In response to Victoria Gill’s article “Should Themed Costumes Be Allowed at Birthday Ball?” in the February 8 edition of The Elm, we would love to clear the air regarding a few of the arguments made in this piece. The goal of this response is to ensure that all students have all of the correct information, prior to attending one of the greatest events of the year.
At Birthday Ball, we encourage students to wear Formal Attire. This includes suits and long dresses; however, we would never turn a student away for not having a long dress or a full suit. Although we do not advertise costumes, students have always been welcome to wear them. However, costumes must not violate event policy. This includes, but is not limited to, wearing masks or bringing props that may be seen as weapons.
This event is a tradition, as well as a collaborative effort between SEB and many offices on campus. An entire year of planning and a week of set-up goes into Birthday Ball each year. Twelve hundred students, faculty, and guests walk through the doors of the Johnson Fitness Center and are expecting the most extravagant night of the year at WAC. The purpose of the dress code is not to make students miserable. It is simply a way to improve the quality and allure of an event we all know and love. Particularly, an event that is not only enjoyed by students, but also by faculty, staff, and alumni. Students are going to find a way to enjoy themselves no matter what kind of suit, dress or costume they are wearing.
In regard to the theme, we had hoped to reveal the theme earlier. However, there has been a lot of turnover within the Office of Student Engagement recently. While we are working through these changes within SEB, some things are taking longer than we would have hoped. That being said, we didn’t choose to delay the reveal of theme for the purpose of prohibiting costumes.
Moving forward, the Student Events Board welcomes the conversation concerning the events we design and host for the students. As our mission states, “We strive to improve the Washington College experience by building community, enhancing friendships, and creating relationships.” Our goal is never to ruin the experiences of students; it’s simply the opposite.
If you would like to wear a Journey to Atlantis themed costume, we will happily cheer you on at the Ball. If you have any questions regarding this year’s Birthday Ball, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Student Events Board