Most Simpson students know Campus Day has been a tradition for over 100 years, an event intended to give back, to connect to the community through volunteering.
They also know it has become an excuse for students to hit the bars and throw parties. If Wednesday’s volunteering is beneficial to the Indianola community and the college’s image, then Tuesday night can certainly be deemed equally beneficial to local businesses like the Zoo, Mojo’s and Regal Liquor.
Just because students opt to party Tuesday night and sleep all day Wednesday doesn’t mean they don’t care about volunteering. In fact, many students spend all year volunteering all around Indianola and the Des Moines metro area. Campus Day comes late in the year, when projects and papers are piling up, finals and graduation quickly approaching and stress levels are up. It seems most students see it as an opportunity to catch up on homework, sleep or socializing. Instead of giving back, they opt to simply give it a rest.
Though the college has taken steps to increase involvement – taking on new projects and moving back the start time – the solution seems to be moving Campus Day back to its original date in the fall.
An earlier date would mean students are under significantly less stress than at the end of the year. This could get more people involved, including more first-year students.
An early Campus Day would also mean getting students – especially new students – involved with community and volunteering, providing the opportunity to continue the work they begin in the fall throughout the year. Campus Day could even replace one of the many service projects, which are mandatory for freshmen during their first few days. This would mean not only increased involvement, but an opportunity for freshmen to meet and interact with more people than those in their residence halls and LAS class – and isn’t building a stronger Simpson Community what Campus Day is about?
No matter when Campus Day is held, there will be many students who choose to celebrate the break from classes and not participate. By placing the day back in the fall semester, where it began, the college would see increased involvement, more long-term volunteering and a stronger connection with new and returning students in the Simpson Community.