column: Quad Day’s not all it’s cracked up to be

If you’re a freshman or new student, there’s a good chance Quad Day has been hammered into your head several times already. The popular event is a gathering place for all of the registered student organizations to set up booths and recruit as many members as possible through coercion and over-enthusiastic yelling and screaming.

As much as RSOs try to hype up the event as a place where students can make new friends, join their favorite organizations and get to know the campus, there is just no ignoring the problems and complications that plague Quad Day.

For starters, it may well be the most chaotic day of the year, barring Unofficial. RSO booths are crammed into every square inch of land available as packs of confused and anxious freshmen wander around aimlessly, trying to find some random club to join simply because it seems like a good thing to do.

But does anyone actually get anything out of Quad Day? Granted, if you really take the time to walk around to every single booth and interrogate the hapless volunteers about the ins and outs of their clubs, I suppose you’d come away with a lot more trivia about basket weaving and club sports then you did before.

But by the time school rolls around and you’re caught up in class and other activities, it’s pretty doubtful that you’ll be able to participate in the 20 clubs you signed up for.

I distinctly recall three things about the Quad Day I attended: the heat, the crowd and the complete waste of time it turned out to be. As a freshman from a small school in the Chicago suburbs with two days of college life under my belt, it was completely overwhelming to see thousands of people swarming the Quad.

I barely had my things unpacked! How was I supposed to find a cool group of people to hang out with in this huge, garbled mess?

After only a couple of hours of circling around and signing up for e-mail lists at random, I staggered back to my friend’s residence hall and promptly collapsed on the sofa, having gained nothing except for a couple of cups and a funky magnet.

At the end of the day, the concept behind Quad Day is a noble one: promoting RSOs and letting new students know what’s out there. However, the execution is downright terrible.

E-mailing students, holding informational meetings and posting signs around campus all week long just makes so much more sense than catcalling people on the sidewalk for hours on end.

Jill is a sophomore in Media.