As past Executive Board members of the Campus Activities Board, we commend CAB for making the difficult decision to drop Dandelion Day programming. Given the concerns over safety and the obstacles CAB faced running the event, this is a responsible, but surely unpopular, decision.
The original idea for D-Day was to provide students with an opportunity to celebrate spring and relax before exams began. The first D-Days included community-building activities and competitions. CAB tried to provide such activities and encourage alcohol-free entertainment. However, as participation in the (drinking) D-Day increased, we were forced to eliminate most carnival activities from the event because of security and health concerns.
Although CAB always attempted to keep students from making drinking the focus of the day, it was forced to contend with it. Beyond the handful of members who volunteered, we paid members of several student organizations to assist us since other students would not volunteer.
Students’ Association President Alvin Lomibao’s idea of engaging more student groups in the day is not new. Over the past five years, CAB has solicited involvement through a campus-wide survey, open meetings and invitations to other student groups to organize and run events. Few of these events got off the ground as students were unwilling to be sober volunteers.
CAB has considered dropping D-Day from its programming for several years. Student satisfaction in the day’s activities was declining, and we struggled to justify spending so much time and money on events that students were not participating in.
UR students deserve campus traditions and spring fun. Students and student groups need to participate and volunteer to restore the event’s original purpose.
Former CAB Executive Board members from the Classes of 2005 and 2006 contributed to and supported this letter, including Anna Brody, Dan Chu, Brian Goldhagen, Mona Koda, Summer Lennox and Anna Lessenger.
– Jeff KeesingClass of 2006