By Margaret Bagnell, Banita Giri and Rebecca Muhl
Transcript Reporter and Correspondents
Black suits, sparkly dresses, high heels, smiling faces: OWU students crowded the Schimmel Conrades Science Center for this year’s President’s Ball on Dec. 1.
This year marks the fourth in recent history the event has been held and was complete with refreshments, music, dancing and a cocktail hour for the senior class, according to the President’s Club website.
Tickets were $5 for students to attend the “colorful” event. Senior Megan Pinto, co-president of the President’s Ball committee, said thanks to funding from the Wesleyan Council of Student Affairs and the President’s office, the annual party was just as good as last year’s.
“Our theme involved a lot of fun decorations and lighting; it (was) sure to make the space look beautiful and exciting,” Pinto said. “We also (had) lots of yummy snacks, as well as everyone’s favorite – the chocolate fountain.”
This year’s event theme was “Live Colorfully,” and drew its inspiration from the designer Kate Spade, according to senior Claire Whitaker, co-president of the President’s Ball committee.
“I wanted the theme to be something bright and cheerful, but not over the top,” Whitaker said.
“I’m pretty satisfied with the choice. Everything looked so classy.”
Senior Zeke Brechtel, a member of President’s Club said in order to make President’s Ball a reality, the President’s Club put in a lot of hours “planning, advertising and prepping.”
Whitaker agreed and said the President’s Club members were very helpful.
“We had to hang decorations in the atrium, distribute invitations to mailboxes, and sell tickets,” Whitaker said.
“We even distributed hot chocolate with colored umbrellas to get everyone excited about the event. All of us were pretty busy, and I don’t think that one single person could have done everything on their own.”
Brechtel said everything came together for a successful event.
“I’m proud of the entire club and it seems as though everyone had fun at the event,” he said. “I even got to dance with some of my professors, and I only heard positive feedback.”
In past years, President’s Ball offered a photo booth to students. However, this year the President’s Ball committee decided to change it up. A graffiti wall was available to students instead.
“The graffiti wall (was) located in the Science (Atrium) and function(ed) as a photo station/interactive projection screen,” Whitaker said. “Students pose(d) for a snapshot in front of the screen and then once the image is captured they (could) decorate as they see fit.”
As student’s approached the Science Center, they were greeted with colored luminaries along the walkway. The sounds of the OWU jazz band could also be heard from outside, senior Emilie Schachtner said.
Inside the Science Center atrium, a spread of food was available for both students and faculty.
“The food was fantastic,” Schachtner said. “They had everything from a spread of hummus to mini crab cakes … Everything looked and smelled so delicious; I didn’t know where to start!”
Schachtner said she had a really great time.
Chartwells was also present at President’s Ball. Donned in white catering gear, Chartwells’ employees assisted with setting up, attended to the refreshments and helped keep everything clean.
Junior Maria Jafri worked President’s Ball for Chartwells last year as well as this year. Despite the crowd, she said she believes this year’s President’s Ball was better organized and well-executed.
“I felt that this year things went very smoothly; there was a decent system in place,” said Jafri.
“When certain problems came up, we were prepared to deal with them appropriately.”
The problems that took place last year did not happen this year, Jafri said.
“A few students had managed to get into an unlocked room, people had left empty bottles of alcohol around, there were lost phones, ID cards and glasses,” she said of last year’s President’s Ball.
Jafri said working President’s Ball was worth it, and she had fun even though she was on the job.
“I got to see everyone and enjoy their company for short periods of time, but still got to work and make money,” she said.
Sophomore Deki Pelmo, a Chartwells employee who also worked President’s Ball, said it didn’t feel awkward to work the event.
“When I see students working hard at an event, I respect them for working hard and making money,” she said. “I’d expect others to look at me the same way.”
Pelmo said working President’s Ball was not much different than working other events on campus.
“With every event, the work is the same,” Pelmo said. “It starts out slow at first and then becomes busier as more people come and there are more plates to clean.”
“If the crowd is difficult that’s what makes the event hard for me,” she said.
Pelmo said she enjoyed herself at President’s Ball this year.
“As a senior my favorite part was the cocktail hour, but I also really enjoyed the live band,” she said. “It was just great to see both faculty and students celebrating being with each other and enjoying a fun evening.”