Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Volunteers pass out wristbands for Slope Day, near Willard Strait Hall to prepare for the upcoming in-person event on May 11.

May 9, 2022

More Than 250 Student Volunteers Gear Up for Slope Day’s Return

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For most, Slope Day is a time to relax after the last day of classes and before the onset of final exams. However, a lot of work has to go into an event as big as Slope Day, and this year more than 250 student volunteers will keep the event running smoothly and ensure the safety of attendees.

According to James Lepone ’22, one of the volunteer directors, volunteers will handle many tasks during the event, from handing out water to picking up trash to running carnival games at Slope Fest on Ho Plaza, where attendees can enjoy free food, games and prizes along with a large screen projection of the concert.

Lepone was able to attend an in-person Slope Day in 2019, before the radical changes to the format in 2020 and 2021. He volunteered as part of what he called the “eagle squad” then, keeping an eye on things from the top of the slope. 

After enjoying the behind-the-scenes look at the festivities, Lepone decided to join the Slope Day Programming Board, where he is now responsible for coordinating and directing student volunteers, both before and on the day of the event. 

After the past two virtual Slope Days, Lepone said he is looking forward to seeing the event make its return to in-person.

“I’m really excited that Slope Day is being brought back almost exactly the same as it was,” Lepone said. “As a volunteer director, it’s a lot more fun to have it be in person.”

Lepone and his fellow volunteer director Michael Hamilton ’22 said they had some worries about getting enough volunteer sign ups to cover every two hour shift during the event. According to Lepone, it was harder to get volunteers this year than in 2019. 

“Obviously people want to enjoy the music, and this being a return year for Slope Day it makes it difficult to attract people to sign up because they want to be at the slope and not working,” Lepone said.

Despite their earlier concerns, Lepone said that plenty of volunteers signed up for afternoon shifts, with 30 scheduled to work the entire day. Hamilton noted that plenty of rewards are being offered to volunteers, including free food, t-shirts, water bottles and an entry into a raffle for a Nintendo Switch console for those who sign up for multiple shifts. 

Nicole Urbina ’23 volunteered to patrol the slope on an eight hour long shift, which involves making sure no dangerous activities are taking place and getting medical attention to those who need it. 

“I thought it would be nice to get volunteer hours and also experience [the concert]. It’s a win-win situation,” Urbina said. 

Urbina, who is a transfer student, also said she is excited to experience her first Slope Day.

“I’m looking forward to the artists,” Urbina said. “I think even if you’re volunteering, you still get to enjoy it because you still get the music, you still get the [atmosphere] with everyone around.”

Similarly to Lepone, Hamilton was able to experience an in-person Slope Day in 2019 and is looking forward to seeing the event return to Libe slope, saying that the virtual events of the past two years couldn’t compare. 

“Just being in person on the slope with 15,000 other students, you can’t describe it,” Hamilton said. “It’s a really cool experience.” 

Hamilton also emphasized the work that the programming board and volunteers put into making Slope Day happen. 

“It hasn’t been easy, but I know we’re really excited and proud of the work we’ve put in, and hope students get to enjoy it,” Hamilton said.