SGA Takes Over SPW 05

Spring Party Weekend has been a Colgate tradition for decades. However, this year, the tradition has been threatened by the lack of student interest in planning the event. At the Senate meeting on Tuesday evening, the Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Board proposed that an SGA-run committee immediately replace the current Spring Party Weekend (SPW) committee, which has traditionally organized the event. As the meeting progressed, a heated debate took place between Executive Board Officers, Senators, students and staff.

Since planning began for the event in November, the SPW Committee has faced a multitude of obstacles. These setbacks included moving the actual date of SPW to two weeks earlier then previous years from Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9.

Activities usually held on Whitnall Field are in the process of being moved to other locations, such as the indoor athletic facilities. Because there is a greater possibility of snow and cold weather, there have also been problems with bands because many musicians will not perform in weather below a certain temperature. In addition to the troublesome date, the current committee does not have any concrete plans for the spring event. The committee had three proposals denied by the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC) this year.

The largest obstacle faced by the SPW Committee is the lack of student involvement. The committee is open to all students and was frequently advertised in the student distribution e–mails. Despite the invitations, the committee only consists of six returning members and seven new members.

When presented with this information, many senators, including Senator sophomore Dan Prial, asked, “Why bother with SPW if students aren’t willing to help plan the event?” This question has sparked the current proposal.

When SGA Executive Board members recently attended SPW Committee meetings, the lack of student participation and commitment to the committee was discouraging. The Executive Board was concerned that the small amount of students involved in the committee would produce events and festivities that did not represent the interests of the entire student body. It also felt that too much responsibility and pressure would be put on a small number of students and advisors.

With the BAC denying the previous proposals for SPW, the committee has been left with two months to come up with new proposals and have them approved. Senator sophomore Matt Kroll, a member of last year’s SPW committee stressed that at this time last year, almost all of the arrangements had been approved by BAC and were in the final stages of preparations.

The Executive Board expressed concern that the current SPW Committee has not accomplished enough throughout the year to make this year’s SPW a success for the campus.

Members of the current SPW Committee attended the meeting and opposed the proposal by arguing that that it was simply an issue of power between the Executive Board and the SPW Committee. SPW committee members stated that if the committee needed more student involvement, the Senate could simply agree to co-organize the event, instead of creating a completely new committee, which would be run by the SGA.

The Senate proposal consisted of an SGA-organized sub-committee that would oversee the organizing of SPW. All students would be welcome to participate on the committee as well as student-run organizations and Senate members. The main focus of the committee would be the collaboration with Broad Street houses and student-run groups in making sure that there are an ample amount of activities in a variety of locations during SPW.

Parliamentarian senior Kevin McAvey further explained the reasoning behind this SGA proposal.

“Last week, the Student Government Association’s Executive Board was presented with a possible reality that Spring Party Weekend was not going to happen this year,” he said. “This was a possibility we were not willing to accept, and so, after careful consideration and consultation with all parties involved, our President, Ram Parimi, made the call to save it,”

McAvey believes that this decision was one of the “bravest calls” Parimi has had to make during his administration.

“The support we have received – from students, from the staff of CLSI and from the Administration – has been overwhelming,” McAvey said. “I am looking forward to developing this new partnership between Broad Street and the SGA to make this weekend legendary.”

The proposed concept is similar to an event put on last year called “Around the World,” which included a night of catered Broad street parties that took place simultaneously. Each house had a theme from a different country, and students were able to go from one house to the other to experience cultural foods. This event was very successful and gave first-years and sophomores the opportunity to meet upperclassmen while attending events at the Broad-Street houses.

The SGA-run committee would collaborate with willing Broad Streets houses, student-run organizations and the student body to organize concerts, food arrangements and other events for this year’s SPW.

After over an hour of comments, questions and suggestions, the proposal was passed with a vote of 24 in favor, 15 opposed and three abstaining. The members of the Senate acknowledged that planning SPW in less then two months will not be an easy task.

“The key ingredient for a successful Spring Party Weekend is student involvement,” SGA President senior Ram Parimi said.

With the help of the Broad Street houses, student organizations and the student body, this year’s SPW can continue to be an honored tradition on Colgate’s campus.

“The bottom line is that we all love SPW and want to do everything in our power to make it happen,” BAC Treasurer senior Ryan Trow said.