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Attendance low at back to school dance

By Kayla Pearson
Around the Town Editor

T.I., Lil Wayne, The Dream and other hip hop artists bumped from the disc jockey’s booth as people from different places on campus and neighboring towns flocked in to mix and mingle at the annual back to school dance on Aug. 23.

The dance was hosted by the Association of Campus Entertainment and had a total attendance of 229 students and 26 guests. The organization raised $1388, which minus the cost of the disc jockey, security and catering, will go back into the ACE budget to offset costs of future programming.

ACE’s executive board said they were pleased with the turnout and felt the dance went well.

“The back to school dance was a success. A lot of students had a great time which is ACE’s number one objective,” Street Team and Promotions Chair Lamar Courmon said. Courmon was in charge of publicizing the event, which he did by word of mouth, passing out flyers and announcing at events held earlier in the week. “Took it by a strategical manner with many methods of communication,” he said. Back to school dances have become a tradition as a way to kick off the start of a new semester. It allows freshmen and transfers to meet new students and returning students to meet and catch up on events that happened during breaks. “It was a new experience and I got to meet a lot of people so all in all it was really good,” freshman Simonne Murray said. Some students were not pleased with the male to female ratio and left early to go to off campus gatherings. “The back to school dance was very disappointing because very few girls wanted to dance and there were too many males,” freshman Stiles Dorsey said.

Others felt the disc jockey didn’t vary the song tempos well. “The DJ could have been better,” said sophomore Cordero Powell. “There were not enough slow dances,” he added.

Changes in the da nce setup included a price raise from $3 to $5 for students and from $5 to $7 for guests and the dance being moved to the first Saturday instead of Thursday. Both resulted in a turnout lower than previous years.

According to Symphony Oxendine, associate director of student life, Thursdays are the busiest for campus police and moving the dance to the weekend allows them to maintain campus safety and patrol the dances without stretching the force too thin.

Also, since the dance is not over until 2 a.m., having it on the weekend ensures students aren’t staying out too late and missing class the next day, she said.

Since the dance happened the first week back and the next weekend was a three-day weekend, students leaving campus was not thought of as an issue to the organization. “We felt like most students wouldn’t go home,” ACE Coordinator Jermaris Genwright said.

Genwright added that having dances on weekends gives room for programming done by them and other organizations during the week with overlapping events.

Not all students were ready to embrace the change.

“No more dances on Saturday. Do them when everyone is here,” Powell said.

The price increase went into effect to cover the raised prices of expenses.

“We had to raise enough to cover expenses and have money to go back into the budget,” Oxendine said. The price raise was something that was supposed to go into effect last year but got wrongly promoted and didn’t go into effect until this year.

ACE is researching the statistics and trying to find the best way to make the dance more economical for both students and their organization but is not making any guarantees.

“We will look into different avenues to see if it is feasible to lower price,” Genwright said.

They are also working to redefine the organization to better serve the students.

“This year we are looking to improve ACE. We are redoing things and want this year to be the best year we have ever had,” Genwright said.

“Trying to have a family feel. We are an entertainment organization and I want members to feel they are as important as the person in front of them, behind them and beside them,” he said. The organization meets every Monday at 4 p.m.upstairs in the UC.


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Updated: June 18, 2008
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