Fall Gala debut declared a success
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 08:09
Despite initial resistance to changes surrounding the first school-sponsored event of the year, organizers and attendees alike generally considered last Friday evening’s Fall Gala a success.
Junior Class Council Treasurer Daniel Madwed, who spent several months organizing Fall Gala, expressed satisfaction with the event.
“The event went amazingly,” Madwed said. “It was really spectacular. I think every single aspect of it was something that Tufts students have really not experienced before.”
Hosted by the Programming Board’s Junior Class Council, the sold-out celebration included live music entertainment, finger food, a photo booth and even an appearance from University President Anthony Monaco.
The event, advertised as a “dress to impress” occasion, ran from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the Academic Quad. A fireworks display open to all students immediately followed the event on the Res Quad between Houston and Miller Halls.
Madwed hoped that the event would set a precedent at Tufts for less raucous and more sophisticated campus events.
“In terms of the event standpoint, I think that this opened up people’s eyes to this fact that Tufts is capable of having elegant and fun events,” he said. “We don’t have to stick [to] mediocrity in terms of doing something easy with loud music. This was something that we’ve been planning for months, and we’re really happy with how it turned out.”
Vice President of Social Programming of the Junior Class Council Emily Ehrmann added that the event had resulted in far fewer problems than other Tufts-sponsored events in years past.
“It was one of the safer events,” Ehrmann said. “We’re happy that students were able to enjoy it and few had to endure any administrative or physical repercussions.”
Executive Director of Tufts Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) Paul Pemberton estimated that TEMS received six calls on the night of the Gala — not all of which were related to the event — for students needing hospitalization due to alcohol-related illnesses. Eight students were hospitalized at last year’s Fall Ball.
“The event itself, from a medical standpoint, was a lot more controlled than many events in the past,” Pemberton, a senior, said. “I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that the number of calls from the event were lower than any Fall Balls in the last three or four years.”
Ehrmann acknowledged that older Tufts students may have lamented the loss of older traditions but said that she regarded Fall Gala as a better alternative.
“[The decision to replace Fall Ball] was also a source of some pushback,” Ehrmann said. “Students definitely have a lot to say about traditions being taken away, and we totally understand and empathize with that. We don’t want to take away a tradition, but we want to make a better tradition and set the bar a little higher than we had let it fall.”
Organizers were not alone in their opinion that Fall Gala demonstrated a step up from past events. Senior Alison Glaser, who attended the event, stated that she enjoyed the event more than she had anticipated.
“I liked Fall Gala much more than last year’s Fall Ball, and I was surprised by how much fun I ended up having,” Glaser said. “There were a lot more seniors who attended than I’d expected.”
Some students, like Alexandria Northrup, had minor reservations about the setup of the event.
“It was kind of disappointing that the dance floor was on the grass, that there was no designated place to dance,” Northrup, a sophomore, said. “Overall, however, I enjoyed it.”
The administration viewed the event as a major success, according to Director of the Office of Campus Life Joe Golia.
“It really seemed to us that students were enjoying themselves,” Golia said. “We were really happy with the event. It was a real example of, when you really take time to plan something, what could happen.”