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Spring Fling must return to the UA

By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 28, 2000
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There seems to be some confusion over the purpose of Spring Fling lately.

Is it a carnival? Is it a fundraiser? Is it a high schoolers' parking lot party?

But the most important question is whether ASUA's only claim to fame is meant for the University of Arizona to enjoy, or simply reap the financial benefits.

Based on the lame funds the "biggest student-run carnival" brings in, and the head-shaking reaction the recent off-campus move invoked, the effort to put on Spring Fling for the students should be emphasized over the potential gains of catering to the rest of Tucson.

The recent crossroads for the Fling is a combination of extensive - alright, downright chafing - construction on the UA campus, and what seems to be a bit of greed. Of course, by greed, we mean the desire to actually turn a profit.

The construction of the Integrated Learning Center actually sent the Associated Students' operation to Rillito Downs. Initially, there was a concern that students without transportation wouldn't be able to attend, so shuttles were made available. And they made it free.

But all of our student government's concerns sort of dissapeared when record attendance filled the carnival! In fact, it filled it so much that several UA students were unable to get in. The gates were shut early, and the Downs were teeming with families and teen-agers.

Attendance and community reaction was so great, in fact, that there has been talk of keeping the fair off campus, even after the ILC is completed. If done right, ASUA could make a killing off of Tucson's commonly dull nightlife for youths.

Apparently, the theory here is that the Tucson community feels distant from the UA, and was uncomfortable visiting the Mall. If only this theory would hold true when those hyperactive Future Farmers of America kids invade the campus.

That UA students wouldn't be able to attend their own Spring Fling because the greater Tucson area had a carmel apple craving is ridiculous.

Some might call this theory elitist, or snobby or antisocial. But they are wrong. The fact is, Spring Fling is not about attendance, family or townies mingling with the college boys. It's one of the few successful and outstanding traditions the UA has. It is by the university, of the university and - that's right - for the university.

To say that the carnival's ultimate goals is to raise money for clubs just doesn't make sense. First, Spring Fling doesn't make that much money. A wiser investment would be to put the capital it takes to start the carnival into a good mutual fund.

Last year, the carnival lost money because of bad weather. This year, pending some possible mistakes in the numbers, the fair appears to have lost money again.

Whether the off-campus carnival ends up successful is unknown yet, but the fact remains that the Rillito Fling had some real problems - transportation, limited security and the above-mentioned lack of student focus.

Spring Fling belongs to the students. Let's not kick it off campus at the first distant hope of more money.

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