DM has its priorities straight this time

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By: HiLite Staff

On Feb. 23, one of the most emotional and inspirational fund-raisers that this school has to offer—Dance Marathon—will again take place. In the Feb. 22, 2007 issue of this newspaper, there was an editorial criticizing the student government for its perceived emphasis on raising more money instead of encouraging more people to attend Dance Marathon. The event, that editorial said, should be about the experience and not just about raising money. It should focus on encouraging the charity and helping the sick children. It should work to raise money, but it should not lose sight of the cause.

The money aspect, in other words, should be simply an added bonus to the event. This year, however, there is no need to criticize because the event organizers have taken several steps in the right direction.

This year, the obvious focus of the student government has been to gain more attendees and to try to get more underclassmen to become involved. This year, student government representatives have reminded students on the announcements that the goal for attendees is 600 students rather than emphasizing a dollar amount.

This year, Katie Overbeck, assistant student government sponsor, said that it is more important to get more dancers because anyone who participates in the event will want to do so next year, and student dancers, she said, learn that it feels good to help others.
Last year, only 385 students attended this event, which is only about 11 percent of the student body. And while the total amount of money raised is admirable, it is a pity that more people decided to stay home during something as remarkable as Dance Marathon.
But since the House and Senate have put their focus on the number of dancers—by having the call-out meeting during SRT, offering parking pass incentives, visiting each freshman SRT and encouraging others to join—the numbers have already shown growth. About 700 dancers turned in packets at the last dancer meeting on Jan. 25.

To compensate for the money, more effort has also gone into fund-raising and getting more corporate sponsors involved this year. Already there have been several events at restaurants such as Qdoba, Mongolian Barbeque, Chick-fil-A and Max n’ Erma’s. Hopefully these efforts pay off, but even if it’s a struggle at first, the emphasis away from individual contribution and toward more corporate and group involvement is also a step in the right direction.

The Senate and House have done an admirable job this year focusing on getting students involved in Dance Marathon. Hopefully, their efforts will pay off and more students will attend this astounding and possibly life-altering event.