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Student Councils Create Innovative "Maccalympics"

Every year around Hanukkah time, students are bombarded with emails about the various Hanukkah events around Wilf Campus, including the annual Hanukkah concert and SOY-sponsored Hanukkah chagigah. In addition to these annual events, the various student councils of both campuses have created another event for the season, the “Maccalympics.”

This event, which is only supposed to run for two hours, is not the classic student-run event at YU. The Maccalympics will be a carnival-like event themed around Hanukkah, with a color-war twist to it.  Activities include donut decorating, latke tasting, and Wii Mario kart.  To enhance the entertainment and lend a holiday-appropriate air of rivalry to the evening, the night’s activities will progress according to an established color-war agenda.

On December 26, when students walk into Weissberg Commons for the Maccalympics, each student will be assigned to a team.  Then, the Maccalympics will officially begin with an Olympic-style opening ceremony, at which point the team captains will be announced. Captains are to serve as “roshei ruach,” in charge of elevating and maintaining team spirit, notes Torah Activities Council (TAC) Vice President Talya Laufer (SCW ‘13).  Throughout the evening, students will be able to earn points for their team through a variety of competitions and activities. Just like color war.

When asked about the origins of this event, Laufer explained that the student councils wanted to create an event that would facilitate an interactive brand of fun, as opposed to the sort generated by a spectator event, hopefully creating a “community Hanukkah experience.”  She points out that, last year, at the inaugural Latke-Hamentasch debate, there was a “great vibe,” and the women’s student councils thought that they could create a similar atmosphere at an event this HanukkahThe women of the Beren Campus student councils contacted their corresponding Wilf Campus leader, and in the end, the SCWSC, TAC, SYMSSC, YCSA, YSU and SOY/JSC all agreed to sponsor the Maccalympics.

Although all of these student councils agreed to participate in the event, one student leader reported that by early December no one had drawn a final model for the event. Throughout the month of December, the student councils refined their ideas and finalized the details of the event, which, Laufer notes, “incorporated the different visions” of the various student councils.

Asked to describe the goals of the event, Laufer explaines, “My hope is that this event will not only provide students with an enjoyable Hannukah activity, but will also highlight the vibrancy and diversity of the YU community against a unique, decidedly un-scholastic backdrop.”