Ten students began early planning this year’s Georgetown Day at a meeting Thursday night to avoid the last-minute hiccups that plagued last year’s event.
During the meeting, students shared ideas about food, entertainment and game choices for this year’s Georgetown Day. They also discussed a tentative timeline and stressed the importance of getting a head start on the planning process.
“Part of this ongoing discussion is how the planning process and structure might be improved from previous years,” said Maeve Brody (COL ’14), interim chair for Georgetown Day 2013.
Nate Tisa (SFS ’14), speaker of the Georgetown University Student Association senate, reminded planners of the tensions that arose last April when the university announced that barriers and checkpoints would be set up on the front lawn to limit disruptions from intoxicated students.
Because of students’ negative reactions — anonymous students even created an alternative event to avoid the restrictions — the university did not implement the barriers.
Last year, the event also lacked activities because the committee did not form until one month before the event. According to Tisa, the committee only had 40 days to plan the event.
“You have to reserve performers, face painting and slides in advance, and the earlier you do it, the cheaper it is,” Tisa said. “Because it was so late, [the committee] couldn’t reserve them at a price they could afford. GUSA tried to supplement their funding at the very end, but that wasn’t enough.”
Brody said Thursday’s meeting was a crucial first step in the planning process.
“Ultimately, we hope the general interest meeting will catalyze the formation of a planning committee that includes as many interested members as possible, who will make Georgetown Day 2013 the best yet,” Brody said.
GUSA has also gotten involved in organizing next spring’s Georgetown Day.
Adam Talbot (COL ’12), last year’s GUSA senate speaker, proposed a bill to make Georgetown Day aGUSA event. If the bill had passed, the organization would have used its funds to pay for the event, and in return, students would have been able to give input and share their preferences.
The bill was unsuccessful because it was proposed late in the year, and there was no time to gain support, according to Tisa. However, Tisa said he believes that GUSA will propose some form of similar legislation, either at the end of this semester or early in the spring.
“The senate’s priority is making sure that students have a say over what happens on Georgetown Day. No matter what we have to do to make that happen — whether it’s a GUSA committee or a university committee that GUSA helps moderate,” he said.
The Student Activities Commission is also considering involvement in Georgetown Day planning. Last year, the commission reserved $2,000 from the ad-hoc fund to enable SAC supported clubs to organize events during the day, according to SAC Vice Chair Jennifer Chiang (SFS ’15).
“If they want [SAC] to get involved, we certainly welcome it and will definitely consider it as a commission,” SAC Chair Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) said.
Tisa said he believes that this advanced planning will lead to a better Georgetown Day.
“I’m thrilled to see that the committee’s starting early, and I think the collaborative effort will produce the desired results,” Tisa said.