UR’s annual spring festival, Dandelion Day will take place on April 24 this year with a few changes.

Concerns over the numerous incidents of intoxication last year resulted in the creation of a Dandelion Day Oversight Committee this year, by Dean of Students Jody Asbury.

As Event Chair of the Campus Activities Board and junior Anna Lessenger noted, “D-Day was left off the academic calendar at the beginning of the year. There were several security issues that needed to be addressed.”

In a letter to all UR students earlier in March, Asbury announced, “Our goal is to ensure that the day is safe as well as fun, and to that end I have put a D-Day Oversight Committee together to help evaluate the program.”

Lessenger reiterated these claims. “We came up with a proposal that introduced more safety measures,” Lessenger said. “We want this event to be as safe an event as possible while still making it fun for everyone.”

A Medical Emergency Response Team representative will also be available in a tent set up for students needing medical attention.

This year, MERT is also trying to provide fast medical service. “MERT requested an ambulance,” Assistant Director of Student Activity Programs Melissia Schmidt explained. “We are working with them to get a ‘fly car,’ which is like a mobile medics unit.”

Another major change for this year is the promotion of the barbecue-style picnic hosted by ARAMARK.

The committee is using the picnic, available at a subsidized cost of $6 per person, to increase the communal atmosphere of the day.

The picnic can be paid using either declining dollars, Flex or club meals.

Similarly, in an attempt to increase awareness for the day, the committee will be circulating informative pamphlets detailing all the programs.

“The brochure will go in every CPU Box,” Schmidt said. “Every undergraduate and graduate student will receive a copy,” she said. “Educating and getting the message out ahead of time will really be the key this year.”

The traditional rides, Ferris wheel and the obstacle course, and vendors, Nancy’s Fried Dough and Uncle Dicky’s Hots will return for this year.

Additionally, due to popular demand, the Fraternity Presidents’ Council is holding the “Fraternity Quad Event” again.

Live bands such as “Dudley Dawson” and “Almost Tomorrow” will play on the steps of the Psi Upsilon house.

Meanwhile, cheap food, courtesy of Uncle Dicky’s, will be available on the Fraternity Quad.

Also returning from last year will be the student performers. However, this year, they will be restricted to on-campus a cappella groups such as the Midnight Ramblers, Yellowjackets and After Hours.

The Towers Hall Council will also be sponsoring the “Tug-of-War” competition.

The event is reappearing after a one-year hiatus.

Meanwhile, the Black Students’ Union will sponsor a Double Dutch Competition.

These events all reflect aspects of Asbury’s letter where she called for an “increase [in] the number of student groups planning and running events.”

Lessenger also brought attention to the security issue of individuals not affialited with UR.

According to Lessenger, past experiences with outsiders on campus on D-Day have often resulted in unwanted chaos and disorder.

“Non-UR groups have caused interruption of programs in the past,” she said. “We’d like this event to be a UR-community event.”

Madhur can be reached at smadhur@campustimes.org.

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