My best friend is flying in tomorrow night for Dillo Day and at this point, I can't guarantee her entrance.
In my two years at Northwestern, Dillo Day had encountered devastating problems. Last year it was a lack of a headliner and this year it's a lack of space. I understand that some of this is beyond Mayfest's control. But what I don't understand is how an organization as big as Mayfest, with their funding and year-long timeline can't avoid issues like this?
Like many people, I don't read the fine print. "Pre-registration does not guarantee a wristband for your guest until you physically pick up the wristband." I registered my guest with the faith that I would receive her wristband, problem free. And I, like many others, went ahead and made arrangements. Between class and work, my first opportunity to pick up our wristbands was yesterday, but I did not have a photo of her ID, which I did not know about. Again, this is my fault for not reading the fine print.
But this entire debacle could have been prevented.
If Mayfest knew they were going to encounter a capacity issue it should have been handled from the beginning. With the knowledge of how many people they could accommodate, they should have shut down guest registration when the capacity had been reached. I don't understand why they couldn't guarantee spots. It's also utterly ridiculous that Evanston residents get to register four guests, while Northwestern students only get two. Northwestern may be located in Evanston, but Dillo Day is a Northwestern event, funded by the university through our tuition. Northwestern students and their guests should take priority. If my friend can't get into Dillo Day, do you think I'm going to leave her in my room and go without her? No, I'm not going either.
I understand that the people who plan Dillo Day are still students, who have papers to write and finals to study for, which is completely understandable. However they have chosen to be part of an organization that puts on the biggest event of the year. The entire campus is counting on them. So when something goes wrong, a backlash is inevitable. I've been part of a group that plans an event. Given, it was on a much smaller scale (CRCs Radiothon, 50 hours of internet radio broadcast) and I failed I some respects. But I learned a valuable lesson in time management, prioritizing, organization and communication. But the most important thing I learned was that if you take on a responsibility and there are people are counting on you, you have to make the sacrifices to make that happen. Mayfest should not have made promises to students and their friends that they couldn't keep.
Organization and communication are the two most important aspects to planning an event run smoothly. And this year, Dillo Day's organization failed.
The Northwestern student body is your constituents. When there's an outcry, don't ignore us. Embrace the criticism and ask yourself what can you do better next year?