If You're Not Going, Don't RSVP / by Thu Nguyen

Look, I get it. Your friend invited you to this event that she's hosting, and you can't make it or you don't wanna go, but you also don't wanna hurt her feelings, so you click "Going." Or maybe you click "Interested." As an event organizer for many many events both on a college campus and out in the real world, let me advise you to click "Interested." If you know you absolutely cannot make it, please, feel free to click "Not Going."

Sadly, I've taken to counting "Interested" RSVP's as "Not Going." Which, you know, isn't too big of a deal I suppose, and I guess it's nice to be able to assume you support the event and wish you could attend but you cannot. But when you click "Going" and then not show up at all, even for a second? That, my dear, dear friends, hurts. I hate to call all of you out like this, but it's rude and offensive to both the event organizers and, if any, performers. The organizers might've prepared food, or the performers might've had a high expectation and gotten pumped to see a good crowd. And you just let those people down. Now before anyone gets defensive, I totally understand that things come up or some smaller events can totally slip your mind when you're in the middle of working on a big project or whatever. I'm definitely guilty of having been rude here and there, forgetting that I had RSVPed that I would attend certain events. This happens once in a while.

I'm writing this for the repeat offenders. Nah, I'm not naming names, I think everyone (on this college campus at least) can all spot the offenders. This post is also for the people who talk big about wanting certain events to happen on campus, or for the people who don't know how to say no.

Rice students have a lot of interests. That's absolutely wonderful, it means we're all well rounded. But that doesn't mean we should be signing up for every club ever and creating new clubs when our little campus of ~4,000 students has 200+ organizations and only ~800(?someone correct me if I'm wildy off) unique board members - this means that those people are holding board positions for multiple clubs. When you're dividing your attention among too many extracurricular things, it decreases the amount of passion you're able to put into each of those things. I state this like a fact because I think it's reflected in the poor attendance of events that don't offer free food and the lack of student activism for things that actually matter like sexual assault or Black Lives Matter.

 So learn how to say no. Say no when people ask you if you think you would be able to make it out to an event. Say no when some overly excited club officer jumps in your face with their sign-up sheet. Say "not going" on the event page if you know you can't/won't go. It is ok if you cannot be physically present, you can still support that club/movement in other ways I'm sure. But it is not ok to convey a sense of promise when you click "Going" or when you say yes to people trying to see if there's interest for certain events. 

I have a paper due tomorrow so I won't address the people who talk big for now. 

And yes, I know logistics of events can get a little more complicated than that. I know some of you have this dumb, twisted logic of clicking "Going" or "Interested" to make an event seem popular in hopes of attracting other people to attend as well. But I really wish everyone would think about the event organizers and/or performers, and think about the disappointment, sadness, bitterness, betrayal they feel when they see the list of people who said they were "Going" and can check off who did NOT attend. 

this was very incoherent but Dan (akaDAN) had off handedly asked me where all my friends were last night and I nearly wanted to throw myself off hwy59, I was so embarassed. Dan, if you're reading this, you're really amazing and again, thank you so, so much for coming out to h-town and spending time with us! lmk if you're ever in town again, we can go try that infused soju!!