What is more important: fun or fundraising?

Hannah Feakes

Quinnipiac’s annual QTHON Dance Marathon was held in Burt Kahn court on Saturday. It was my first time participating in the event and I was really excited to meet the girl my team (Alpha Delta Pi) was sponsoring that night; her name was Olivia. We all got to the gym around 5 p.m. and signed in, got our t-shirts, met Olivia and learned the group dance that we would all be performing on every hour for the rest of the night. The event was fun, loud and energetic, and it felt really cool to be a part of something so amazing. It was awesome to meet and hang out with all the kids that the money we raised would be helping.

About halfway through the event, I overheard someone saying that there was “no one here.” Maybe it’s because it was my first time participating in QTHON and I had nothing to compare it to, but I also felt like there should have been a lot more people there. At the peak of the event, the gym was not even completely filled and a lot of people left before the committee announced how much money was raised. To all of you who didn’t stay, we surpassed our goal of $75,000 and raised over $115,000.

There’s only one explanation why people kept leaving…Toad’s. The event was held on a Saturday night from 5 p.m. to midnight. It all made sense, of course, there would people leaving in the middle of an event on a Saturday night. Who could miss one Saturday night at Toad’s?! Not QU students. What I do not understand is why so many people would rather go to Toad’s, just like every other Saturday night, than help bring awareness to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to Toad’s, and it’s a pretty good time. But I would much rather attend an event that is helping children have more birthdays and amazing experiences than once again “blacking out” at Toad’s. The $10 to get into the club and then the $15 on top of that for drinks is $25 that could help potentially save a child’s life.

After talking to the co Executive Director for QTHON, Chris Diaz, I realized that this year had a much better turnout than last year. He said that there were about 600 students in attendance last year (compared to 900 this year) and the event only raised $55,018 (compared to over $115,000 this year). According to Diaz, there were only 55 teams last year and 66 this year. I am happy that the attendance rate is increasing for this event, but I still was not impressed.

I have noticed this is a reoccurring theme with QU students. Events that are held on Saturday nights have fewer people in attendance than those events held Thursday and even Friday nights. It’s just not right. For example, Student Programming Board hosts a multitude of movie nights on Saturday featuring films such as “Inside Out,” “Mean Girls,” “Ted” and “Pitch Perfect.” When I have gone, the attendance rate is usually quite low. During the first semester on a Saturday night, SPB set up an inflatable movie screen and had free snacks and drinks outside on the Bobcat Lawn. Approximately 20 to 30 showed up to this event that SPB worked really hard to put on and make fun for students.

Although this was a significantly smaller event than QTHON, it has the same idea behind it. Why would students rather go to Toad’s than support university clubs and events? Or more importantly, why would students rather go to Toad’s than support the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and childhood cancer?

According to Toad’s Place, there were about 1,000 students at the club this past Saturday night. In comparison, at the beginning of the event, there were about 900 QU students filtering in and out at this year’s QTHON. When the clock struck midnight only half of those 900 students were still there. Cheers to the students who made teams and raised enough money to sponsor a child. You made their night. And for all of you who decided that Toad’s would be the best option that night, remember, QTHON was for the kids.