After a day of e-mail uproar, the Senior Class Council officers announced at a Tuesday night meeting that the Masquerade Ball Saturday will be moved to Gotham Citi on Crown Street in order to accommodate seniors and guests who are not 21. The club will use a bracelet system to distinguish people who cannot drink legally, and the cost will be slightly higher than originally planned.
Initially, the Ball was supposed to be at the nightclub Risk in response to student requests to hold the event off campus. But the senior class learned Tuesday that Risk would exclude anyone under 21, including seniors and their dates.
Admission to the ball will now be $6 with senior dues or $12 otherwise.
Allen Dodson, Michel Shamy and Donya Khalili, all Class of 2002, organized a boycott of the Masquerade Ball and promptly sent out an e-mail that circulated to virtually the entire senior class, Shamy said.
But after the change in venue, Shamy said he was satisfied.
“That is a solution in that all students get to go and we should recognize that the Council worked hard to get the event moved,” Shamy said.
Dodson said the protest was organized quickly.
“Basically we got a flurry of e-mails this morning from [Senior Class Council Secretary Ravi Paidipaty ’02] and [Treasurer Liz Oosterhuis ’02] saying first that they might be requiring people who are underage to wear bracelets, and later saying in fact they heard from the club they would not be admitting people under 21 at all,” Dodson said. “So I had the idea at that point that we should have a list of names of people who objected to this when we go to the meeting to suggest that they have the event moved.”
Shamy, who is not yet 21, said he and Dodson promptly e-mailed every senior they knew.
“First off, I was annoyed at the selection of Risk for the location for the event because I don’t feel that a nightclub, especially one like Risk, is a particularly classy environment to show up in a tuxedo,” Shamy said. “Second of all, I then found out that because I am not 21, I would not even be able to attend my own senior masquerade ball, which appropriately made me mad.”
Dodson, Shamy and Khalili attended the meeting Tuesday night in Calhoun College with a stack of printed e-mails but, in a somewhat anticlimactic moment, Paidipaty and Oosterhuis announced the shift in location.
Shamy received 67 e-mails from seniors saying they would not attend the ball if it were held at Risk. Shamy asked students to include their age, and he estimated that two-thirds of respondents were of legal drinking age.
Paidipaty and Oosterhuis said the boycott organizers should speak with them before organizing a protest next time, and encouraged more participation in event planning.
“Another thing we’d really like to talk to people about is being more active in planning senior class events because it’s tough when these complaints are expressed after the fact,” Paidipaty said. “[We] strongly encourage everyone to help us plan for the rest of the year.”
Before the location shift was announced, Paidipaty said the biggest problem was that most clubs and bars do not have a license that allows them to let underage people into the club, even if they are not drinking.
“There’s a legitimate concern being expressed — at the same time, an overwhelming number of seniors really wanted the event to be off campus,” Paidipaty said. “Right now we’re doing our best to accommodate everyone.”
At the meeting, students asked Paidipaty and Oosterhuis if they had sent e-mails advocating the use of fake IDs for underage students. Paidipaty and Oosterhuis denied doing so.
Though members of the Senior Class Council spent hours on Tuesday running around to different clubs, they seemed optimistic about the new venue.
“The guy at Gotham is into throwing good parties,” Paidipaty said.