After being rescheduled from March 23 to May 4, the “Tigerfest” carnival was cancelled by Wilson administration. A series of interviews with SGA members and staff found that the delays and eventual cancellation were primarily caused by a lack of preparedness by the Student Government Association (SGA).
Tigerfest was intended to be a school carnival, full of games, activities, and merchandise. These carnival games were to be orchestrated and hosted by Wilson clubs; the SGA was also planning on getting food trucks and rental equipment to support the event. All proceeds would go to the family of Jamahri Sydnor, a Wilson senior who was lost to a stray gunshot last August.
Before the first delay, SGA President Georgia Woscoboinik described the purpose behind the event. “We’ve noticed that school spirit tends to quickly die down after homecoming week, and we think hosting more events in the spring will help solve this problem. We also hope that this will become an annual event that will make SGA a more prominent presence,” she said.
In early March, not enough members of SGA stated they would be able to attend the original Tigerfest date on March 23, as many students had already left for spring break. SGA decided to move the date of Tigerfest to May 4.
However, at an SGA meeting two weeks before May 4, nothing had been planned. Few juniors worked with clubs to sponsor Tigerfest activities and the seniors had not begun to rent equipment or contact food trucks. In an attempt to get extra time, SGA sought administrative approval to move Tigerfest to May 23, but their request was rejected.
“[SGA] did not have a concrete plan in place and the SGA sponsors and the administration decided to cancel it. The reason why that happened is because the elected officers have never been properly trained to plan and execute big projects like that,” explained SGA’s sponsor, Simona Spicciani-Gerhardt.
Part of the problem was that organization was segmented into three task forces: seniors were in liaison with non-school organizations and were in charge of purchases, and juniors were supposed to sign clubs up to lead games. Sophomore and freshman members of SGA were in charge of planning spirit week, but were initially only assigned the job of advertising for Tigerfest.
Multiple members of the SGA complained that many of the seniors and juniors in charge of planning Tigerfest failed to attend meetings or show commitment. Seniors, they said, were almost never present, and only a few juniors attended. The source lambasted ‘senioritis’ within the SGA. “It’s one week until Tigerfest and seniors aren’t showing up,” the source stated.
Spicciani-Gerhardt said that SGA has learned a lot from its failure to execute Tigerfest. Next school year, SGA will be divided into three groups: the Executive Board, the Executive Council, and the General Assembly. The restructuring is intended to clarify the often convoluted delegation of authority within student government and create a smaller, more efficient task-force to plan events.
SGA is now focused on fundraising for the family of Jamahri Sydnor, who was originally supposed to receive the profits made from Tigerfest.