On Sunday, Feb. 19, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) held an open forum for students to voice their opinions on what activities they would like to have for Dandelion Day, which will be held on Friday, April 27 this year.
The forum served as a brainstorming session “by students for students” to see what would make this day as fun as possible, with less emphasis on the use of alcohol.
In previous years D-Day has centered around a mid-day concert with food vendors and side activities like spray-on tattoos. However, the day change from Saturday to Friday — which was announced last week by Dean of Students Matthew Burns — has created new challenges.
Many students are upset because they have classes during the day and feel as though they will be missing out on the activities.
“I have four classes on Friday, so it would be inconvenient for me,” Tiffany Sinclair, a freshman who came to the forum because she was curious about what D-Day really was, said. Sinclair explained she had heard stories about the day and the change in date prompted her to see what would be going on.
“I [feel like] I don’t get to drink and now I’m missing out,” she said.
According to President of CAB and senior Palida Noor, events that include as many people as possible are the goal of the spring celebration.
The idea is to have smaller events during the day to keep people entertained, yet would not upset those who could not attend, Noor said.
CAB has also gone to the University Registrar to see which times most students would be free.
“We have devoted a lot of time and effort into making sure people enjoy the day,” she said.
A three-fold increase in University funding for D-Day gave students a platform to dream big. Options like shutting down a road on campus and bring in bumper cars or have a petting zoo are now feasible. Thoughts of having a drive-in theater or a party on Wilson Quad were also brought up at the forum.
“I really want to play with water,” Sinclair said, voicing the opinions of many at the forum about making D-Day activities more hands on and interactive. Water and other fun interactive activities such as playing with paint were the most popular ideas put forth by students. Attendees at the forum discussed having a water gun war zone or a water slide. Also discussed were activities involving large canvases and balloons filled with different color paint or having glow-in-the-dark paint thrown on students during the concert while surrounded by black lights.
Drinking was not completely ignored, as stories of the Genesee Brewery Trucks have become favored tales of the day. The idea of having a “Club Rochester” tent to provide drinks for students over 21 was discussed, but this resulted in discussions about problems with exclusivity. Some students thought it was unfair to allow a small percentage of the student population, mostly seniors, to drink while the administration cracks down on the remainder of the student body.
The concert is the main focus of D-Day — bands like Super Mash Bros. and OK Go have performed in years past. This year, CAB will be working with UR Concerts to bring in a bigger name to make the day more memorable for students.
Freebies were another area of interest; if students could win Rochester memorabilia or D-Day T-shirts they might be more engaged in the day’s activities. Winning a large stuffed animal or just having a prize to take home could help craft a new focus for the day in the future.
“What would make this day distinct from other weekends?” Noor asked the group on several occasions.
D-Day is the celebration of spring and the end of classes before the entire campus buckles down for finals week. Many people believe that without alcohol there must be an appeal for students to look forward to the other activities.
“I just want to enjoy the day with my friends,” Sinclair said. “I still have the rest of my weekend in case this [Friday] doesn’t work out.”
Johnson is a member of the class of 2013.