With warm weather just around the corner – as it has been for the last three weeks – and the sun now rising and setting at a normal hour, students across campus have begun planning their respective Dandelion Day agendas. Inviting friends, which events to attend, getting work done early, and most importantly, how much Pepsi to buy so no one is thirsty the entire day. Flash back to a year ago this Saturday. Carnival rides. Funnel cakes. Bands. No one caring what grade you are in or what organizations you are involved in. Alcohol if you want, soda if you don’t, no one cares either way what you are doing as long as you are being chill about it. Those memories could be the last ones you have of D-Day as it used to be.
As this particular D-Day approaches, students need to decide how important the day is to them. Next fall, D-Day will be reviewed by a group of chosen students and administration officials, and possibly removed from the academic calendar for next spring. Why, you ask? The reason is fairly simple. Alcohol abuse on this day has changed the face of Dandelion Day to something the UR and its students do not really care for. Recent D-Days have produced endless student incidents – involving alcohol in some way – resulting in security reports, students overdosing on alcohol and having to be transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for medical care. These and various other reasons have all contributed to the mindset that this is a markedly unsafe day for students, and has caused everyone to question the reason for having it.
Student organizations across campus have been working with the school to help ease the problems they continually face every D-Day. This year the school is shutting down their food tent early. As a result, the Greek organizations have come together and decided to grill food on the Fraternity Quad in the early evening to offer a continual source of food. Make sure you bring your student ID with you. Come by the Fraternity Quad for free burgers, hot dogs, and more from 6-10 p.m. on D-Day. A live band will be playing at 8 p.m.
Also, steps have been taken all across campus to increase risk management. Security officers will be working areas where they are familiar with students to ease the tensions in student-security relations. The officers will also be handing out slips with pre-arranged time to meet with Dean Burns – should your actions warrant it – and these meetings are going to occur the very next week.
These very same student organizations have also been contributing their time and funds to ensure that this D-Day will remain an exciting day, while offering more managed events and alternatives to drinking throughout day.
Be jolly, be jovial, but we in the Greek community encourage you also to just be responsible. The future of D-Day rests on individual’s actions this Saturday, and it is the biggest statement we can make for our case that D-Day is one of the great traditions we need to keep around.