The administration’s decision to hold this year’s Dandelion Day on a Friday rather than the traditional Saturday date, has received considerable backlash from students. Many have expressed plans to extend the day’s festivities and drink into Saturday, after the official celebrations have ended, prompting concerns from the administration. In a move to combat this impending reality, the Students’ Association, Campus Activities Board and the University are sponsoring a trip to Letchworth State Park — also known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” — on Saturday. This move marks a positive transition among the otherwise controversial and sweeping changes to the day. If the administration hopes to promote safer drinking habits, providing enticing alternatives to alcohol — such as this trip — is an effective strategy.
Letchworth State Park is an hour away from UR and offers activities such as biking and hiking in the Finger Lakes region. Buses will depart from ITS at 11 a.m. Saturday morning and tickets are only $8, payable with declining. This fee includes transportation, lunch and field activities at the park. Additionally, white-water rafting is offered for $20, but cannot be purchased with declining.
The activities offered at Letchworth have wide appeal and have attracted many people, from casual outdoors enthusiasts to experienced hikers looking for a challenge, and is therefore an excellent alternative to what some believe could escalate into another day of informal D-Day festivities and an excuse to drink.
The price for the Letchworth trip is an incredible bargain given what will be offered and is a testament to the fact that the administration and student groups are doing everything in their power to serve students and make the weekend as successful as possible.
These activities will not deter everyone from drinking. However, by expanding the event list, the celebration will be more inclusive for those students who choose not to imbibe, while not precluding those who do.
The decision to sponsor the Letchworth trip is commendable, in light of D-Day’s objectionable transition to Friday. Hopefully, the trip will serve as a safe alternative to extending drinking into Saturday by offering an enjoyable and viable activity for many students.