Three years ago Meliora Weekend began, featuring speakers, activities and a multitude of things to do for all its visitors. It has already started a tradition that will take its place next to Dandelion Day as a staple at UR. As current students experience the weekend, they will remember it fondly and likely return as alumni.
The tradition has become a success because the university has created a weekend which suits the needs of all its visitors. In its third year, this year’s featured speakers were the best in the event’s history. Obviously, the reputation is improving among students, parents and alumni as over 9,500 people participated in this year’s celebration. Meliora Weekend has evolved into a great campus tradition and its amazing success must be applauded.
A drawback to this success is the way that our campus handles a large crowd.
On a given day, there are around 4,000 undergraduate students; a weekend with a crowd estimated to be nearly 10,000 is sure to put a strain on campus services. For Meliora Weekend to run flawlessly, all of the extra people must be accounted for, and changes need to be made to ensure no major problems take place. Setting up provisional food stands and extending the hours of all cafeterias on campus would lessen the strain.
One area where UR did a good job problem-solving was parking. Shuttle buses were set up to bring people to campus from distant lots ? this encouraged parking in outlying areas and problems with closer lots were largely averted.
Problems still lie in the advertisement of student events. The student kick-off and Meliora Cup events for the weekend was under-publicized, and both are something that students should know about. They are wonderful ideas and ones that should become a larger part of future Meliora Weekends.
The way that ticket distribution was handled may have created unnecessary frustration. In the future, tickets should be given to all who ask for them, and if tickets are no longer available the registrant should be made aware of it.
On the whole, though, Meliora Weekend was an amazing success and proves that a good tradition can be founded in a few years time. UR should continue to improve the weekend, and ensure that the few problems that exist are resolved.