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Farley’s Finest Host Winter Carnival for Literacy

Jordan Gamble | Friday, February 26, 2010

Hills are hard to come by in South Bend, and there certainly aren’t any local sliding centers like the one in Whistler, British Columbia. So how is Farley Hall hosting a bobsled race for its signature event this year?

By taking over the north dome of the JACC and going for a flatter course — the hockey rink, to be specific. From 7 to 10 p.m., teams will compete in a bracket tournament. The rules? Four team members drag a sled holding the fifth person down the length of the ice rink and back again. For $25, students can either register their five-person teams at studentshop.nd.edu or at the event itself.

The hall council said its inspiration was “Cool Runnings,” a film about the Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
With the event coming at the tail end of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Fiasco’s organizers are hoping to capitalize on the current interest in icy sports.
“We liked the idea of being on ice, because no other dorm really does that,” said junior Jess Shaffer, Farley Hall president and current Observer Scene Editor.

The “bobsled” race is just one part of the Fiasco. Other attractions include carnival food, various carnival-type games and a raffle. The prizes include a Nintendo Wii and books signed by University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh — Farley’s first rector in 1942 — and Farley’s first female rector, Sister Jean Lenz.

Each of Farley Hall’s floors also assembled gift baskets for the raffle. At least one basket will include an iPod, while others have themes like “Notre Dame Fan’s Starter Kit,” which is filled with various items from the bookstore.

Like all dorm signature events, the Farley Fiasco raises money for charity. Senior Stacey Gill, one of Farley’s resident assistants, helped coordinate the partnership with First Book, a literacy organization that provides age-appropriate reading for underprivileged children. First Book can donate a book to a school for only $2. By that math, each bobsled team can effectively donate 12-1/2 books with their $25 entry fee.

“I’m just excited because $2 is such a small donation,” Gill said. “It’s tangible in that it gets a brand-new book.”
First Book has always had close ties with auditing and tax firm KPMG, where Gill will be working next year. The company wanted to sponsor an event on campus, and Gill directed their attention to Farley Hall’s winter carnival idea.

“KPMG seems really excited about having a long relationship with Farley, too,” Gill said.

The event has been in the works for nearly two years, and Farley’s hall council is excited to finally get it off the ground. Enthusiastic residents have volunteered their time to supervise the event or publicize it in the dining halls, helping them along. Seventy-five residents helped tie-dye the t-shirts (to go along with the “Cool Runnings” theme) that will be on sale for $5 at the event.

Participation and hall spirit have long been a tradition in Farley Hall, from hallway decorating contests to creative costumes at pep rallies.

“We have a pretty large hall council. From our freshmen reps to senior commissioners, we’re super involved. Just the fact that it’s a ‘come-one-come-all’ atmosphere helps, too,” said hall council member Kate Hunger, a junior.

Come one, come all, to the first annual Farley Fiasco in the North dome of the JACC. The races and activities start at 7 p.m. 



Contact Jordan Gamble at jgamble@nd.edu