Is it time for a Dolphy Day Revolution?
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I am typing this article from inside the Continuing Education office in Grewen Hall (the coolest place to work on campus!). Not one cloud is in the sky, the temperature is creeping its way up to 72 degrees, and a few trees are even starting to bloom. It’s Monday, April 18, 2016, and I’m asking myself, “What the fudge? Why isn’t it Dolphy Day?”
I get it, I do. There’s a ton of planning, a ton of fundraising, a ton of secrecy, and a ton of tradition that has to be dumped into the pot to cook up the perfect Dolphy Day. But where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us with a Wizard (mostly likely some boy on the rugby team) and a committee (most likely some of the boy wizard’s friends) that exclusively get to work with administration to decide when Dolphy Day is. Logistically, I understand the secrecy—never knowing when the day will be until a few hours beforehand is half the fun of Dolphy Day. Well, you know what I say? Screw the wizard.
Now, if you read that, and felt the urge to scream, “BUT TRADITION!” I got a few Qs for you.
What was the original purpose of Dolphy Day? And I mean ORIGINAL. We’ve all heard the stories of couches lit on fire and fireworks set off in the early hours of the morning. The tradition of Dolphy Day used to be a day to rail against the institution, the establishment. Le Moyne’s administration wasn’t involved at all in the planning—students simply decided to skip class and enjoy the sun, unsolicited by the Le Moyne faculty and staff. Sure there was still a wizard back in the old days, but here’s the deal: the “wizard” that we have created now, has become the institution.
We have given a small group of people power to work with Le Moyne, to control Dolphy Day, and to tell us when to enjoy the beautiful weather and skip class. It’s not rebellious or radical if the school bribes us with money for activities and supplies, feeds us, passes out wristbands, and tells us when Dolphy Day officially ends (which is 5PM, if you were wondering). All Dolphy Day has become is an excuse for the student body to get away with drinking on campus during a nice, spring day, in a relatively controlled environment. And that’s awesome! Trust me, I love day drinking in the sunshine. But why do we need some wizard in the administration’s pocket to tell us when the best day to do that is? We don’t.
The rugby team/sports teams have reigned over Dolphy Day for decades now, excluding a large demographic of the student body from being able to participate in the planning and the decision making, and from being able to stand on top of the roof of the cafeteria and chant “Dolphy Day” for two hours (although, honestly, we can do better, right? We can definitely think of something more catalyzing and hype than chanting one phrase for hours, right? For my own sanity, I really need to believe that we can.). Sometimes (many times), we even end up with a less than ideal day for Dolphy Day, because the wizard and his committee have self-serving purposes for picking a certain date, even if the weather is subpar.
We’ve put the wizard and his committee on a pedestal and created a Dolphy Day ruling class. If we want to bring back the original spirit of Dolphy Day, then to hell with the wizard. The wizard has become the very establishment he was created to spite (this has a very Orwellian vibe to it, no? Something like Animal Farm, where the pigs become the humans.), and I think it’s time for some true unruliness.
Now I’m a senior, and while the wizard’s antics and poor decision making does irk me a good deal, I’ve made my peace with the state of my last Dolphy Day, and plan on having an incredible, fun, maybe sunny day. But if you’re a freshman, sophomore, or even a junior and you want to take back Dolphy Day, then I say start the revolution, boys and girls. Seriously, though, what’s stopping you? In the words of Karl Marx, “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.”