Dandelion Day, known on the River Campus as D-Day, will be toned down this year to increase security and decrease irresponsible behavior, such as binge drinking.
Dandelion Day, which is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, is UR’s version of a spring weekend, which many colleges celebrate to relieve the stress of finals and mark the end of another school year. In past years, the day has included concerts, food, carnival rides, karaoke and other festivities.
Administrative Chairperson of CAB and senior Steven Bloch said that this year’s events will be limited to an early brunch, musical performances and two food vendors, Nancy’s Fried Dough and Uncle Dickie’s. He said that the concert will be the main attraction, with three “big” bands performing on Wilson Quad.
“The three bands this year are more than the usual number of bands and we do expect them to be much bigger than past years,” Bloch said. “From what CAB has seen on previous Dandelion Days, many more students will attend the musical acts than other events of the day.”
Many events will be eliminated so that resources can be used for monitoring the safety of students.
“We are going to minimize the amount of other things that we have to manage so that we can effectively manage safety,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said.
Asbury said that in spite of steps taken to make the day safer, last year’s Dandelion Day was the worst yet in regard to safety. There were more students transported to the hospital than in years past and a staff member was pushed down. Asbury called the students’ actions a misuse of the freedom they have been given.
Bloch, who oversees the planning and execution of CAB events, believes that the new limitations are excessive.
“It is unfortunate that a day which CAB has supported for many years has to be limited so drastically,” Bloch said. “Dandelion Day has always been one of our largest and most attended events. Our events are geared towards, and attended by, those students that take part in the day in a safe and responsible manner. It is unfair that events are taken away from those students.”
For the past few years, the administration has worked to decrease drinking by modifying Dandelion Day. They have benchmarked spring weekends at other schools to learn by example. One of these schools was Cornell University, which took a more drastic step in eliminating their weekend entirely before bringing it back gradually.
The administration has also tried to reduce irresponsible behavior by increasing the number of events so that students could enjoy the day responsibly. One such effort was the implementation of closely monitored beer gardens for students of legal age. However, they did not attract a large number of students and drinking did not decline. Asbury believes that the administration’s approach thus far has not achieved its desired effects.
“Students are attending CAB events in decreasing numbers and increasing their drinking,” Asbury said. “The statistics show that adding activities does not limit drinking.”
The administration will impose tighter restrictions and strictly enforce existing security measures in order to prevent irresponsible drinking and other behavior during the day. Lead security officers, who normally work events, will be assigned to designated areas around campus.
“We will be a little more organized about security and try to monitor things more excessively,” Asbury said. “The new restrictions will reduce harm, make the day safer and increase responsible behavior.”
Bloch said that CAB does coordinate with security during Dandelion Day and stressed that the group takes security matters into account in the planning stages.
“In planning for Dandelion Day, CAB receives feedback from security, which we use to help decide the types and locations of activities we hold during the day,” he said.
Bloch believes that students will be surprised by the changes to this year’s Dandelion Day.
“The day is going to be very different for most students this year,” he said. “It will probably be a shock to most.”
Wrobel is a member of the class of 2010.