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Why Nobody Rages Anymore

As we previously reported, the Winter Carnival committee announced that there would be no snow sculpture on the Green again this year. Fortunately, for a second year in a row, a number of students rallied to the call and put up a creditable effort:

Carnival Sculpture 2017.jpg

At first The D reported that the Town of Hanover restricted the sculpture’s height to four feet:

This year’s snow sculpture was built on the Green by a group of students, alumni and faculty on a volunteer basis. The project was spearheaded by a group of students, led and organized by Mercedes de Guardiola ‘17, and alumni passionate about the College’s Winter Carnival traditions. The Winter Carnival Council announced on Jan. 13 it would not be focusing efforts or funding on the snow sculpture.

Due to town permit restrictions and limited time, the dragon-shaped sculpture had to be under four feet in height. Additionally, the limited snow was another obstacle the team had to work around, the organizers said. [Emphasis added]

Four feet! But I did a little digging, and Town Zoning Administrator Judy Brotman informed me no such limitation came from Hanover.

Then I heard from Maria Mercedes de Guardiola ‘17, who filled me in on the source of the four-foot height restriction:

The concern came from Risk Management - honest mistake by the D. There was a concern that it might collapse and fall on someone because usually the sculpture has to have a diagram and have an engineer look it over, or something along those lines. We didn’t have the time to get all of that done. We also didn’t have any permits. There were a lot of time restrictions for the sculpture this year, but the alumni and community support was terrific.

Four feet! This time for real. Just which beancounter in the bureaucracy came up with that number? Are we supposed to believe that there is some insurance restriction on the height of snowmen? Don’t make me laugh. Any group of seven-year-olds can build a snowman higher than four feet. And there is no risk, except a theoretical one, that some snow will fall on people and injure them. Gimme a break.

What you are seeing is a textbook example of the bureaucracy in action. Some faceless nobody doesn’t want to make a mistake, so the word goes out that a ridiculous limitation will be the rule of the day. Gosh. And how pathetic. And typical of modern-day Dartmouth.

Addendum: During winter carnivals of yore, students engaged in more stimulating activities (courtesy of Michael Hinsley’s explorations in Rauner):

Football Stadiup tobaggan run1.jpg


Granite in their brains, indeed.


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