unit with a friend, and switching to CFL light bulbs.

Winter carnival activities were occurring outside and inside the center.<R3>

Winter Carnival

Outside, Christopher Dudziak and Charles H. McCann Technical High School senior Tracy Litchfield were tackling a block of ice and changing it's rectangular shape into an easily distinguished clear. cold, cow carving.

Inside, airbrush tattoos, handwriting analysis, Tarot card reading, computer-generated sign-making and caricature drawing stations attracted student participants.

Official Winter Carnival Opening ceremonies are scheduled for this evening at 7:30 p.m.. A fireworks display is scheduled to launch at Poker Flats at 9:20 p.m., a Vanilla Ice concert at 10:30 p.m. at Goodrich Hall, a "Dinner and Dancing Aboard the Titanic" event at Spencer Hall at 11 p.m..

<L4>Skiing competitions occurred throughout today at Jiminy Peak in Hancock and Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vt..

Tomorrow, a dodgeball tournament is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the LaSell gymnasium and the tournament will be followed by a "Winter Carnival Field Day" at Lasell beginning at 2:30 p.m..

Nordic skiing is set to continue at Prospect Mountain, with mens events set to begin at 9:30 a,m, and women's events et to begin at 9:45 a.m..

Alpine ski events will continue tomorrow at Jiminy Peak, with first run mens slalom pushing off at 9:30 a.m. and women's first run slalom starting at 10:30 a.m.. Second run slalom is set to begin at 1 p.m. for the mens event and 2 p.m. for the womens event.<R5>

Additional information about the Williams College Winter Carnival may be found at a www.williams.edu Internet web site.
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