Campus always seems to get a little bit brighter around this time of year. Maybe it’s the sun, or maybe it’s the smiles — but it’s most likely the increased number of Hamm’s cans around campus. And there will be no place with more Hamm’s cans than behind the Rec on Saturday, May 27.
Sigrid Edstrom ’24, Ann Beimers ’23, Astrid Malter ’23, Chris O’Mara ’24, Aldo Polanco ’23 and Isabel Rameker ’24 are on the Rotblatt Committee and have bent over backwards throughout Spring Term to organize what is perhaps Carleton’s most cherished tradition: Rotblatt. Each member of the committee was chosen in yet another age-old tradition: The seniors personally picked three juniors to join, meaning that every member has been thoughtfully hand-selected to sow the seeds of fun on 9th weekend.
When Polanco asked Edstrom to join the committee during Winter Term, the answer was a no-brainer: “Of course I said yes!” she said. Edstrom already had a well-known love for Rotblatt and events of the like, elaborating that “my favorite part about Rotblatt is the communal understanding of relinquishing control in order to have fun. And I like drinking beer.”
Beimers had a similar reaction when she was asked to serve as a junior last year. She said, “I don’t think I have ever been so excited about anything in my life. It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the Rotblatt committee.”
Once the committee was solidified, it was time to get to work; coordinating immense amounts of beer and burgers is no small task, after all (especially after it was revealed that Carleton wanted Rotblatt dead last year in a scathing exposé). As such, they hit the ground running at the start of the term. “We meet once a week with Lee Clark from SAO during Spring Term to plan, and then the week before Rotblatt has been a bit more running around doing last-minute errands and such,” Rameker elaborated. Beimers continued: “There is not a ton of work until weeks five and six, but it really ramps up until the day finally comes. For example, I have already spent about seven hours this week shopping for Rotblatt supplies, and we still have three more days until the event.”
The kinds of tasks the committee are responsible for are wide-ranging. They must choose t-shirt colors and designs, merch designs, coordinate and rigorously train the refs, sell the merch, estimate the amount of burgers and beer, pick up the merch, t-shirts, burgers and beer and so much more. Malter commented that “a lot of the work is also building hype, making sure people are excited and that we have fun surprises for the event.”
One instrumental method in cultivating this hype has been creating promotional videos for the official Rotblatt Instagram, which Edstrom has spearheaded.
Logistically, the event requires money in order to secure all the necessary supplies. Rameker laid out exactly where the funding for Rotblatt comes from: “A lot comes from alumni who want to see the tradition continue, and we also make a bit of money on merch sales and shirt pre-orders every year. SAO also funds some parts of Rotblatt, including some of the food provided on the day of. Mostly, the money goes to buying beer and other Rotblatt necessities.”
These last few days before Rotblatt comes to full fruition will undoubtedly be busy, but Beimers told us why it’s all worth it to her: “I love that it has so much history! I think having that long of a history is so impressive and I love looking through the archives to see how it has evolved over time. It is nice to think that maybe even some of the changes we have implemented in the last two years may become part of the tradition for the next 100 years.”
Rameker conveyed a similar sentiment: “I love that Rotblatt is such a long-standing Carleton tradition with years of history and stories behind it. It’s also a really fun way to end Spring Term, and it feels special that it brings so many people out from the Carleton community.”
The hard work of the Rotblatt committee will be enjoyed by all who share a passion for beer, fun, softball and tradition. Sophia Quast ’23 was indisputably invigorated when describing why she finds Rotblatt to be fun: “Rotblatt is fun because it is a darty but really big, and the school won’t get mad at you for it.”
Ella Hein ’23 pointed to specific aspects of Rotblatt that motivate her to get up at 4 a.m.: “I love how there are hot dogs and ice baths with beer in them at Rotblatt. It’s the best.”
Allie Fridkin ’23 has never been to Rotblatt because she is a member of the D-1 Syzygy frisbee team on campus. Syzygy’s success is impressive, but Fridkin views it as a curse; nationals repeatedly fall on the same weekend as Rotblatt. Instead of baking under the sun behind the Rec, cold beer in hand, Fridkin will be working herself to the bone at a frisbee game in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fridkin provided a testament to Rotblatt’s eminence and reputation of intoxicating merriment on campus despite never having attended the event: “I have never gone, and that’s really depressing, because drinking beer and dartying are my two favorite pastimes.”
Although the campus will feel Fridkin’s absence at Rotblatt, it is bound to be electrifying from dawn till dusk and we have the Rotblatt committee’s hard work to thank for that.
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