On Feb. 23, Campus Activities Board (CAB) announced a Spring Ball set to take place March 11 at 8 p.m. at Castaway Portland. The event will be “The Great Gatsby” themed and include a live DJ, food and alcohol for students over 21.
Tickets are $10 for Lewis & Clark students and $15 for other guests. CAB also plans to offer free tickets for students who cannot afford the cost, but have yet to sort out the details. Transportation from campus to the dance will be available for students for no additional cost.
Campus Activities Board Chair Macarena Vives ’22 said that it was difficult to decide whether to host the ball on- or off-campus due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions at Lewis & Clark and students’ level of comfort. Student Engagement Office Assistant Ezra Hart ’25, who also helped plan the event, held similar concerns.
“Above all else, we wanted to create an environment that would not compromise the safety of our student body,” Hart said via email. “So with that in mind, we knew that to hold an event of this scale safely we would need to take into account many more factors than in previous years for similar events.”
However, the organization of this event has not been super straightforward. Typically similar events have a $30,000 budget. However, this year’s budget was reduced. The vice president of student life office also contributed some funding.
“It was harder because things are more expensive,” Vives said. “We were given a much lower budget than last year, even though this (first year) class is the largest class in history, even though it’s when things are starting to open up a little bit more here on campus.”
Nevertheless, Vives said she is very happy that the event will happen because turnout for events is usually very low. In the first three days of promoting the event, over 380 students reserved or purchased tickets. CAB is hoping to reach the event’s capacity.
Additionally, the fact that many first-year students missed proms or graduation parties fueled event planning. This is why the event is formal, even though balls traditionally only occur in the fall with a more casual dance in the spring.
“That’s why we leaned towards the “Great Gatsby” (theme) and made it more formal, but not making it like a prom … because we also want to make sure seniors and juniors also want to come to the event because it’s an event for everyone,” Vives said.
Many guests anticipate dressing up, since opportunities to do so since the start of the pandemic have drastically reduced.
“My favorite part of the event I think will be seeing all of the guests dressed up,” Hart said. “It is always fun when we have a chance to dress fancy for an event.”
According to Hart, in order to attend the event students will need to bring their student IDs for admission and non-LC guests will need to bring proof of vaccination, submit a contact tracing form and be on the official guest list. For guests 21 and over, they will need to show legal IDs to receive alcohol.
Tickets for the Spring Ball will be sold in front of J.R. Howard Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 25 and Feb. 28. They will also be available outside of the Student Engagement Office in Akin Hall from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 1-4 and March 7. All students have swipe access to Akin during these hours.
Additional reporting by Venus Edlin.