On-campus Winter Formal receives positive feedback, despite concerns over location

December 12, 2018 — by Sofia Jones

With the winter formal taking place in the Large Gym on Dec. 1, some students worried that the location would mean a lower-quality venue and worse experience than ones held off campus.

To combat these fears, the dance commission hired professional decorations, created a photo booth and made sure there were more food options for the 500 plus students who attended.

The  theme of the dance was “A Whole New World,”  and the food was meant to reflect an Arabian night.

The gym had drapes covering the entrance and hanging from the ceiling and seating areas with pillows. The decorations were done by iDesign Events, a local event planning business.

The Small Gym featured a gazebo in the center where the catered food was located. Games such as ping pong were available to play in the dance room.

The food available was ice cream from Scoopzilla and tacos from the Madd Mex Cantina food truck. Many students were pleased with the options from popular food spots, which they felt were better than last year.

“Last year I ended up waiting in line a long time for food, and it felt underwhelming once I got it,” junior Ashleigh Abe said. “This year, the food tasted amazing and I was able to go back a couple times without having to face a super long line.”

Junior dance commission member Nicole Wong felt that the on-campus location allowed for more freedom when deciding on decor.

“Since we didn’t have to worry about the cost of the location, we could go all-out with the decorations and food, and really focus on making it look as good as possible,” Wong said.

She also felt that the criticism of the location was unwarranted. Despite understanding why some students may not want to spend upwards of $35 for an on-campus dance, she argued that a dance is about more than location.

“When I first heard that formal would be on campus, I knew that decision was bound to get a lot of criticism,” Wong said. “After I got involved with the process of planning, however, I was excited for formal, and knew it would be amazing.”

The rationale behind holding formal on campus, however, wasn’t entirely motivated by flashier decor and better food. A financial mistake from a couple years ago resulted in a financial shortfall for the commission. The head dance commissioner had forgotten to account for the cost of the food in the ticket price, leaving an inadequate amount of money in the budget for future years.

However, winter formal last year cost around $20,000, whereas it cost around $17,000 this year. The price difference is not as dramatic as some may have expected, due to the better quality of decor and food compared to last year. Despite this, the formal turned a large profit, with tickets alone making about $22,500, which helps to ensure more high-quality events in the future.

Although some students had expressed concern that an on-campus formal would be less exciting, many found the experience to be better than expected.

Junior Nicholas Sabato said, “This was my first time going to a school event, and I was expecting to be disappointed, but I actually had fun, and I can’t wait for future events.”

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