In June 1893, the University’s Alumni Association established “dandelion yellow” as one of the school’s official colors. The University hasn’t been the same since.
Dandelion Day, colloquially known as “D-Day,” has lived in infamy throughout much of the University’s history. The first Wednesday in May 1951 was designated as Dandelion Day. The day was not open to women until 1954. D-Day later transformed from a field day to a carnival to an alcohol-fueled party by the 1980s.
Today, D-Day stands as a beacon lighting up the otherwise dreary abyss that is April in Rochester. Close to the end of classes and before the start of finals, D-Day offers a singular day of relief and release. It is a break from a year of work and a respite before the dark days ahead.
In recent years, the University has attempted to make this day safer for students, which has been interpreted by some as an attempt to curb the day’s festivities. In 2012, D-Day was moved from a Saturday to a Friday, a change that remains in effect. Statistics provided by Public Safety indicate that this change has decreased the number of hospitalizations and conduct violations. We support initiatives like this—at least, those that do not change the spirit of D-Day—to ensure safety during this beloved UR celebration.
Given that this tradition is eagerly anticipated by many students, we’d like to encourage the University to keep in mind the spirit of D-Day. While we appreciate efforts to make our community safer, we believe that there must be a balance, as there always must with these kinds of events.
We also encourage the students to stay safe. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon them to monitor themselves; they are in the best position to keep themselves in check.
At the end of the day, it is on students to ensure that the day is one filled with joy, relaxation and “good vibes.”
Students should be having a good time, but they shouldn’t end up at URMC. The University’s changes appear to be a step in the right direction. As long as the University maintains the integrity (that is, the fun and casual atmosphere) of D-Day, we support their decisions.