Summer Sendoff Moved to Friday
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11
Student members of Social Board made the unprecedented decision to move the College's annual Summer Sendoff event from a Saturday to a Friday this year, which provoked a mixed reaction from the student body when the Board announced it last week.
Sendoff's date change comes after weeks of Social Board meetings, during which members expressed frustration at hosting a day-long event on a purely volunteer basis and at the frequently low turnout at the final performance of the day, according to Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Christina Mastrangelo.
"The decision to go to Friday was entirely Social Board's," she said. "From their perspective, this allowed them to put more money into the band, which is really the highlight of the evening. What everyone got frustrated about in years past in terms of the quality of the event was the performer, and so from their perspective this would allow them to ... make the event more manageable on their end."
Assistant Director of Student Activities Anne Vleck emphasized that Social Board members felt, considering their small size, they could use their time and resources better by focusing on the band. "The money piece was big, and being able to allocate more money towards the band. But other things we talked about were the Social Board members' time and whether they felt like they could really put on an excellent event for 12 hours when there are only 20 members," she said. "Can we really make this event good if it's that big and that long, or do we do something where we make it a little bit more of a condensed time frame but still try to have all the elements that we've had in the past?"
Vleck said some members were concerned about their own participation in the event. "Another big factor is that those Social Board members who work that day don't get to enjoy [Sendoff] like the rest of the student body, so moving their event to Friday allows them to participate in whatever happens the rest of the weekend."
Social Board also emphasized its wish to dedicate more time and resources to booking a big-name band rather than on carnival games and treats, many of which were under-utilized in past years. Social Board Co-Chair Sarah Schiller '14 said, "Previously, we've had [Sendoff] on Saturday, which meant that we had to serve lunch and dinner and we had to serve snacks and pay AVI fees for all of this stuff, so by putting it on Friday night, we were able to cut down a lot of those costs and redirect that money to a big-name [band]."
Schiller said the decision made sense when thinking about student attendance at the concert itself. "For us, it was a good business decision, but we also think it makes a lot more sense for the student body. And what we want is a really good turnout for our concert," she said. "Last year one of our biggest problems was that people were so drunk that they would just nap during the concert. So moving it to Friday night will hopefully save us some of that long, drawn-out drinking."
During their initial budget hearing this semester, Social Board members informed the Business and Finance Committee that they wanted to dedicate more money and effort to booking a big band, according to Vleck. The Board didn't finalize its decision to move the concert to Friday until later, however. Leland Holcomb '14, sophomore class president, said Student Council gave the group the money "assuming they would do [Sendoff] on Saturday, but we went back and had a look and saw there was nothing [in the policy] that said that."
Members of the administration and Social Board made it clear that for them, Sendoff events and activities will be occurring on Friday, April 27. Saturday's activities are not under their purview. "People are concerned about what's going to happen on Saturday. It's not my concern. It's not Social Board's concern. It's an administrative thing," Schiller said. "But we are trying to get this discussion to move along so that everyone will know what's going to happen with the weekend."
The administration has not yet fully discussed possibilities for events on Saturday, but both Mastrangelo and Vleck said they would be willing to work with students who wanted to continue Saturday festivities, although they will not be involved with the Social Board event on Friday.
"It was kind of unclear what [Saturday] would look like, but I think the administration left the conversation open for what happens with Saturday. I can say that Social Board will not be doing any programming on Saturday," Vleck said.
After Student Council learned of Social Board's decision, representatives on the body worked to form a subcommittee to address creating events for Saturday, according to Junior Class President Ryan Liegner '13. "Though this type of issue usually rests outside of Student Council's jurisdiction, the Council thought it was worthwhile to form a subcommittee last Sunday [Feb. 12] to address the particularities of Sendoff this year," he said. "Officially, Saturday, April 28 is up to the student body to organize under current party policy. So a few members of Student Council felt that with our legislative experience, we would be well-equipped to navigate this issue."