The start of the school year features a few constants. For St. Olaf students it is a time dotted with meetings with advisors, searching for the cheapest textbook you can find, and trying to get back in the swing of homework and readings every night. For St. Olaf Student Government Association (SGA) members it is a time filled with planning and anticipation. Night in Buntrock, Fall Block Party, and the Co-Curricular Fair are activities that are looked forward to and planned months in advance. These events give both the students attending and the students working them a break from what can already feel like the normal work grind of college life.
            These events have been talked about for months and have been the subject of emails and titles of Google docs for weeks. Each individual branch had been planning their own events and ways to get students excited about all they would offer the upcoming year. The After Dark Committee (ADC) had been looking forward to putting on a headphone disco since it was presented at a conference last spring and Student Organizations Committee (SOC) had been working for weeks on creating a fun way for students to get introduced to the plethora of St. Olaf clubs and organizations, which resulted in a personalized Buzzfeed quiz. These are just some examples of the time, energy, and work that went into enthusiastically planning for the arrival of St. Olaf students, both new and seasoned.
            On the more logistical side of things schedules, work orders (to borrow tables, speakers, etc.), and maps had to be created to make sure that each event went off without a hitch. These are the sometimes ‘less-than-glamorous’ parts of an event, but are the details that will guarantee a great time for students. After bringing both cool ideas and thoughts together with the details and plans, everyone was more than ready and excited to throw awesome events to celebrate the first week back.
            Still, the ever changing Minnesota weather was never far from anyone’s mind. As you know the Co-Curricular Fair had to be pushed back not once, but twice and the events planned for Fall Block Party had to be moved inside to Crossroads and the Pause. Not only is this frustrating for students who long for some vitamin D after being inside classrooms all day but also for the SGA members who had visions of students playing games on the Quad and gathered in groups to eat dinner and listen to local bands.
            Each morning the students in charge of putting on the events set their alarms early to wake up to check the weather to decide whether a rain-plan was necessary. It is not something we get to wait, see, and decide later on. Finding volunteers to work shifts, securing tables for the event, and distributing marketing materials can’t wait until 30 minutes before an event is planned to be told if we will be operating in rain-plan or continuing on despite the weather. So as SGA executive team members woke at 7am and checked their weather apps they discovered the 40% chance of rain and had to make the call then and there to move the events, either to a different day or to a different space.
            Once making this decision, new schedules, maps, and plans were distributed to SGA members working, college staff, and students. The one thing we can depend on here in Northfield, Minnesota is that we cannot depend on the weather. So even with all the planning and backup options sometimes it doesn’t rain when it says it will and sometimes it rains even when expected not to, as was seen with this year’s Co-Curricular Fair.
            Thus when it started sprinkling on the second back-up day for the Co-Curricular Fair, there was nothing left to do but embrace the unpredictability and move on to put on the best event we could. So while you may have gotten a little impatient with the rain plans and a little wet as it rained during an event, we here at SGA thank you for sticking with us and not letting the weather affect our ability to have fun, meet new people, and get involved. We weren’t going to let the weather rain on our parade and we are glad you weren’t going to as well!