This year, for the first time, student input was sought in the form of online surveys in order to improve Dandelion Day.

“We are working very hard to make everything that people asked for in the survey happen,” Event Chair of the Campus Activities Board and senior Anna Lessenger said.

The survey was sent to students, who were given 10 days to turn it in.

During that time 1,269 students, approximately one-third of the undergraduate population, responded. This was the highest response rate for any online student survey.

As a direct result, the food provided will be supplied by vendors and will cost $2, instead of serving only ARAMARK food as in past years.

Meal plans will not be able to be used to pay for the food.

This year, D-Day will have a beer garden, a restricted area for students over 21 who want to drink.

It’s coordinators hope that this area will reduce the harm from too much alcohol consumption.

“We would rather have students drink outside but pace themselves rather than being in their rooms consuming a large amount of alcohol in one sitting,” Lessenger said. “We are trying our hardest by responding specifically to students’ requests.”

This year, the beer garden will be tested out in hopes of allowing students to drink responsibly and continue in the annual D-Day tradition. Pricing for the beer has not yet been determined.

“This is a good example of them trying to make it fun for people over 21,” senior Kevin Vander Naald said. “In recent years, they have been cracking down more and more, and this is making it less fun.”

Many students who filled out a survey showed an interest in purchasing D-Day T-shirts, so T-shirts will be on sale at the end of this week or early next week. The price is currently set at $5, but if possible, it will be even lower.

A band will play live throughout the event. The band will be kept secret until the date of D-Day, in order to surprise students. Also, the coordinators want to ensure that the event is solely for UR students.

In previous years, other area colleges participate in D-Day and the coordinators of the event feel that, if they were to release the name of the band as well as the date of the event, that more students from outside the UR community would show up.

“I was visiting as a pre-frosh for D-Day last year,” freshman Sarah Permutt said. “It seemed like everyone was passed out by 5 p.m. This year, I hope they plan events so people won’t pass out and there will be activities all day long. I am really looking forward to it.”

The board planning the event is still looking for ways to minimize the costs to each student in every way they can.

They are looking into less expensive clothing apparel to sell, as well as ways to save on both alcohol for the beer garden and food sales.

“We are hoping that, by responding to students’ requests, students will enjoy the activities during the day more,” Lessenger said.

Ritterman can be reached at

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