Brenda Flanagan passed out handfuls of candy to senators at Tuesday night’s Student Government senate meeting. It was candy she didn’t get to use during the Homecoming Parade.Flanagan told the senate that the College of Engineering’s float was denied access to participate in the parade.
“The Society of Automotive Engineers put in a request for the parade float,” Flanagan said. “And as far as we knew, we were in the parade.”
Flanagan said that on the day of the parade, the group arrived around 5:15 p.m., only to be told that they couldn’t participate in the parade five minutes prior to the start.
“They couldn’t find our registration and wouldn’t allow us in the parade because we had no forms,” she said.
Flanagan said the committee refused to get the forms the engineers needed to participate in the parade.
Flanagan also said she had no knowledge of a confirmation form that was supposed to be given to all applicants.
April Sager, chairwoman for the parade, said there were too many forms to sign with only minutes from the start time of the parade on Friday.
“All participants had to fill out a registration form, a liability form and a copy of an insurance form,” Sager said. “It is not a 20-minute process.”
Sager said the rules and regulations said all applicants should receive an entry card. But do to the change in route and time constraints, the entry card was not used. However, Sager said phone calls were made to all 90 applicants.
Sager said no one in the Campus Activities Board and Homecoming office received a registration form from the College of Engineering and therefore had no record of the application.
“Everyone in the office has a close knit to one another and knows what is going on and what a parade form looks like,” she said.
Sager also said her committee called all the participants two and three times to verify, especially after the parade route was changed. She said she heard the College of Engineering called the day of the parade to get more details on where the parade was. Sager also said the person answering the phone was telling people who called about the parade that it was still going on despite the weather conditions.
Flanagan said after all the time and effort she and the group put into the float, they should be given an apology by the Homecoming Committee. The group spent approximately $500 and took a week to build the float.
“There was no other student representation of the College of Engineering,” Flanagan said.
Yet, Sager said there was another representative of the college.
“They had a 1916 Baker Electric car in the parade,” she said. “College of Engineering I considered that representation.”Alicia Slater Hasse, director of development for the College of Engineering, processed all the paperwork for the car to be in the parade.
Flanagan just wanted her questions answered.”We just want to find out why and who made the decision to say no,” she said. “We are all human, and maybe we should have made copies.”
Sager said after she and her committee looked for the papers, her adviser, Julie Wilcox made the final decision.Sager said Flanagan and the group also suggested a better check-in process for the applications and that all applicants receive a form telling them they are a parade participant.
“We are 100 percent behind that suggestion,” Sager said. “We are always open to suggestions.”
Flanagan and other engineering senators asked how they could attend a meeting to make suggestions. The committee said they have an open forum in the spring for the student body to make suggestions about Homecoming.
“We all feel very sorry for what happen and we have no doubt that the College of Engineering worked very hard on that float and spent a lot of money on it,” Sager said. “But people have to understand that we have serious liability issues, especially five minutes before the parade, and we did want them in the parade.”
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