Everyone loves Dillo Day: it’s the one day that us Northwestern nerds get to act like our undeniably wilder state school friends. Morty even closes down the library so we can “get turnt” without the guilt of ignoring our obscene load of work. With the copious amounts of dorm drinking and unruly shenanigans, it’s inevitable that someone is going to have to be the “mom friend,” and this responsibility often falls on RAs and the Mayfest crew, who have seen the absolute best and worst of the student population on Dillo Day. Some of these Dillo Dads (or Daddies, if that’s your thing) are here to tell their stories.
RAs differ in motivation. Some do it out of love for the job and some, quite frankly, are in it for the free room and board. Despite these differences, most of them were probably not thinking about Dillo Day when they signed up, but boy, do they have things to say.
“Last year, the baseball team tried to break into Bobb,” says Chris Dungey, a Weinberg senior and former Bobb RA. Dungey proceeded to go above and beyond by “chasing them around the frat quad.” Most sports teams have their quirks and traditions – the hulking members of the Northwestern football team are usually riding tiny Vespas around campus, and apparently the baseball team enjoys running boisterously around the frat quad, being pursued by a particularly motivated RA.
While Dungey was getting a workout with the boys, most RAs were having a less exciting day. According to a former Plex RA who prefers to remain unnamed, Dillo Day depends on the attitude of your rounds partner. “If your partner doesn’t really care, it’s a really relaxed day. If your partner really likes being an RA, you’re in to write a lot of citations,” he says.
Being an RA on Dillo does come with certain perks, though. For this anonymous Plex RA, one particular story stands out: “When you’re in a dorm, you are only allowed to have as many bottles of alcohol as there are people, even if you’re legal,” he explains.
“Last year, my rounds partner and I ran into a group of four that had, like eight bottles of Svedka. I watched my partner dump two of the bottles into the toilet.” Unable to bear the wastefulness, he selflessly did some negotiating and grabbed the two bottles for later use. “I felt awful. Those poor dudes,” he adds, sounding convincingly dismayed.
While the RAs are off wrangling their many dorm children, the Mayfest staff spend their time chauffeuring the performers. It’s hard to tell who has the more difficult job.
Isabel Schwartz, a Medill senior, recalls one particular heart attack-inducing experience: “I’m a producer, so I handle contracts and logistics for a main stage artist. One time, one of my artists went missing during the festival,” – cue to Schwartz hastily driving around the Lakefill in a golf cart looking for a rogue musician. As many know, Dillo artists can be extremely unreliable – sometimes they take the stage an hour and a half late for the headliner show (looking at you MGMT), but hey, I’m not bitter.
In any case, Dillo is not easy for our Mayfest and RA heroes. This year, remember to give a Dillo Dad a hug – they sacrifice so much just so we can day drink to our heart’s content.