No one attends Hobo Day wanting to sign petitions

DREW CARROLL Managing Editor


Hobo Day is a time for relaxation and fun. This year the Brookings County Democrats tried to take that away from hobos throughout town.

During the Hobo Day Parade on Saturday, the Brookings County Democrats organized a concentrated effort to collect signatures on a petition to put a cap of 36 percent interest on payday loans and another to establish a non-partisan redistricting committee. I personally feel like trying to collect signatures for petitions at a college homecoming event, especially our beloved Hobo Day, is quite unprofessional and should not be done for a few different reasons.

The first reason is the fact that the petitioners are trying to get these issues voted on by South Dakota voters. The current student body is made of up of roughly 60 percent South Dakota residents and about 40 percent of the student body is from places other than South Dakota. So in turn, there is a decent chance that the petitioners could have encountered students and alumni who may not be residents of South Dakota at the parade, and therefore, the people collecting signatures would have had to say, “Oh, sorry, you can’t actually sign these petitions because you aren’t a South Dakota resident.” I can’t specifically put myself in the shoes of an out-of-state resident since I hail from basically the exact middle of the better side of South Dakota, but if I would be an out-of-stater that got approached by these petitioners and then have them tell me that I couldn’t sign their petition, I would probably feel like my opinion didn’t matter to them.

So going back the point of how I am a South Dakota resident, and more importantly an SDSU student, I have a slight understanding of how people celebrate Hobo Day. One thing I know for sure about the celebration of Hobo Day, or any college homecoming for that matter, is that the celebrators like to consume alcohol. One trend that I have heard about that took place this Hobo Day week was the 103-beer challenge to celebrate the 103rd Hobo Day. I don’t know if the leaders of the Brookings County Democrats realize what alcohol does to the judgment of those who consume it. The last I knew, if one single person tried to drink 103 beers during Hobo Week, their judgment would be fairly impaired by Saturday morning. I realize that not all of the people the petitioners may have encountered on Saturday at the parade were attempting the 103-beer challenge, but many could have gotten fairly intoxicated on Friday night and still had impaired judgment, along with a major headache, on Saturday morning. Another thing that these petitioners probably overlooked is the fact that people attending the parade could have partaken in Kegs and Eggs at Cubby’s on Saturday morning.

The last reason that this attempt by the Brookings County Democrats to collect signature on their petitions at the parade infuriates me is that the entire celebration of Hobo Day should be a time for students and alumni who are celebrating to just relax and not have to worry about any political issues. Homecomings should be a time to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. They should also be a time to look back at the history of the university and enjoy the traditions that come along with the homecoming celebration. For SDSU and Hobo Day, that history and those traditions are very strong and pull students, alumni and the community together. People at the parade should have been focusing on celebrating the history and traditions of Hobo Day and rallying together as one to support the football team as they played in their slightly embarrassing loss that day. By having to worry about signing a petition on Hobo Day, it could have pulled people with different opinions on these issues apart when they should have been uniting as one SDSU.

Although I know Hobo Day is commonly known as the largest one-day event in the Dakotas, I don’t think it was the right place for petitions to be signed. Just because it’s the largest one-day event in the Dakotas doesn’t mean that everyone celebrating the event is eligible to sign the petition, and many of those who are eligible to sign the petitions were probably not in the right state of mind to sign a petition. Hobo Day should also be a time for students and alumni to relax and have fun and not have to have an opinion on political issues. So to the Brookings County Democrats, next time you decide it’s a good idea to try and collect petitions at any event associated with Hobo Day, you should probably think again.

Drew Carroll is the managing editor for The Collegian and can be reached at dcarroll@sdsucollegian. com