Quad Day Postponed in Response to Threat of EEE Virus

Andover’s annual Quad Day has been postponed due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)–a neurological virus transmitted through mosquitoes that is especially “high risk” at dusk. Because the event planned to take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m on Sunday, September 29, the West Quad North (WQN) and West Quad South (WQS) cluster deans made the collective decision to postpone and notified students on September 28 via email.

Quad Day was originally scheduled to include games such as inflatable slides, dunk tanks, and gladiator jousts. Though the activities would have ended at the scheduled 6:00 p.m., the Quad Day supervisors would continue to clean the grounds past the deadline and students would likely continue to socialize outdoors. Both the supervisors and faculty would be at risk of receiving EEE in this situation.

“The biggest attraction of Quad Day is the dinner, and if the event were to end at 6:00 p.m., dinner would be served in [Paresky Commons]. Kicking people out at 6:00 p.m. from Quad Day just seemed strange. We wish we had thought this through earlier, but we had hoped that at this time, EEE wouldn’t be a factor. [WQN Cluster] Dean [Martha] Fenton and I made the ultimate decision to postpone Quad Day,” said Amy Candelario Escobar, Cluster Dean of WQS.

According to Abigail Ndikum ’20, WQS Co-President, it is important that Andover incorporates Quad Day in the campus programming, despite the circumstances, due to the event’s relaxed ambiance facilitates unity and fellowship.

“Quad Day is important because it not only brings the Quads together–West Quad North and West Quad South–but it also brings the entire campus together over games, food, and fun. Quad Day is always a wonderful time for me because I always go with my friends and we walk around each one of the stands. We had stencil glitters and we played Mario Kart by Rockwell [House] last year. It was just a really fun time and I always remember it since my [Junior] year as a time for people to come together,” said Ndikum.

The logistics of Quad Day were already organized when the news of the cancellation was sent out, according to WQS Co-President Eamon Garrity-Rokous.

“I was a little disappointed because we prepared for the whole thing and we were all ready to go, but they sent an email out to all the people organizing it the day before that there wasn’t going to be Quad Day the next day. I was a little bummed out.” said Garrity-Rokous. “The original plans for Quad Day were we would have it end an hour earlier than last year so it wouldn’t reach dusk when everyone was finally cleaning up out. But still, because of the risk of EEE, they decided to cancel it anyway. All of it was ready,” said Garrity-Rokous.

Fenton and Candelario are working on ensuring a make-up Quad Day. Candelario hopes to host a Beach Day in the spring season that will accomodate activities that are equivalent to those planned for Quad Day. Dinner will be provided on the make-up day, which would not have been possible had this event taken place in the fall.

“We would like to move Quad Day to the spring. We plan to have a beach day and still provide dinner and student-created activities. Also, by spring, the Quad dorms will have had enough time to make a collective decision about which activity they want to bring. We feel students understand why Quad Day has been postponed (because of ongoing EEE threats) and are not too upset. Most of the activities that the dorms have planned for Quad Day can still be incorporated in the spring,” said Candelario.