The Last Great Rake


by Andrea McNamara

Close to 250 students took part in the pre-rake celebration onApril 6, a number that pleased outgoing student body President CoryGeorge, one of the organizers of the event.

“It was the first time that we had done something like this,”George said of the campus-wide event to kick off Campus Day. “Abby[Smith, student body vice president and another event organizer]and I would have been happy if 50 people showed up.”

The pre-rake party at Cowles Athletic Center featured aseemingly endless supply of food, inflatable games and music. TheStudent Government Association allotted $4,000 for the event,according to incoming student body President Eric Elben, andSimpson also helped pay for the event.

“Pre-Campus Day activities needed a little [work], and there arealways a few things that would have been changed with the dayitself,” said George.

Several Campus Day teams registered to help rake the yards oflocal senior citizens just before the deadline. Only nine teams hadsigned up five days before the event, but 49 teams showed up forthe actual event.

“We were lucky the day coincided with Greek Week because itadded a lot more participants,” said Smith, who added that therewas no plan for Campus Day to fall in the middle of Greek Week. “Itwas a happy coincidence.”

Because the date of this year’s Campus Day was announced inadvance, several students used the night before to drink – leadingto several arrests and citations for students.

“Drinking wasn’t a concern for me, as long as people got up torake the next day,” said Smith.

Students reported a beefed-up presence of Indianola police oncampus the night before Campus Day. Simpson security officers alsowere out in full force.

During Homecoming, Simpson has five security officers on duty,and Security Director Chris Frerichs said that number waspatrolling campus the night before Campus Day.

Several Simpson students were cited by Indianola police forpossession of drug paraphernalia, public consumption, or possessionof alcohol under the legal age of 21:

* Geoffrey Skinner, 21, and Daniel Richardson, 21, were bothcited for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia.

* Joel Vanness, 21, was arrested and charged with operating amotor vehicle while intoxicated and failure to obey a stop sign.His blood alcohol content was 0.247 – three times the legallimit.

* Dillon Combs, 20, was arrested for public intoxication.

* Ines Kolar, 26, foreign language teaching assistant, was citedfor public consumption.

* Rachel Shea, 20, and Ashish Singh, 23, were cited for publicconsumption.

* Jeffrey Bowles, 20, was charged with public consumption andpossession of alcohol under the legal of 21.

* Paula Vagts, 20, was charged with possession of alcohol underthe legal age of 21.

“Whenever students have a night off with no classes thefollowing day, there is always a greater chance that studentdrinking will increase,” said Elben. “Whether or not there was moredrinking when compared to a weekend night is difficult to judge.The increased IPD presence would most likely account for the numberof citations [given out].”

If the date of Campus Day is announced in the future, Elben saidhe plans to emphasize an event similar to Stormy Nights that willprovide more than just one non-alcoholic option for students.

According to George, keeping student drinking to a minimum thenight before Campus Day is not the focus or the purpose.

“Students are going to drink if they know ahead of time or not,”said George. “It is part of the tradition.”

Smith criticized the focus on heavy drinking by students.

“People always get so worried about drinking and forget thepositive aspects that happened such as the participation and thecommunity service,” said Smith.

After a college task force studied ways to keep Campus Day aviable tradition at Simpson, organizers focused on making the eventa celebration that created a community atmosphere. Smith said thatgoal was met this year.

Rather than make Campus Day a competition, as it has been inpast years, organized focused this year on the service angle of theevent. Smith said that a return to the costume contests of pastCampus Days might add fun to future events.

“I really hope the tradition continues,” Smith said. “It’s aneat day, and it’d be really sad to see it end.”

Another Campus Day change of the past two years is the move fromfall to spring semesters. Worries arose that shift would lower thenumber of Campus Day participants, but Smith said interest hasn’tdeclined.

“There will always be people who don’t participate. That’s whythe day is a choice,” Smith said. “Of course, the goal is foreveryone to join in the activities, but the day can’t be forced onpeople.”