AAP students have been busy at work for the past month building this year's dragon for Cornell's annual Dragon Day.

Photo Courtesy of Dragon Day Documentation Team

AAP students have been busy at work for the past month building this year's dragon for Cornell's annual Dragon Day.

March 30, 2017

Archies Plan to Make Cornell ‘Louder Together’ on 116th Dragon Day

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An 85-foot-long and 20-foot-high skeletal dragon will roam Cornell’s campus Friday to celebrate the 116th Dragon Day — its music and openness symbolizing this year’s theme of “Louder Together.”

Building the dragon typically employs an architectural concept, but this year, as in past years, the presentation of the dragon is serving as a platform for Cornellians to comment on political turmoil, according to Dragon Day Co-President Sahir Choudhary ’21.

Although they proposed the theme of “we stand with the nasty dragon,” architecture students ultimately settled on “Louder Together,” because they did not want to project a particular political stance. Rather, the aim of the Cornell tradition is to offer space for all voices.

“We are speaking in regards to Islamophobia, the rise of the alternative right, the rise of extremism, the European Union, Brexit, Trump,” Choudhary said. “We wanted to respond to this idea of being alienated from society itself and that’s why the theme we chose was louder together, the idea of coming together in unison, of standing in solidarity against all forms of hate.”

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Photo Courtesy of Dragon Day Documentation Team

The annual, freshmen-run event was organized in a month by over 60 students from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning who worked through seven different committees — ranging from advertising and funding to construction of the dragon. The Dragon Day archies come from 23 different countries and speak 17 languages.

“Considering the class itself, we are very international,” Choudhary said. “And most of us were very aghast at what was happening. We didn’t want this event to be completely disconnected from reality itself.”

They completed the project within a month, getting advice from the section leaders of past years and the shop staff on how to weld materials together.

“Since the very beginning, Dragon Day has always been organized by the students, and it’s done through passing on this knowledge from year to year within the student body,” said Co-President Davis Jian Kun Zhu ’21.

The “prank team,” one of the Dragon Day committees, held a nerd walk on Monday and a green streak on Wednesday — two traditional dragon day “pranks” that aimed to raise excitement and awareness of the event.

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Photo Courtesy of Dragon Day Documentation Team

Different groups across campus have joined with the architecture students to advertise Friday’s festivities, including Cornell Republicans and Cornell Democrats.

The marching band and several other Cornell performance groups will march with the students in the parade itself.

“We want to make association with other parts of the campus and share this sense that we are all together,” Zhu said.

In the past, dragon day members usually wore costumes on Dragon Day. In spirit of this year’s theme, however, some students may decline to dress up as a protest to construction in AAP.

This potential protest is in response to the University’s anticipated construction of the Ho Fine Arts Library which is set to be completed by 2017. Some archies and staff members believe it will interfere with the architecture facilities in Rand Hall, according to Zhu.

But Choudhary added that students are encouraged to embrace whatever they are passionate about — political or not — at the event, which has a goal is of providing a platform for “open, free, complete dialogue,” Choudhary said.

Per tradition, the dragon will start by Milstein Hall, head to the engineering quad, cut down Ho Plaza and finally make its way to the Arts Quad. While the songs are still being chosen by the performers, Choudhary hopes that one will be “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.

As the event draws closer, archies’ anticipation for the reveal of their month-long project grows higher.

“It’s been exhilarating, and as the days get closer to the event, I’m only getting more excited,” said Sam Price ’21.

6 thoughts on “Archies Plan to Make Cornell ‘Louder Together’ on 116th Dragon Day

  1. See, when you have a Cultural Revolution (China and America, 1960s) that seeks to destroy all things traditional, you have to give the plebes a surrogate religion with attendant rituals and traditions in their place. Hence … dying yourself green and carrying a metal dragon on your shoulders

  2. let’s dye ourselves green because … ?

    good to see the infantilization of young adults continues unabated in America

  3. All You Need Is Love” … aaaaaaand a degree from a highly priced highly esteemed university and contacts and networking opportunities … because while love is nice, material stuff is a lot better.

    How would I take photos of dragon day without my smartphone?

    I think you missed the point of the song Choudhary. Guessing you’re not from Rishikesh?

    didn’t TS Eliot say something about “having the experience but missing the meaning” ???

  4. “We are speaking in regards to Islamophobia, the rise of the alternative right, the rise of extremism, the European Union, Brexit, Trump,” Choudhary said. “We wanted to respond to this idea of being alienated from society itself”

    You don’t seem to get it: you are not American citizens. American universities do not exist for your betterment.

    Talk about an entitled mindset. You’re not American yet you think American institutions belong to you???

    So when Indians threw the British out, that was a people asserting independence.

    When Americans say we don’t to be swamped with arrogant rich spoiled brats from around the planet, it’s racist?

    I don’t think so chowder head

  5. Did Buckminster Fuller have a degree in architecture?

    Nope

    But let’s send people who don’t have a tenth of his talent or brilliance to study architecture and produce more uninspired boring trite Stanlist-era looking post-modern cubes of buildings like the ones that litter Cornell’s campus.

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