April 22, 2012

Time Running Out as Slope Day Searches for Volunteers

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The Slope Day Pro­gram­ming Board has five days to recruit an additional 250 volunteers for Slope Day — or Libe Slope may be silent and empty of concert-goers come May 4.“If we do not have enough volunteers, then there won’t be a Slope Day. No stage, no music, no event, no nothing,” said Dylan Rapoport ’12, chair of SDPB’s POSSE — people organizing and supervising slope events.The shortage of volunteers is especially troubling this year, Rapoport said, because the number of people needed to staff the event has increased from 400 to 500 since last year.“Our recruitment ends on Friday and we have about 250 signed up so far,” Rapoport said. “We’ve got to double recruitment in a week.”The number of volunteers needed has increased due to a dramatic rise in attendance at Slope Day over the last few years. While 13,974 people attended Slope Day in 2010, about 17,500 attended last year, according to SDPB records.“[Every year] there is more trash, more water to hand out, more of everything. More people coming means more volunteers are needed,” said Ashwin Raja ’14, leader of the team of Slope Day volunteers responsible for environmental sustainability.This year, SDPB also needs more volunteers in order to extend the area it will help clean after Slope Day. The board plans to send volunteers to clean not only the fenced-off area on Libe Slope, as it has in previous years, but also the space spanning Thurston Bridge to Col­legetown Bagels. Rapoport said doing so will enable SDPB to save money it would have spent on hiring people to clean these areas.“If we clean it ourselves, we can put this money into bringing better artists,” he said.Additionally, according to Rapoport, volunteers will man a new “Eagle Outpost” in the overlook of Uris Library that faces the slope — where they will spot students on the slope who are sick, injured or need medical attention. Volunteers will also distribute water to Slope Day attendees using special backpacks that can hold between 40 and 50 water bottles.Slope Day may have evolved over the years — for instance, 2003 was the first year that the fences were erected around the slope — but volunteers have been crucial to making Slope Day possible for the past decade, said Melissa Benhaim ’12, vice chair of SDPB. As SDPB runs out of time, Rapoport emphasized the importance of community involvement.“What makes Slope Day such a special event is that it exists only because of the collective efforts of students, staff and faculty across campus,” Rapoport said.

Original Author: Jinjoo Lee