FlatTail Festival, DamJam2024 canceled due to ‘logistics and safety reasons’

Flat Tail Festival posters hang in the Student Experience Center plaza on May 17, where Dam Jam was set to take place that evening.
Flat Tail Festival posters hang in the Student Experience Center plaza on May 17, where Dam Jam was set to take place that evening.
Katie Livermore

Editor’s note: The organization that plans the Residence Hall Association Carnival was incorrect when first published. It has now been corrected.

After Oregon State University administration canceled FlatTail Festival, they now say the decision was based on safety and the protection of students.

On May 15, two days before the DamJam2024 concert featuring pop band COIN, OSU administration made the decision to cancel the FlatTail Festival.

The FlatTail Festival included the DAMJam2024, put on annually by the OSU Program Council, and the Residence Hall Association Carnival, put on by the Residence Hall Association.

The decision the administration came to was not an easy one, according to Damoni Wright, associate vice provost of student affairs and the executive director of Student Experiences & Engagement and Stephen Jenkins, associate vice provost of student affairs and executive director of University Housing and Dining Services.

Their statement was provided to the Barometer via email and is posted as a letter to the editor.

They said the desire to notify the community of this change came across rushed, but that the OSU administration understands the impact this decision has had on the OSU community and feel deeply for those whose celebrations have been altered.

“Logistically, we needed to be mindful of a handful of issues that were raised. As a university, we have a set number of resources aimed at promoting safety on our campus. We’ve made adjustments to ensure these resources are utilized in the best manner to assist in protecting students and community members,” Wright and Jenkins said in their email statement.

The reasons for “safety” and “protecting students” were not elaborated on in the statement.

For an event at this scale, Wright said that certain requirements needed to be met, the infrastructure needed, number of people attaining, predetermined contracts and timeframes that work for the business partners.

“After many conversations, it became clear that we did not have enough time or accessible options to move the event to another location or postpone to a different date, though we made multiple attempts,” Wright and Jenkins said in their email.

Wright and Jenkins said they made a point to express the administration’s gratitude to the student leaders for all of their work that went into planning this event.

“We are committed to our continued partnerships with student leaders in finding ways to bring this event back next year. We will also continue to engage with student leaders to create an event that invites broad student engagement while promoting safety for all those involved,” Wright and Jenkins said in their email.

OSUPC were not involved or invited to be involved in the decision to cancel FlatTail Festival. Instead, the decision was made by the OSU administration, said Saylor Dickerson, OSUPC’s coordinator and professional staff at Student Experiences and Engagement who helped plan this year’s festival.

Planning for DamJam2024 begins a year in advance, and OSUPC works heavily on the event throughout the school year, said Dickerson in an email.

“I have appreciated the support from the community that has acknowledged the hard work our student staff has put in,” Dickerson said. “The fact that DAM Jam means so much to OSU students is truly so incredible.”

Editor’s Note: To put transparency at the forefront of our coverage, these interviews were facilitated via email.

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