Alex Hill '19 Shares His Student's Perspective of COGO 3.0
To many students, the legendary “Winter Carnival” seems to be just that, a legend. However, Clarkson’s tradition of winter festivities continued with its third annual Cold Out Gold Out—COGO 3.0.
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, I attended the COGO Leadership Expo at the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) on the campus of Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. The morning started with students mingling with alumni over breakfast. I met many alumni who spoke very fondly of their time at Clarkson. Many of them discussed the differences between the downtown and the hill campuses. Others reminisced and laughed with friends they hadn’t seen in a while until the workshops began. The energy was electric that morning.
Leadership, Ethics and Participation
The themes of these workshops were ethics and the roles they play in the workplace. The presenters at both workshops I attended spoke passionately about the importance of making ethical decisions and advised the audience how to manage different situations. I was even able to participate in a workplace role-play scenario during Amy Van Kirk’s presentation!
After the workshops concluded, everyone attended a catered lunch with keynote speaker, Erik Cole ’01—former NHL player, Stanley Cup winner and Olympian. Cole spoke of his time in the National Hockey League and his role as a leader. He discussed his time as a young player in the league trying to find where he fit on the team. Cole often drew parallels between his career in the NHL and the workplace that many alumni could relate. It was an excellent opportunity for current students to see what lies ahead of them in the workplace. Cole spoke about how he didn’t allow a serious injury to affect his work ethic, reflected on his time as a veteran and being passed over as a leader of his team. Despite his anger, he still acted as a leader by his hard work, which was an underlying theme of his speech.
They Let the Dogs Out!
After the speech, I went outside to watch the sled dogs race around Cheel Lawn and then to warm up in the tent with some hot chocolate. The pep band played in the tent after the Clarkson Women’s hockey team notched their 5-3 victory over Colgate. Fans cheered as the pep band played and got everyone excited for the alumni hockey game.
After the fireworks display, the puck dropped at the alumni game. Keynote speaker Erik Cole laced up his skates to play along with many others. The weekend was unseasonably warm after being so cold, so the alumni played on a slushy rink. Fans cheered as the alumni proved they still knew their way around the rink.  
Stars Over Potsdam
As the day concluded, I stopped by the bonfire before returning home. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many alumni as the stars above twinkled and the fire roared outside Clarkson’s student center.
COGO honors Clarkson’s storied history of winter festival traditions and continues into a future where Clarkson alumni, students and all the great people of the North Country can celebrate and embrace our unique ruggedness and determination. It may have been cold out, but we certainly had the gold out—and I look forward to COGO 4.0 in 2019!
Alex Hill ’19, from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is a Communications major and member of the Clarkson University baseball team.

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