Bright and early at 8 a.m. on Dandelion Day, UR’s Student Programming Board posted a list of expectations for students on their Facebook page — keep your ID on you, no visible intoxication.
If only we could have known what to expect from them — a rollercoaster ride of changing event times and an inability to deal with inclement weather that led to setback after setback.
Food vouchers originally were supposed to go on sale Thursday, until it was announced at 10:51 a.m. — nine minutes before vouchers were supposed to go on sale — that vouchers would not be available until 1 p.m. on Friday.
Then at 9:37 a.m. on Friday, the time was changed again, to 11:30 a.m. D-Day committee chair and junior Svarina Karwanyun explained that the temporal indecisiveness was because food trucks couldn’t operate in the rain, so UR was hesitant to sell vouchers. Refunds are a lengthy process that neither the students nor the University want to go through, so it held off on voucher sales until absolutely certain.As a result of the changes in time, though, many students were inconvenienced. Classes conflicted with times to buy food tickets. The time change did help decrease congestion, but only because not everyone knew about the new time in the first place, which probably explained the shorter lines.
The free windbreaker giveaway was also a mess. It wasn’t supposed to start until 5 p.m., yet it was over by 4:54 p.m. There was no communication from UR about this early giveaway. Their decision does make sense, as people were in line as early as 2:45, and the overflow of people was a fire hazard. Even so, effective communication could have prevented students from hopping in at the end of a line that wasn’t going anywhere.
The largest D-Day disaster also took the longest to rectify. At 3:40 p.m. the Programming Board posted that concert doors for Neon Trees would open at 6:30 p.m. As hundreds of disgruntled, cold undergrads on this campus could tell you, that didn’t happen. The weather made performing unsafe, so sound check got pushed back until 7 p.m.
Despite a Facebook post explaining the setback, students were too busy taking pictures of each other in their festival-ready summer outfits to notice. Many waited for an extra hour and a half — in addition to however long they waited to get their place in line — with no clue what was going on, wet shoes, and a developing cold. Boos and “let us in” chants were audible.
The rain forecast was common knowledge a week ago. Accommodations could have been made to move the concert indoors, as Nazareth College did with its Lupe Fiasco concert. Ensuring the safety of the performers is another reason to have the concert indoors. Even with the delayed start time, Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn said mid-performance that because the stage was wet, “I’m going to slip on this stage […] My ass is going to break.”
Earlier, some students performing on the smaller stage didn’t get to perform due to the weather. Those who did perform at least had a captive audience, what with the students stuck in the interminable poutine line. While not entirely the University’s or the food truck’s fault, an additional vendor selling the same hot commodity could have drastically reduced line times.
UR can’t control the weather, but it can control back-up plans. It can control how much it communicates about complications and time changes. Drunk students aren’t easy to herd, but by letting the masses know what’s happening, the challenges of the day could have been mitigated.
A plan where things could be moved and held indoors would be nice. Space events out through different buildings to reduce the ridiculous congestion that Wilco experienced.
But UR and SPB can’t be blamed for everything. The final nail in the coffin that was D-Day was hammered in by Glenn himself: “Go Tigers!”
Correction (4/30/2019): The article previously listed Svarina Karwanyun as a senior.