Few details released in developing alternates to cancelled Spring Fling

Little information has been released about a possible alternative to Spring Fling that was promised by the university when officials cancelled the tradition, citing excessive drinking and poor class attendance.

Temple Student Government, which will work along with Student Activities to come up with a program,  held an open forum with students to discuss ideas for a replacement.

“I am now reaching out to different leaders of various communities within the student body to hear their direct input,” Student Body President Darin Bartholomew said.

Chris Carey, the director of Student Activities for the university, said in an email that students “have the chance to contribute ideas at weekly meetings for Main Campus Program Board. The department has brainstormed ideas as well, and will be in touch with some other departments and students for ongoing feedback and planning.”

Carey stressed that events decided upon by the university would be an “alternative” to the cancelled Spring Fling, rather than a replacement.

“I think the most important thing is to ensure that any event or series of events does not negatively impact class attendance,” Bartholomew said. “Beyond the concerns about alcohol, there was a real legitimate concern about the academic impact of a day where classes are skipped and often cancelled.”

In addition to TSG and Student Activities,  MCPB, which oversees  the planning for events such as Homecoming, is expected to have a role in finding alternative activities.

Talia Banks, the president of MCPB, said her organization has had minor discussions with Carey and the  Student Activities office, but have yet to begin formal discussions over the planning for future events.

Spring Fling 2014 was cancelled at the start of the semester following a review by university administrators prompted by President Theobald during the summer.

“It’s kind of been hijacked by a group of people that make this into a bacchanal, a drinking fest,” Theobald said in August. “We’re not involved in that.”

This year’s Spring Fling was marred by the death of 19-year-old West Chester University student Ali Fausnaught, who fell from the roof of an off-campus row house where she had been with Temple students.

However, university officials denied that Fausnaught’s death led them to cancel the event.

Spring Fling was started more than 20 years ago when the university was by a large majority a commuter school for students to spend the day on Main Campus and visit tents advertising various student organizations.

In recent years, officials said they had become concerned that the event acted more as a drinking holiday for students, many of whom now live in the blocks immediately surrounding Main Campus. While professors were encouraged to hold classes as scheduled, many students took the day as an opportunity to skip and take part in the festivities.

Spring Fling was typically held on the third Wednesday in April. There is no word on when a possible alternative would be held.

John Moritz and Logan Beck can be reached at news@temple-news.com. 

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