WEB Winter Wonderland: Skating and singing into the season

Sienna Axe, A&E Reporter

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the platform outside of Cordiner Hall was turned into a winter wonderland — WEB’s Winter Wonderland, to be exact. Between hot drinks, ice skating and performances from Whitman’s a capella groups, the event had something for everyone attending. 

This is the first time WEB has been able to bring ice skating to Whitman since 2015, according to senior and WEB chair Blake Killingsworth.

“We reached out to this company, and these rinks are a pretty popular college event; they normally book up in April, which just isn’t doable given WEB’s timeline, so we were super fortunate that they happened to be in the area,” he said.

But because it was so hard to find a space for the ice rink, Killingsworth said, the event almost didn’t happen.

“Honestly, we were about ready to call it and table the event for another year, but then I was walking by Cordiner and I was, like, ‘oh, maybe that could work,’” Killingsworth said. “I was super stoked that it worked for the event, because it almost didn’t happen.”

Student and first-time ice skater Jasmine Razeghi found the event — and the ice skating in particular — to be a fun and new experience.

“My friends and I sat on tables off to the side of the Cordiner patio, drinking hot cocoa and mentally preparing ourselves for the challenge that is ice skating,” Razeghi said. “None of us had been before, so we were expecting a quite unique experience. We got in line, got our skates and nervously wobbled onto the rink. It was so fun and intimidating since a lot of the skaters were super fast and super good. My favorite part of it all was laughing at each other wobble and almost fall. It was a great experience overall, and a great study break opportunity.”

Some students, such as sophomore Luke Patrick who was at the event performing with the Testostertones, were surprised to find that the “ice” wasn’t real.

“I think people, including myself, were disappointed to see it wasn’t real ice,” Patrick said, “but you can’t fault them for that. Overall, I think [the event] was really good.”

According to Killingsworth, the company’s website says that the ice alternative was a “specially engineered polymer…so it’s this plastic, acrylic, eco-friendly material, and it comes in these 4×8 puzzle pieces, is what they look like,” he said. “At first, you’re a little bit skeptical, like, ‘that just looks like plastic,’ but once you’re on it, it definitely slides like real ice.”

Many Whitman students said they would like to see a repeat of this kind of event in future years.

“I think it would be nice for WEB to put on more recreational events like this,” said senior Yann Dardonville, who performed with Schwa at the event. “The ice skating was fun because it allowed us to engage with other members of the community with whom we otherwise may not have interacted.”

Killingsworth believes that there could be more events like WEB’s Winter Wonderland in future years, but that it would take some intense, forward-looking scheduling to make happen.

“Honestly, we got pretty lucky with the availability of the rink, so it’s probably something that I’d talk with the future WEB chair about immediately after hiring, see if they wanna book this for them in the next year, ‘cause that’s the only way I could see it happening again,” Killingsworth said.

Dardonville’s fellow Schwa member, senior Andy Burnstein, wants to see more events like this in the future as well — and believes there’s something the Whitman community can do to help.

“There are already a lot of events like this put on by WEB. If people want more events like this, they need to show up to the stuff WEB is already doing,” Burnstein said. “Events like this are really important because they create community in a way that parties, per say, do not. WEB events are accessible to everyone, and everyone feels welcome at them.”