Opinion: Stop the Dancing, Start the Healing, and Cancel DM
In 1975, Northwestern students began Northwestern Dance Marathon, an annual event that has gone on to be a pillar of our university’s identity. It’s been 43 years since the original fundraiser first came into this world in the sweaty bowels of Blomquist. A lot has happened in that time: the Berlin Wall fell, the internet was created, Flappy Bird came and went. The world has changed in ways we could have never imagined. Yet, we still place thousands of students in a tent in hopes of making the world a better place. To the people of Northwestern, I write to you today to urge decisive action: let’s close the tent and open our eyes--let’s cancel Dance Marathon.
Let’s be clear: we have no qualms with NUDM or the wonderful people who run it, at least none that we’re aware of. Maybe we got dumped by one of them one time, but that’s not what this is about. The truth is we don’t hate philanthropy. We don’t hate dancing. We just don’t see why they have to go hand-in-hand.
For many students, NUDM is a pillar of their Wildcat experience. They want to dance and they want to make an impact. But why must they go hand-in-hand? The year is 2017. We can order tacos from little electronic blocks of metal we keep in our pockets. Surely there must be a way to raise over one million dollars without blindly thrusting body parts until your bones feel like spaghetti.
Fortunately, there is. Through our fundraising efforts, we’ll be able to make a difference and keep students from wasting away for a 10-block nightmare. We are so close to hitting our goal, and with your help, we can save these dancers. Morty promised us that Northwestern would remain a safe space. But 30 hours of forced dancing seems like the farthest thing from that. Let’s keep this school a bastion of freedom and avoiding real estate tax.
I know NUDM is starting just as we release this statement. By the time you’ve read this, hundreds of uncertain freshman and a plethora of Greek-affiliated upperclassmen will enter the tents of Cirque-du-soul-pain. But it’s not too late. If we can hit our one million, two hundred and one thousand, two hundred and seventeen dollar goal, we can just donate that to charity and stop the gyrating. We can still stop the dancing. We can still start the healing.
As the sun begins to set, I dream of a sunrise that illuminates a world with zero blocks and zero-hour-clubs.