Nearly two weeks ago in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) TV room, a small group of students convened to initiate the discussion on what Spring Party Weekend (SPW) will look like this year.
For the last few years, Colgate’s traditional SPW has been plagued with an inability to excite the campus.
This isn’t particularly surprising, according to senior Colgate Activities Board (CAB) Executive Adviser Becky Ruderman.
“A small number of students were in charge of a whole weekend that was supposed to encompass the tastes of the whole campus,” Ruderman said. “It was a big demand on a small group.”
Not wanting to repeat the last two, rather unpopular, SPWs, Colgate is trying a new approach.
The meeting in the Coop was led by seven upperclassmen active in the Student Government Association (SGA), CAB and the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC). They stressed that they weren’t a planning committee to organize SPW but an organizational group to help keep other groups on track.
Ruderman summed up the theme of the meeting.
“[This year’s goal is] to take the event out of the hands of a few and involve the whole campus,” she said.
The dozen or so attendees seemed ready and willing to take on the challenge. Ideas and suggestions flew across the room during the meeting’s “Deep Dive” brainstorming session. No matter how strange or extravagant the idea, it was listed on a set of large posters hung at the front of the room. Some of the ideas tossed around included giant Twister games, a beer garden, concerts on the ski hill and calling in one-hit-wonder bands from the 1990’s.
The meeting was open to all students, but only 12 attended. Those who showed up were mainly representatives of Greek organizations and other very active groups on campus.
However, senior SGA vice-president Drew Morrison maintained a positive outlook.
“Clearly, you guys aren’t the rest of the community,” he said, “But you can take the ideas to the rest of your groups and get the ball rolling. The sooner things happen, it will create a snowball effect, and other people will want to get things done too.”
One of the goals of this year’s SPW is to streamline the planning process. A new standardized application process aims at keeping the weekend more organized by developing a comprehensive events calendar. This will keep big events from overlapping, boosting attendance all around.
“Events are independent of each other funds-wise, but we hope they will work together. We want to create one big party weekend,” senior BAC Treasurer Ian Maron-Kolitch said.
According to Maron-Kolitch, Colgate is willing to put up between $75,000 and $80,000 to see SPW happen. The problem is not a lack of funds, but bringing out the people to make things happen.
The success of SPW is really all about student involvement, according to the upperclassmen facilitators; the more people who participate in putting it together, the more fun it will be.
“If your buddies or your girlfriends do cool things at their schools, bring up their ideas. We’re totally cool for it,” Morrison said.
Overall, the meeting seemed to end on a positive note, with all those who attended looking enthusiastic about putting together a great SPW event.
“I’m excited that we have so many great ideas,” senior CAB Executive Adviser Alison Rhodes said. “I think it is great that people are willing to diversify SPW and make it about more than one big concert.”