Career Fair, Dance Marathon displaced by Athletic Complex renovations

Manvitha Marni & Noa Yadidi | Student Life Reporters

Due to the current Athletic Complex renovations, Dance Marathon and Wednesday’s Fall Career Fair have found homes outside the AC for the 2014-15 school year. Dance Marathon has moved to the Danforth University Center while the Career Fair has relocated to Mallinckrodt Center and Umrath Lounge.

Dance Marathon, the culmination of a year-long fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and the Career Fair both have annual attendances in the hundreds. In 2014, Dance Marathon will be held at Washington University for the 16th time.

Although organizers do not expect any disruption to their events as a result of the move, students not attending might have to alter their schedules because the DUC will be closed the day of Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon organizers found out that the event’s location this year would be moved to the DUC before last year’s Dance Marathon.

“The AC was such a good friend to us, and they were so helpful all of our years that we were there,” junior and Dance Marathon Internal Director Melissa Tucker said. “Obviously, when we found out that they were not going to be available to us, it was a little bit of a surprise and a little bit of a ‘Well, now what?’”

For the event, a moving company will remove the furniture from Tisch Commons and Dains Dining Hall, except for tables bolted to the ground. Event Coordinator Peggy Dixon, who has been working with Dance Marathon executive board members to plan the event, said that the changes were intended to preserve the spirit of Dance Marathon—at which attendees are encouraged not to sit down—although not all seating in the DUC can be removed.

The dance floor will be set up in Tisch Commons, with food being served in Dains Dining Hall. Games will be held on the second floor.

Tucker said that planning Dance Marathon in the DUC required the executive board to make several decisions about how to adapt the event to a new space and allowed it to explore new activities.

“It’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of, ‘Well, what do we do because we’ve done it the same way for all of these years in this spot?’ but it’s an exciting challenge and hopefully increases our visibility and increases our opportunities,” Tucker said.

Dixon said the DUC will be closed on Saturday, Nov. 15, for Dance Marathon and will open late the next day to allow for cleanup and furniture moving.

The organizers considered holding the event in other places, but none was feasible options, senior and Executive Director Christy Marx said. Other options included parking garages or off-campus locations, which would have made it more difficult to get people to come.

“I think, if anything, it’s going to push our numbers bigger and improve the event because we’re going to be more central on campus,” junior and Executive Director Katie Caul said. “I think because it is such a new thing for the DUC to be closed down, people will be intrigued just by that aspect and will want to come check it out.”

Tucker noted that communication is going to be more interesting this year because not everyone will be in one room like in the past.

“It gives us a lot more opportunities to do things that we haven’t been able to in the past,” Marx said. “It’s a challenge, but it also will hopefully make the event a lot better and more inclusive to everyone who wants to come.”

Mark Smith, director of the Career Center, said that the Career Center had been preparing for the move to Mallinckrodt and Umrath by adding smaller recruiting events throughout the year.

Smith also said he believes that hosting the Career Fair in Mallinckrodt and Umrath would not affect students or employers in attendance.

“The improvements to the AC are not going to affect the quality of the students at Washington University, and that’s what the employers are most interested in,” he said.

Marx said that organizers are not sure whether Dance Marathon will return to the AC once the renovations are complete in fall 2016 but hopes the group will be able to remain in the DUC until then if the event goes well.

“It’s a mix of fear and excitement because…how are we going to work it out? But also, what are all these great things we can do now?” Tucker said.

Smith said the Career Center plans to host its Spring Career Fair in Mallinckrodt and Umrath as well.

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