by LIZZIE DEAL
Dogtown After Hours, the largest alcohol-alternative event on campus, was cancelled after online classes were implemented for the two weeks following Spring Break.
The event was scheduled to take place on March 27, and the decision to cancel it was made before the university decided to remain online for the rest of the semester.
“Of course, it is extremely saddening to have to cancel an event that you have put so many hours into planning,” Dogtown After Hours Co-Chair Mercedes Hendricks said. “However, I have no doubt that the university made the right call. Safety should be a priority no matter the circumstances and Dogtown After Hours is happy to support that in any way possible, this time it being cancelling the event due to COVID-19.”
Members of the Dogtown After Hours team have been working since the beginning of the school year to brainstorm ideas and plan activities for attending students.
“It’s really unfortunate to have an event you work on for 7 months cancelled due to things outside of your control, especially for our first-year board members who haven’t been able to see a Dogtown come together yet,” Dogtown After Hours Co-Chair Reilly Atkins said.
Because the cancellation occurred so close to the event, the team had initially looked into combining their efforts and resources with different organizations that still had events scheduled.
“Immediately following the decision to cancel the event, we began to think about ways we could still apply our resources. We reached out to other organizations asking if they would be willing to allow us to join in on their events planned for later in the semester. Seeing now that we are no longer returning to Drake this semester, we will save our supplies for either Dogtown After Hours 2021 or a smaller event in the fall,” Hendricks said.
For remainder of the semester, the team is remaining in contact with each other and beginning to think ahead to next year’s event.
“Our board is continuing to maintain contact, and my co-chair, Mercedes Hendricks, and I will continue to meet with our advisors to discuss Dogtown After Hours 2021,” Atkins said. “On our list is revising our constitution, brainstorming for next year, and supporting our board. We are continuing to post our committee profiles on our social media channels to celebrate their hard work this year.”
The team is also considering hosting a smaller event in the fall, but plans have yet to be finalized.
While some of the resources the team had already purchased are likely to be put towards next year’s Dogtown After Hours, it will still be a unique experience from what was initially planned.
“Dogtown really runs on what’s popular at the time. That being said, next year will be completely different than what we had planned for this year. We’ll start like we do every year- crazy ideas that will bring people to the event,” Hendricks said. “We had a really good committee behind us this year. I hope we can take the same energy and enthusiasm into next year’s event.”
Hendricks hopes the cancellation of Dogtown After Hours will provide more motivation for next year’s event.
“It’s crazy to think about how much work we put into this event. It really makes you think about everything you take for granted,” Hendricks said. “Although our event can’t take place this year, we have grown as a committee and organization and have learned a lot. This only gives us motivation to make next year’s event bigger and better than ever before.”