by Hannah Erdheim, Class of 2010, and Allison Smith, Class of 2010.
To meet us now, you’d never guess that we have only known each other for two years. We are the two graduating seniors from Iced Brew, Vassar’s synchronized skating team, and being on the team has brought us really close together. The team has been a large part of our college experience.
Hannah: Recently I realized that I made good on a promise. On the supplement to my Vassar application, I responded to the question “what will you contribute to the Vassar community?” with a lengthy explanation about my ambition to start a synchronized skating team at Vassar. I skated on a team for nine years prior to coming to Vassar and hoped to continue to skate in college. Even though there are many other schools around the country with established teams, I was drawn to Vassar for its academics and atypical student body over my desire to skate. Therefore, I decided to try and have the best of both worlds and start a team at Vassar. When I arrived on campus freshman year and met my fellow classmates, it seemed like this would be a quirky enough thing that students would be interested in it. Thus, in my sophomore year, Iced Brew was born. It’s been a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding three years. I may have had to build everything up from scratch, including many of the members who had never skated before, but I’ve loved every minute of it. To me, being the founder and president of Iced Brew is the greatest accomplishment of my college career.
Allison: The last thing that I expected to do in college was join a synchronized skating team. I was a singles skater for many years, but quit long before coming to Vassar. Instead, I did a little tutoring at Poughkeepsie Middle School and joined the student committee at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. In fact, when I first saw the posters recruiting members for Iced Brew, I didn’t even consider joining. My hallmates spent an entire year encouraging me to sign up, and during the fall of junior year I finally joined the team. Not only did joining Iced Brew bring me back into a rink, it has also led me to experience more aspects of life at Vassar than I knew possible. The members of the team have majors in every subject, and participate in a variety of other activities on campus. This year Hannah and I live together in the South Commons, and we spend tons of time figuring out how to keep the team fun and focused. This season I became captain of the team, and have enjoyed my position as co-troubleshooter and team cheerleader. This experience has brought me close to students of all years, backgrounds and interests, as well as rekindled my passion for skating.
Hannah & Allison: Together we have won gold medals at two local competitions, performed exhibitions for our peers, and baked tons and tons of cookies for fundraising bake sales. The team has grown tremendously (from six to 24 skaters in three years), and we’re both really proud of our role in Iced Brew’s development. We’re completely student-run, and as a result, we’ve had a lot of freedom, but also a lot of responsibility. Iced Brew will be our legacy at Vassar and will provide students in future classes an opportunity to be a part of this unique community. Iced Brew has enriched our college experiences greatly and we hope it will do the same for others for years to come.