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D-Days Committee Puts in a Year Worth of Prep

The Dakota Days Executive Committee started planning the week of D-Days months in advance as they figured out how to create the most memorable week for students, faculty, alum and anyone else involved. 

Ntombi Ngeleka, the President of the executive committee, said the goal of D-Days is to bring people together through their events.

“Our purpose is to create a fun environment for the students on campus. We want to transform the campus to create a memorable experience,” Ngeleka said.

Ngeleka said they began their process of the Dakota Days Executive Committee a couple of weeks following last year’s D-Days. Elections for the committee were at the end of 2021. Following that, the committee was announced in January and the planning began in the spring. 

Most of their planning involved creating events that will engage the community and give them the best experience possible. Ngeleka said a question they focused their creations around was, “What traditions will stick in the future?”

The executive committee chose to bring back traditions from the past that seemed to be favorites of the community which included the parade, Yotes got Talent and the street dance. This year, they created new events with the hope of turning them into traditions such as Paint the MUC Red and the First Annual Dakota Palooza. 

“On this committee and at the events, we want everyone to have fun and not make it feel like a job,” Ngeleka said. “My favorite part about Dakota Days is working with my team and seeing our hard work fall into action.”

The executive committee has specialized positions which include the President, Vice President, marketing coordinator, royalty coordinator and parade coordinator. Rachel Spinks, the royalty coordinator, said she enjoys having a specialized role for the experience.

Spinks said the behind the scenes of her position included making sure the Royalty nominees were eligible, conducting interviews and organizing the voting. Spinks said she enjoys creating her part of D-Days. 

“I wanted to be a part of the committee because Dakota Days is a very unique celebration for the Vermillion community. I love to see both the community and school get involved and I wanted to help create that atmosphere,” Spinks said. 

Ngeleka said the most rewarding part of being on the executive committee was watching the week play out, seeing the outcome of the events and receiving a large turnout at the events. 

“Come celebrate with us, enjoy time with other USD students, connect with others and be a part of a memorable experience,” Ngeleka said.