Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sun God Planners Discuss Logistics of Scheduling Event

Due to possible conflicts in scheduling large campuswide events, attempts to permanently reserve the seventh Friday of Spring Quarter as the Sun God Festival date have proven unsuccessful.

Sports Facilities and Programs Director Don Chadwick said he supports the idea but believes that unforeseeable circumstances could make institutionalizing the change unlikely.

A.S. media liaison Oliver Zhang said the main reason Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events Wong wanted to have the seventh Friday of every Spring Quarter earmarked is so that other departments could plan their events around it.

“Brian got a call from Revelle College [over the summer] asking what date the Sun God Festival was so that they could plan their events around it,” Zhang said. “Brian could not give them an answer.”

Chadwick said UCSD officials also want to accommodate the seventh week date, but there are also other on- and off-campus events that may be scheduled during the same week, such as regional sports conferences.

“[For] real major events, such as the U.S. Open, we will know a few years in advance, but most other events aren’t like that,” Chadwick said. “Suppose our softball team does really well one year; we would want to be open for some home-turf post-season games, which are usually controlled by the conference we’re in.”

According to Chadwick, if UCSD had to host a post-season game, the date of the Sun God Festival would have to change, as UCSD would not be able to handle the influx of visitors.

“The Sun God Festival is just so large — with almost 20,000 participating — that you can’t really do much else during that time,” Chadwick said.

Chadwick said he recognizes the problems of event planning.

“We understand the difficulties of planning for an event of such magnitude and we want to ensure seventh week, but sometimes there are just [conferences or events] beyond our control,” Chadwick said.

Wong has been in contact with administrators since the beginning of January regarding a tentative hold for the festival.

By the end of February, Chadwick decided the move wasn’t feasible, though he and Wong established an agreement to ensure that the date of the festival will be announced by the first week of Fall Quarter.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue and Campus Events Manager Alex Kushner told Wong that some faculty members want to see the Sun God Festival moved to a Saturday, because they recognize that the Friday event encourages students to skip class.

“There was a push to change Sun God to Saturday, but there isn’t consensus for this across administration,” Zhang said. “One of the reasons that some administrators want to change Sun God to Saturday is that Friday is a school day and the festival encourages ditching. One way we’re trying to address this problem is starting the festival at 2 p.m. instead of 12 p.m.”

Another benefit of holding the concert on a Friday is that it deters non-UCSD members and community members from attending.

“One reason that it should be kept on Friday is that there is no free parking on Friday,” Zhang said. “This helps keep the festival for the students. In 2007, we had a lot of [non-UCSD students] and the majority of the arrests were of [non-UCSD students].”

Hosting the event on Saturday would also make it difficult for the Concert and Events office to clean up afterwards.

“We have an agreement with RIMAC to return the field by Sunday [following the festival] at noon,” Zhang said. “If the festival were to be held on Saturday, there would be no way for us to do the clean up and dismantling in time.”

Wong is continuing to negotiate with Chadwick to have next year’s date of the festival announced before the agreed-upon date of the first week of Fall Quarter — ideally during the summer or the end of the previous academic year.

The line-up for the Sun God festival will be announced during the second week of Spring Quarter.

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