Hobo Day Committee talks new strategies

Pat Bowden Reporter


 In order to relieve stress on its members and enable efficient planning, Grand Pooba Scott DesLauriers has reinvented part of the 2014 Hobo Day committee structure in order to create a more ideal Hobo Day planning team. 

DesLauriers, a returning member, selected the committee himself, and has included a brand new marketing team that he claims will allow the rest of the committee to focus on their responsibilities to Hobo Day. 

“For marketing I introduced a three person marketing team, which has never been done before. I’m really excited for what the marketing team has in store for Hobo Day,” DesLauriers said. “My goal for Hobo Day 2014 is [for it] to be bigger and grander than the previous year, and to ensure that it becomes not only a century old tradition, but a tradition for the next century.” 

The marketing team is comprised of overseer Assistant Grand Pooba, Kaylen Larson, an External Communications Coordinator, Madelin Mack, and an Internal Communications Coordinator, Elliot Johnson. 

“Since there hasn’t really been a marketing plan in the past, I am really focusing on developing an actual plan and generating more regional outreach,” Larson said. “If we really want this to once again be the “Biggest Event in the Dakotas,” then we have to market it like it’s the biggest event in the Dakotas.” 

Contrasting to previous years where the committee might have worked on planning and coordinating as a whole, separate divisions within the committee are now more evident with their individual goals. 


 “It’s really cool because Scott’s done a great job of redoing the committee; There are three defined teams this year, and we’re doing more to keep everyone updated,” Assistant Grand Pooba of Events and entrepreneurial studies junior Matilyn Kerr said. “I feel like the events can get to be a lot more exciting because we can focus on it more.”

Alongside the highlight of a new marketing team, this will be the Hobo Day parade’s 100-year anniversary, which has the Bands Coordinator excited to try and make this the largest parade to date in terms of band participation. 

“It’s a huge honor and I’m psyched to be part of such a rich history. It hit me last year this is a really cool tradition to be a part of, and that it’ll open a lot of roads for you so I’m really excited,” Bands Coordinator Corey Chicoine said. “I’m excited for the entire parade, and as band coordinator I’m trying to hit the all time high for high school bands. We have to dream big and aim for the stars and get things rolling.”

Since 2012, Hobo Day has been separate from UPC, who previously ran it. Being only the third year on their own, the Hobo Day Committee is still learning the ropes of being a completely student-led organization, according to DesLauriers.

“The University is at a point where it can choose if it wants to continue its upward trajectory of Hobo day. In 2011 Hobo Day looked a lot differently, and it needed more student engagement from being run by UPC,” DesLauriers said. “In 2012, the committee was standalone for the first time as the 100-year anniversary, but that was definitely a learning period for us. We needed more people and were stressed all of the time.”

According to Kerr, the committee hopes to make new connections this year that will greatly benefit the future of Hobo Day, even though immediate results might not be seen.

“We have a lot bigger events planned and student organizations have been taking those parade grants seriously since it’s the 100-year anniversary of the parade … It’s a reflective process to the most bang out of our buck. We have a lot planned for this year and I’m excited to see what happens,” Kerr said.

Larson has similar views to Kerr’s, and thinks that the number of returning members to the committee will help the group know what needs to be accomplished to have a successful Hobo Day.

“Although you will definitely see much of the Hobo Day tradition carried out, events will be refreshed and improved in order to create a better experience for more students throughout the entire week leading up to Hobo Day,” Larson said. “With a more strategic marketing plan and a few new ideas, we are anticipating larger participation numbers and a more uplifting Hobo Day atmosphere.”

Like other members on the committee, DesLauriers said that his college career has been largely defined through his participation of Hobo Day. In fact, he said he would have already graduated in December if it had not been for his aspirations to run for Grand Pooba.

“After parade day, I walked away knowing I wasn’t done with Hobo Day. It’s really the culminating event, and that’s why I ran for Grand Pooba … It’s incredibly humbling, and also an awesome responsibility to have,” DesLauriers said. “For a lot of people Hobo Day is a day that comes and goes, but for us it’s a day where the current students and alumni can come together  for one day to celebrate.”