BY MATT HOWELL
Their weapons of construction included markers, serrated knives and scoops. Their battleground was the Sanctuary. Their prize was glory, and some cash.
A Conestoga Students Inc. pumpkin-carving contest took place in the Sanc on Oct. 28 and showcased some students varying takes on the classic jack-o’-lantern.
Six students took over the stage and tightly-wrapped tables as they battled wits and the clock to carve the pumpkin of their choosing. The pumpkins were donated by Chartwells, the company that oversees food services at the college.
The judges consisted of members of CSI who were looking for a couple of things in a winner. Samantha Schwier, CSI programming co-ordinator, was the voice for the judges’ panel, and described what she was looking for in a first-place pumpkin.
“Creativity, cleanliness and how pristine the cuts are. That’s what I’m looking for,” Schwier said.
The participants, who were given only 90 minutes to create a masterpiece, looked intensely at their pumpkins as they made their cuts and incisions. Some had friends there for moral support, while others wore headphones and seemed almost in a Zen-like state.
Kristen Woodfine, a design foundations student, chose to mingle and get advice from a couple of her friends while she worked on her math-inspired pumpkin that featured the symbol for Pi.
“It’s pumpkin pi,” she said with a huge grin.
Other contenders were going for a more artistic look like Steven Curtis, a first-year bachelor of design student.
“I’m actually working on Edvard Munch’s The Scream in pumpkin form,” he said.
The tension rose as the deadline approached. Spectators were making their own choices for which pumpkin should win, as they walked back and forth in front of the six contenders.
Finally the moment everyone was waiting for happened. The announcement of the winners brought a rare hush over the crowd.
First place and $100 went to Derek (who didn’t want his last name used), a second-year business marketing student, whose jack-o’-lantern resembled a tribal war god with horns. When asked what he was going to do with the winnings, he replied with the cheeky answer of “buy more pumpkins.”
Second place and $75 went to Woodfine and her “pumpkin Pi,” while Sandy Pham, a first-year intro to business management student, took home third place and $50.