To anyone who is not a junior or senior, the loss of D-Day means almost nothing. Being a sophomore myself, I was unsatisfied by last year’s D-Day and thus was not immediately alarmed by CAB’s decision to no longer support it. My memory of last year was mostly marred by cold and damp weather, swarms of Security personnel and a general malaise of disenchantment by the student body (not to mention quite a few mojitos – they are quite delicious).

However, my upperclassmen friends were despondent upon hearing the news. From juniors, I heard stories of an almost idyllic word that was D-Day two years ago? a day when couches, not clouds, dotted the Frat Quad landscape, when celebrating the end of another year was smiled upon by the gods, most specifically Dionysius, instead of frowned upon and raided by Security. With this new image of what D-Day could be, instead of what it has become, my opinion of CAB’s decision has radically changed.

If CAB pretends to be stewards of the Students’ Association dollars it receives, then it should seek to serve not its own personal views of what campus life should be like, but what is desired by the student body. According to Article II of the Campus Activities Board Constitution, CAB exists “to provide varied and interesting entertainment for as many members of the University community as possible.”

I cannot think of a single event that is enjoyed by more students than D-Day. Not only is it widely enjoyed by almost all students, the sheer length and epic expectations of our most holy Dandelion Day make it hard to beat. Even Bill Nye, as much as I love him and his wacky bow-tie, can hardly compare to the social and entertainment value that D-Day provides.

There is no event, save the sprawling and intoxicated D-Day, that incorporates every type of student and entertains him or her so thoroughly. Though this may seem an unscientific opinion, I challenge the readers of this article to find 12 people outside of the CAB executive meeting who think that D-Day should be cancelled.

Furthermore, the idea that cost is a factor is perhaps the most outrageous excuse in their withdrawal of support for D-Day. Last year, tons of extra Security was brought in to monitor the safety of students. Not only does this decrease the enjoyment had by all (even sober students don’t like to have RPD breathing down their necks), but it increases the costs.

Weeks before the event, there were rumors of battalions of mounted police descending upon campus and lassoing students into waiting police vans. It seemed like a nightmare from “COPS” rather than a celebration. If costs were a factor and CAB was truly attempting to maximize the fun of the day, then Security would be kept to the minimum legal limit to fulfill both of these goals. Clearly this isn’t the case.

Furthermore, last year CAB complied with the administration’s prohibition of T-shirts for D-Day. This seems counterintuitive to all the claims that D-Day is a financial drain for the school. Not only does this eliminate a possible source of revenue for CAB, it also reduces the excitement for the event, which of course should be the last thing that CAB should hope for.

One of the major contentions of CAB’s decision is that too many students were drinking. This seems to be an irrational and judgmental justification. If many students choose to drink on this day, then who is CAB to stop them? I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution of this board that says the Executive Board should make decisions to increase the moral tone of the events that it hosts. This seems more like puritanical New England rather than a college campus. While I agree that safety should be a concern, it should not be the only concern.

Also, I do not accept the fact that D-Day has increasingly become a day centered on drugs and alcohol; the logic simply doesn’t support it. Is it any surprise that when the campus is probed and prodded en masse by Security and police officers that more intoxicated students are found? Does it make any sense that as our student body becomes more prestigious and academic that we also have more binge drinkers? I fail to believe that these events are isolated to the last few years. Rather, it makes much more sense to think that as the current administration has tightened the screws on what it sees as irresponsible behavior, that more of it has come to light.

When I hear stories of a tanker truck of Genesee beer on campus, I cannot believe that the past was a more responsible and innocent time free of binge drinking. Instead, it seems that 12 people have decided that entertaining the campus was no longer worth the effort and this bogus moral plank has been used to prop up their rotting platform of righteous indignation against the college hooligans that make up the UR student body.

If D-Day were to become less about controlling the students, treating them like wild animals fit to be tied by Security, but rather seen for what it is – a pressure release valve for an entirely lame school – then I’m sure CAB would no longer see the student body “increasingly disappointed,” but reveling in the glory of D-Day.

Lastly, the campus should not see this as a choice made by students. If so, the members of CAB would be elected by the student body and not act as an autonomous group devoid of student input. This decision to no longer support D-Day was not even presented to the regular members of CAB, but rather decided by the Executive Board in a board room that I can only assume is shadowy and cold.

This is why I view CAB’s withdrawal of D-Day’s sponsorship not as a courageous move, but as an easy out. The decision to wholly scrap the event, rather than attempt changes that more closely suit the needs of the campus, rather than consult the student body, rather than ask for aid from other student groups, is a direct assault upon the guiding principles of CAB and the collective enjoyment of our collegiate years.

In all honesty, UR should not have to be four years that we grin and bear, but four years that we can remember fondly for a lifetime. It is simply a travesty that not all view it as such.

Burnett is a member of the class of 2010.



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