The Program Board and Student Association will host free ice skating at local rinks this weekend, moving the skating event from its originally scheduled spot on the Quad.
PB had planned to provide free admission and skate rentals for all students at a skating rink temporarily housed on the Quad Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as part of this week’s Homecoming festivities.
“The Program Board is upset that it could not fulfill the goal of bringing the skating rink to the Quad,” said PB Parties Chair Shreema R. Sanghvi. She said PB hopes to bring a rink to the Quad for next year’s Homecoming.
Sanghvi said the company from which PB planned to rent the rink nearly tripled the price of the contract last Thursday. The price of the event increased from about $500 to more than $1,200. Free skate rentals also were excluded from the new contract.
“The ice skating idea ran into technical difficulties,” said PB Executive Chair Brian Nathanson said. “Over the course of months, we discussed details over the phone with the contractor. When it came to be put on paper the terms were nowhere close to the details put on the phone. It became no longer desirable. (The contractor) was basically jerking us around.”
Sanghvi said PB was reluctant to spend so much money on a single event when the money the groups saved can be spent on other events.
PB is negotiating with local ice skating rinks to host the event. Sanghvi said when PB finalizes the times and locations of the event, it will advertise and post fliers around campus.
Students will be given free shuttle bus transportation to the rinks, free admission, skate rentals and hot chocolate.
Ice skating is one of many events planned for Homecoming week. Others include free swing dancing lessons at the Mount Vernon campus Tuesday night and Saturday’s Crystal Ball, the Homecoming dinner and dance. All events except the Crystal Ball are free to GW students.
Several alumni events, including a wine and cheese party, are scheduled for the week. Most of the activities, however, are geared toward undergraduate students.
Nathanson estimated the cost of the week’s events to be between $35,000 and $40,000.
“We are working very hard on the week,” PB Secretary Alicia O’Neil said. “Hopefully the events will be great.”
PB members said they are excited about the Homecoming events and hope students will participate in the activities, especially the ice skating.
“Since it is a free event, we hope that students will take advantage of the opportunity to ice skate,” Sanghvi said.
Students said they are excited about the events because they promote campus unity and school spirit.
“Campus functions, as opposed to regular social ones, enhance a feeling of community,” freshman Sean Griffith said.