After having missed the event during their senior years, recent alumni eye an opportunity to attend the anticipated spring festival.
After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, Green Key is returning to campus from May 19-21, accompanied by a new no-guest policy for the Programming Board concert except for members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021.
Similar to current students, ’20s and’ 21s can request a wristband to enter the concert through the Programming Board’s Eventbrite website. Eligible alumni can then pick up their wristbands on campus on either the Thursday or Friday before Green Key, according to director of student involvement David Pack.
Pack said the Programming Board’s event guest policy is an attempt to provide recent alumni with an experience they lost as a result of the pandemic.
“[The Programming Board] felt it was really important to be able to at least offer that opportunity to the ’20s and’ 21s who had missed their Green Key, ”he said.
Emma Elsbecker ’24, the concerts director of the Programming Board, said that coming back for Green Key will be a way for these students to make up a “big tradition at Dartmouth that they didn’t get to experience.”
“I think it’s kind of helping fill in some of those things that they missed during COVID,” she said.
Elsbecker said that she anticipates alumni will return to Hanover for Green Key, and she believes that they will be eager for a “big reunion.” Elsbecker added that Green Key is a way for recent alumni to reunite with peers, many of whom they may not have seen since the onset of the pandemic.
The decision to only allow the two most recent graduating classes back as guests is an effort by the Programming Board to protect the “future” of Green Key, Elsbecker said.
“The town hasn’t dealt with Green Key in a while, and we’re working with a new police force and fire force, so we want a Green Key that is safe and under control to ensure that it can continue to happen in future years, ”Elsbecker said.
Pack explained that the Programming Board’s goal this year is to be proactive to ensure that the town is “happy with the outcome” of the concert.
“In the pre-COVID years, the town has expressed concerns about the volume of attendance at the concert,” Pack said. “It stretches the community and safety resources of the town.”
The Programming Board’s ticketing method, which Elsbecker said requires intensive hours from student volunteers, is another factor contributing to the event’s restricted guest policy. With only a third of the volunteer workforce compared to previous years, Elsbecker said that the Programming Board feels that they “don’t have the student support to be able to do it in other ways.”
Tim Holman ’20, president of the 2020 Class Executive Committee, said that he is returning to campus for the event, adding that those coming back to Dartmouth are looking forward to reconnecting with friends that they haven’t seen in years.
Holman said he plans on “soaking up as much Dartmouth as possible” during a weekend that he views as a celebration of reunion and perseverance.
Katie Goldstein ’20, secretary of the 2020 Class Executive Committee, said that this opportunity gives alumni a chance to relive a memory that they weren’t able to experience in their senior year.
“I really hope’ 20s can take advantage of this opportunity, ”Goldstein said.
Goldstein did express disappointment that the logistical challenges of coming back to campus – which include securing housing and balancing work commitments – may prohibit many ’20s and’ 21s from attending Green Key.
“I do think it’s a great opportunity,” Goldstein said. “It’s just one that I do think comes with inevitable challenges.”