Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

51° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Despite delay, DM dancers signing up faster than last year

Students are registering for Dance Marathon at a faster pace than last year, according to Zack Hall, the philanthropy’s co-chairman. Registration kicked off last week.

As of Tuesday, 460 students signed up during the three registration days. Hall said it usually takes a week or more to fill the 500 spots.

Co-chairwoman Emily Wessel said she attributes the rapid pace to the fact DM will benefit a social charity for the first time this year and because of the enthusiasm of longtime supporters.

“I do think that a social charity has brought attention to groups that previously have not been involved in DM,” said Wessel, a Weinberg senior.

She added that the social charity has attracted various culture-based student groups, including the Latino student group Alianza.

“This is really exciting, because we want our dance floor to resemble the makeup of Northwestern’s student body,” Wessel said. “The more diverse, the better.”

Students were required to turn in registration packets and $75 per couple before putting their names on the sign-up sheet. Each couple must raise $750 by Feb. 27, 2003.

Registration operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Packets are available at the DM office on the third floor of Norris University Center.

Included in the registration packets is a special section pertaining to DM participant volunteering. DM leaders said they hope dancers will volunteer for the original beneficiary, Midtown Educational Foundation, a Chicago organization that provides mentoring and tutoring low-income students.

DM recently changed beneficiaries from Midtown to the Chicago Urban Youth Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship money to students instead of to the organization. The switch was made after student concerns arose about the Midtown ties to the faith-based group Opus Dei.

DM considered requiring dancers to volunteer for two hours. But leaders said they realize they cannot ask students to commit to volunteering because of the change in beneficiary.

The purpose of volunteering is to make dancers aware of what they are raising money for, said Eddy Ameen, DM’s outreach committee co-chairman.

“The point is not the cash and how much money we raise but to tell students the amazing power of philanthropy,” said Ameen, a Weinberg senior. “All of the dancers so far have been really supportive.”

“We can’t expect (Midtown) to give us that commitment without being our primary beneficiary,” Ameen said. “Additionally, we can’t focus solely on (Midtown) now and expect dancers to put in this time.”

But Ameen said the outreach committee must wait until they can read all dancer applications and gauge the level of student commitment to volunteerism. The packets include questions about how many hours students can dedicate to volunteering and how comfortable they are with volunteering at the charity.

In addition to volunteer opportunities, DM leaders also want to host various special events leading up to the main event March 7 to 9. Ideas include a date auction, a 5K race, a battle of the bands and bar nights, said Steph Haase, special events committee co-chairwoman.

“We want people to focus on DM throughout the year,” said Haase, a Communication senior. “We want people who aren’t even involved in DM to learn about it.”

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Despite delay, DM dancers signing up faster than last year