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The University Badly Planned The Eclipse Event

Matthew Biadun | Staff Editor

Eastern’s community came together Monday for a rare eclipse; the kind that only comes around about every twenty years. A truly staggering amount of Eastern students came out on the lawn outside of Webb Hall. In terms of campus participation, it is one of the most numerically successful events in recent memory.

However, the success of this event is really in spite of the University administration, rather than in favor of it. The distribution of Eclipse glasses was egregious. Despite the line snaking from the library back to Webb Hall itself, an immense shortage of glasses had been purchased. Not only that, the glasses were not passed out in an orderly fashion, like the line that had formed leading up to the library. Rather, a mass of students trampled over one another to grab a pair as distribution began. Many complained later on Fizz that it was a safety hazard.

Indeed, Fizz became a common space for venting about the event. The platform was overwhelmed by complaints about the organization or glasses. There was some good news, as students entertainingly posted pictures of cats wearing Eclipse glasses as well. However, the mood was in its constitution poor and discontented.

Spirits had been very high during the event itself. Blankets were laid over the lawn in a picnic-esque fashion, while other students sat up on the library overlook. Many students played music, or talked amongst friends. At the moment, students overwhelmingly enjoyed the Eclipse, sharing glasses (or unfortunately squinting) to see it. Many staff and faculty were also in attendance.

In the coming days and weeks, pictures of this event will no doubt be paraded around Eastern’s social media and advertising. While there is nothing wrong with this in of itself, the University should also reflect on this experience in the future. Obviously, the University should buy more glasses next time an eclipse comes along. However, they should also do a better job at gauging student interest in general. It was obvious to anyone who looked that students were very excited to go see the Eclipse. Yet, the Eastern administration failed to see this excitement, and thus failed to adequately plan for the event.

It makes sense that Eastern doesn’t want to overspend on events that will not pay back. After all, Eastern students have fairly low engagement at events. So it makes sense to be wary about spending money that won’t pay off in attendance. However, Eastern should also take care to properly plan and support events with obvious support, like the Eclipse.


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