Deering Days releases exec board apps, starts planning process for next event

Ally Mutnick, Assistant Campus Editor

After launching its inaugural Wildcat Welcome BBQ event last quarter, Deering Days has released applications for its executive board and is planning another event for the winter on Deering Meadow.

Deering Days kicked off during Wildcat Welcome by collaborating with Associated Student Government, Greek councils and residence associations to host a three-hour concert featuring Northwestern music groups, food and $10,000 worth of free merchandise.

With the goal of hosting two similar large-scale collaborative events each quarter, the group is looking for chairs to head its public relations, fundraising and events, Deering Days president Noah Kane said.

“It was really successful,” the Weinberg sophomore said of the BBQ. “It was just a sign that it was a model that would work.”

The BBQ during Wildcat Welcome brought together 16 different student groups and University departments. Smaller student groups could set up tables at the event to publicize their organizations to students in attendance.

Although the group has not solidified plans for its next event, Kane said the new executive board will aim to collaborate with campus organizations to have one this quarter.

“The end goal, aside from just throwing cool events and having an awesome time, is that Northwestern has a much more central feeling of community that is kind of lacking,” Kane said.

The idea for Deering Days came from a School of Communication class offered each fall in which students devise solutions to campus issues. ASG Speaker Ani Ajith and his group came up with the idea as a way to strengthen the campus community and embrace new student organizations.

Ajith, Kane and ASG Vice President Brad Stewart worked together to organize the Wildcat Welcome BBQ before Kane took charge of the group. He said Deering Days will rely on the unallocated funding of the groups that they partner with until they become established enough to obtain ASG funding.

Kane said Deering Days can help student groups get access to a venue that is difficult to book for events.

“The fact that no other group has really been able to get access to Deering Meadow really puts us in a key position there,” Kane said.

Traditionally, Deering Meadow is used for University or alumni events, but not ones hosted by student groups, Ajith said.

“Deering is obviously very precious property — it’s in the heart of campus,” Ajith said. “It has, almost within living memory, never been used for students.”

Ajith said he and Stewart worked to build support in the University administration for several months before getting final approval for the BBQ from President Morton Schapiro and Eugene Sunshine, senior vice president of business and finance.

Sunshine said in an email to The Daily he would be open to working with the Deering Days group in the future to plan events on Deering Meadow. Approval for a booking depends on the event, its effect on Deering Meadow and the availability of alternative areas on campus.

“We want to allow maximum use of the meadow while minimizing lasting damage that can take a lot of time to fix and sometimes at great expense,” Sunshine said in the email.

Kane said he plans to continue to work with the Deering Days leadership, administration and campus groups and resources to bring more joint events to Deering Meadow.

“We just want people to be proud to go to Northwestern and to create that pride in some way,” he said. “This is a great way to do that.”