Senior Bob Lallky came into this year’s Flunk Day with the benefit of experience, it being his third year of involvement in planning the event. He has become well accustomed to having to keep the highly sought after date secret.
“It’s a lot of fun at first ‘cause everyone’s like ‘when is it, when is it, when is it?’ It kinda gets old, down the line, but I enjoy it a lot,” Lallky said. “I think it’s easy to keep it secret personally … you get used to it after just making sure it’s always tomorrow.”
Lallky saw his previous Flunk Day experience as particularly helpful with keeping on track with the timeline, allowing him to plan further in advance and avoid stress.
“Last year it was way more stressful than this year, especially negotiating with music artists,” Lallky said. “They’re not always super timely in getting their emails back and relaying [information] … so that’s stressful.”
In addition to the stress entailed in booking a music act, Lallky also had to be concerned with ensuring emails related to the booking and contracts were only sent to him and Coordinator of Student Engagement Andrew Salemi.
“That’s how stuff slips out and then it’s not a secret any more,” Lallky said.
The Flunk date is elected near the end of Winter Term or early in Spring Term by UB members. Once relayed to him, the duty falls on Lallky and his committee — made up of senior Brittany Downer and junior Leah Rymer — to begin calling vendors and talent acts.
They worked with a $45,000 budget, which they used completely. The only element of Flunk Day that did not come out of the budget was the appearance by comedian Troy Walker, which was a rescheduling of an appearance that had originally been set for Winter Term before being delayed by weather.
Lallky and his committee had also aspired to use their budget both this year and last to diversify the ride options.
“I like to keep it fresh — everyone raved about the mechanical shark. So going forward I think having a mechanical bull, mechanical shark is a good thing,” he said.
Acknowledging the disappointment over the weather conditions of this year’s Flunk Day, Lallky expressed feeling ultimately satisfied with how Flunk Day went regardless.
“I can’t control the weather, and the date’s picked so far in advance that no one else really knows what it’s going to be like either. It could have snowed, being Illinois …” Lallky said. “ …This was the only Flunk Day in four years for me that was indoors. So, I mean, we got what we could’ve asked for.”
Lallky further emphasized that he was satisfied with the date of this year’s Flunk Day because it met the goal of being an inclusive date for the campus.
“If anyone wants to give me flack for it I’m like, well, it’s everyone is able to be involved this year. In years past a couple of athletic teams weren’t able to be involved,” Lallky said. “With Ramadan being a little earlier this year if it had been a later Flunk it could have fallen during Ramadan, and that could have been bad for the Muslim student population here.”
Lallky expressed pride in his record of Flunk Days, believing Union Board and his committee delivered two strong Flunks. He touted the booking of Hoodie Allen last year and Smallpools this year for being in his opinion among the biggest musical acts Knox has had.
“I thought Smallpools’ performance was awesome. They were super genuine people, really nice. They sounded incredible,” Lallky said. “The comedian was super packed. I mean the Gizmo was standing room only so that was really cool to see.”
With the mantle of Flunk Day planner being passed next year to junior Courtney Pletcher, Lallky offered advice to future Flunk Day planners.
“Just make sure that you stay on top of it, don’t let it pile up … and just have fun with it, don’t worry about what other people think, because you’re not going to please everyone ever,” Lallky said. “… Just know that you always know the date and that’s a lot of fun to know and a lot of power on this campus.”