Rain Plan!

by Jenni Kraft

This past weekend was our homecoming which as most Student Affairs professionals know, is jam packed with events!  Well if you are an event planner, you know that it is always good to have a backup plan for inclement weather. However, for one of our homecoming traditions it’s a bit difficult. That event would be our golf cart parade!

Each year we have the traditional competitions that organizations can compete in in order to win spirit points towards the overall spirit award trophy. Our golf cart parade concept is rather simple: sign your organization up to participate (we have 16 golf carts total so hurry while they last); come up with a design that, ideally, goes with this year’s theme (Vegas); wake up extra early on homecoming day to decorate it before the judges get there; and enjoy being in a parade leading to the football game!

Of course this year had to challenge that idea do to (¯dun ¯Dun ¯DUN) : INCLEMENT WEATHER!!! Well, it’s such a huge tradition that organizations that sign up prepare the whole week before (about the time when we start making weather apps our top phone distraction). We see organizations finding spaces to claim for their cart decorations and asking for tape, glue, scissors, and other miscellaneous items from our office to create these displays of campus spirit. In fact, the day before, our organization workroom was jam packed with organizations taking advantage of the resources! As we stared nervously at our weather channels, we gathered a little hope as the homecoming carnival the night before ran supper smoothly without a drop from the sky. Then the next morning a downpour took over our land! Then the text messages came in left and right: “Are we still doing the golf cart parade :( ?” The rain plan was simple: no golf cart parade.
Well I was not having it!

I know how much the students worked on their decorations and by golly I was going to give them an opportunity to display them. With the lightning flashing hello in the sky, golf carts were quickly tucked back away in their cubbies. I checked our entire room reservation calendar and finally found a solution: a meeting room… with enough space for 16 tables! And thus we had a spirit display instead of a golf cart parade. The students received word quickly through text (though emails were sent, I’m pretty sure the text messages ran faster). Within the next 20 minutes we had the room flipped to the needs of the program and students arriving with their fabrics, streamers, costumes, and more! It was a success for everyone who participated! And, though it wasn’t an original rain plan, it will be now! Here are our winners who also demonstrated magic J

~Jenni with an “I”

P.S. Yes, we did win our homecoming game!!! Go ‘Roos! My Alma Mater did as well J Go Bobcats!

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