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Editorial | 2014 Winter Ball is relative success

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 06:02

Even first-year students have heard the appalling tales of last year’s Winter Bash. Stories from upperclassmen are accounts of drunken, apocalyptic horror — every university official’s nightmare. We, as the student body, were not only irresponsible in terms of our own health — with at least 15 students needing medical attention from paramedics — but were downright disrespectful toward a venue that was willing to host an event for thousands of college students. Dangerously intoxicated students threw up and even urinated in the lobby of the Westin Copley Place Boston Hotel, managing to capture the attention of Fox News and The Boston Globe, both of which rightfully depicted our actions as those of bad-mannered and insolent youths.

Understandably, the university could not let similarly campus-wide events continue without further consideration and revision, so in light of the absolute disaster that was 2013’s Winter Bash, a more civilized Winter Ball took place on Saturday, Feb. 8. The event, which — not surprisingly — was not held this year at the Westin Copley Place but instead at the Boston Royale, began relatively early in terms of college nightlife, with the first buses leaving campus at 5:30 p.m. and the doors of the Royale closing at 8 p.m. This change, clearly an effort by the university to curb excessive drinking among students and avoid a repeat of last year’s embarrassment, was coupled with a reduction of the number of tickets sold from almost 3,000 to only 1,200.

Winter Ball was a chance to demonstrate that we are capable of conducting ourselves in a respectful and responsible manner; in this regard, it was a huge success. The event ensued without any notable mishaps, and overall, we managed to be courteous and considerate — behavior that should be standard for all guests, students included. Yet although this is a step towards proving to the university that we can be trusted at fun and community-building events such as these, we should not expect our one-time good behavior to grant us total absolution. If earlier, smaller and more controlled events such as Winter Ball remain the norm over the next few years, it is important to keep in mind that we have actually only accomplished the bare minimum. While we can pat ourselves on the back for avoiding alcohol-related hospitalizations, not trashing a public place and steering clear of making regional headlines, we should try to remember that this is what is expected of us — and we should definitely keep up the good work.

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