Mac may be double booked

By Amy Lieberman

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan ’61 is set to speak at Macalester on April 22, a date also scheduled for Springfest, the Program Board’s annual daylong music festival.

But details for Annan’s visit are still in the works, said Sandy Hill, Assistant to the President, and are dependent on his tight schedule and necessary security. The tentative April 22 visit may not be confirmed until two or three weeks before the date.

Nevertheless, the vague nature of Annan’s plans may affect Springfest, which traditionally begins at noon and runs into the evening.

Springfest has yet to lay down any concrete plans, including what performers will be featured. And now, Springfest may need to reshuffle its time frame, or date. Springfest coordinatorr Spencer Edelman ’06 said while he and the Springfest committee are in very early planning stages, he remain unconcerned about how the event will unfold.

Assistant Director of Campus Programs Tara Stormoen echoed this sentiment. “In years past,” she said, “we haven’t been farther along than we are right now.”

Possibilities include splitting Springfest into Friday and Saturday nights, or moving Springfest a week forward or back. But Stormoen said they don’t have enough information on Annan’s visit, or on conflicts for alternative dates, to even know if a new date would work.

Hill said the April 22 date is most likely to remain, but details for his visit are far from finalized.

“It hasn’t really been put together. There are still so many unknowns,” Hill said. “It’s challenging planning major events at the last minute, but we may have to.”

Hill said when Annan last appeared at Macalester, as the 1998 commencement speaker, details for the event were still in the works that morning.

The uncertainty surrounding Kofi’s appearances, however, is something that Macalester is willing to accept in exchange for a visit from its favorite alum. “If the Secretary-General of the UN is on campus, his security and scheduling will obviously take priority. We will have to work around it or with it. We hope with it,” Edelman said.

Annan is scheduled to discuss global citizenship and leadership in Kagin Ballroom, which holds approximately 575 people. His speech will also be broadcasted to John B. Davis Hall, which holds 268, and Weyerhauser chapel, lending itself to around 400. Hill said admittance to Annnan’s speech will be conducted on a lottery basis. The speech will also be open to community members, staff and faculty.

Following the speech, Annan will engage in a question and answer session, and depending on what time he speaks, attend a lunch or dinner.

The Springfest committee has yet to meet this semester, but Edelman said a public meeting, acting as a brainstorming session, is set for Tuesday, in the John B. Davis hall at 9 P.M.