The class of 2017’s First Chance dance, which will will take place on Saturday, is the first of the year’s senior events, all of which will be free for the first time this year. However, the number of guests will be limited to 150.
The College increased funding for senior events in order to ensure that every senior has the opportunity to participate.
This increase means that charging students for tickets for their guests to help fund events is no longer necessary. It has also led to more flexibility in the planning process and allowed class officers and administrators to make another change to the event in order to preserve the event’s essence as a gathering of the senior class.
While all seniors will enjoy free, guaranteed entrance, the ability to bring guests will be determined by a lottery system, in which each senior can enter to win admission for one guest. Admission will be granted for up to 150 guests.
“By limiting the number of guests, this year’s senior class officers decided to maintain that feeling of something ‘special’ and to prevent situations like the influx of individual underclassmen begging seniors to bring them along at the door, which we have seen for years,” Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Benjamin Lamb said.
He explained that an influx of guests into the free event could cause further logistical issues, including overcrowding by underclassmen that would prevent the admission of seniors once the building reaches capacity and inadequate amount of food and other supplies that could “degrade the experience for everyone involved.”
Some seniors have expressed discontent over the change, since they feel that the lottery system might preclude them from inviting friends and significant others. Laura Lee ’17 said that a captain on her team invited her to the First Chance dance when she was a freshman, and it was one of the interactions that made her feel truly welcomed and embraced by the upperclassmen on the team. She wants to continue the tradition this year, but is concerned that the guest-cap will keep her from passing along that act of kindness and inclusion.
Lamb said, “150 [non-senior guests] is actually around the normal number we have seen for senior events as it is, so while it may sound very limiting, it’s really not restricting all that much.” He, along with class of 2017 officers, judged that maintaining the integrity of First Chance as a senior-focused event was more important than slightly limiting the number of guest entrants.
OSL representatives have been tabling in Paresky Student Center all week. Today is the last day to enter. All seniors who want to bring someone who is not in the senior class are required to sign up for the lottery and request their guest ticket. After the lottery is completed, winning seniors will be notified.