After responding to an e-mail protest with some quick maneuvering, the Senior Class Council averted a boycott of this weekend’s Senior Masquerade Ball, which organizers said will attract more than 800 people.
The ball is the latest and one of the most popular items in the yearlong calendar of senior events, which have met with mixed reviews. The Senior Class Council has already organized tailgates, pub-crawls and Saturday night dance parties at Toad’s Place.
“Everyone had a good time,” Senior Class Council Secretary Ravi Paidipaty ’02 said of the dance parties. “It was packed — people came out who don’t usually go to Toad’s.”
But not all seniors can get into Toad’s.
“I feel respect for the Senior Class Council who is trying to initiate all this bonding, because it’s a noble effort,” Eleanor Ainslie ’02 said. “But it’s odd for me because I’m still under 21.”
Age became a factor Tuesday, when Paidipaty and Senior Class Council Treasurer Elizabeth Oosterhuis ’02 announced that original location for the Masquerade Ball, Risk, would not admit anyone — including seniors and their dates — under 21 to the masquerade. After some seniors proposed a boycott, Paidipaty and Oosterhuis moved the dance to the Gotham Citi Cafe.
“It’s just weird because the assumption is that seniors are of age, so a lot of senior events center around drinking at area bars, which puts underaged seniors like me in a quandary,” Ainslie said.
But Oosterhuis said the Senior Class Council tried to find a balance between events with and without alcohol.
“We’ve had cosmic bowling, study breaks, Monday Night Football and movie nights,” Oosterhuis said. “In fact, one of our most successful events so far was a McDonald’s study break.”
Senior Anthony Weiss said he enjoyed the time at the “Golden Arches” but is unsure about how successful senior events have been.
“The McDonald’s study break was a fine idea, and a good chance to see people,” Weiss said. “[But] I’m pretty sure that most of my friends haven’t bothered to attend [senior events]. For the most part, the senior events have seemed pretty unexciting, and I’m wondering if maybe the dues sticker was not so worthwhile.”
A dues sticker costs Class of 2002 members $102 and entitles its owner to reduced admission to and special privileges at most senior events.
“Dues stickers are a bargain even if you don’t go to all the events,” Paidipaty said. “From discounted admission and free drinks to busing to events [outside New Haven], the dues sticker is a great deal.”
The Senior Class Council is planning a trip later in the year to Mohegan Sun Resort Casino, and just elected seniors Manish Vora, Joshua Stein and Claiborne Childs as its Class Day chairmen.
The three students will be responsible for finding a Class Day speaker and organizing other Class Day events.
With Class Day far away, though, Paidipaty is focusing on the entire year’s schedule of activities.
“Senior events are a great way to generate excitement about senior year,” Paidipaty said.
But even after Tuesday’s e-mail uproar, some seniors aren’t even aware of senior events.
“What, is [the Masquerade Ball] for seniors or something?” asked Ben Sproul ’02. “Well, I wouldn’t go.”
Although Sproul and others may not know about senior events, Ainslie said she finds them worthwhile.
“Even with the weirdness surrounding the whole underage thing, I’m still glad that all these events are being planned,” Ainslie said. “Freshmen get all this attention because it’s their first year, and it’s great that we get attention and fun events in our last year too.”