Moorebid Ball undergoing new changes to promote safety: Tickets are limited at 800 with a $10 charge to cover budget expenses

Posted by Julia Leef

Saturday, Oct. 27's Moorebid Ball will mark a new change in the dance's tradition as the event is ticketed at $10 and is also limited to 800 students due to safety regulations.

Although this is not the first time Moorebid has been ticketed, it is the first time it has happened in the history of the current student body, according to Jessica Sonnenfeld '14, who is vice president of Residential Affairs, class treasurer and one of the organizers of Moorebid.

The increased emphasis on safety is a response to the previous two Moorebid Balls, which ended early due to hospitalizations and dangerous overcrowding.

"A lot of people didn't want Moorebid to happen unless we could execute it perfectly, so this is our way of doing that," Sonnenfeld said.

The Student Government Association received the 800-person limit from facilities based on the maximum capacity of the two courts in the Big Gym of the Williamson Sports Center that will host this event. The third court of the gym is reserved for athletic purposes.

"These large events don't house the entire student body, not everyone wants to go," Sonnenfeld said in response to concerns about excluding two-thirds of the campus, adding that last year only approximately 800 people attended Junior Ring, which did not have a cap on attendance.

"If you have the numbers and if you are knowledgeable about the students who will go, it doesn't seem as scary," Sonnefeld said.

Sonnefeld approximates that 1000 students attended Moorebid Ball last year, and said that attempting to increase that number would be dangerous. She said 800 is the highest legal capacity of any venue on campus, adding that the Case Center, which hosted Moorebid two years ago, only has a capacity of 700 people.

"We're not going to make a lot of people happy, but people aren't going to be hurt," Sonnenfeld said. "We're focused this year on keeping everyone safe-that's the main priority."

Students have also expressed concerns about the high cost of tickets, but Sonnefeld explained that the money from ticket sales will only be used to cover expenses for the event.

According to Sonnenfeld, the SGA is usually given a budget of $5,000 for Moorebid. However, since Moorebid this year will take place in the Big Gym immediately following a volleyball tournament, $4,000 of the budget will be used to pay facilities for overtime in preparing for and cleaning up after the event.

The two photo booths that will be at Moorebid cost an additional $1,695 to rent, the sound system and lighting will cost $2,110, food from Dining Services is $1,059.85, and the pipe and drape cost $3,281. Other expenses will go towards ticketing and posters to advertise the event.

In addition to these changes, the SGA will instigate a new "Cinderella Policy" that states unused tickets will expire at midnight, after which they will go back on sale for purchase at the door.

"This will ensure that we are absolutely at 800 people," Sonnenfeld said. "This way, the entire student body has an equal opportunity to get into Moorebid again." The price of the tickets at the door will remain at $10.

Sonnenfeld also spoke with members of Campus Safety regarding security for the event, which she said would most likely be divided proportionally to the number of people in each potentially active area. These area include, in addition to the Big Gym, Northwoods Village and Case Center, in response to "Occupy Moorebid-Operation Case Center," a Facebook event dedicated to "taking back Halloween" due to the limitation of attendance at Moorebid.

When asked if she feared a loss of community because of this limitation, Sonnenfeld said that that had been one of her initial concerns.

"That's one of the reasons I pushed for Fall Fun Day so much," Sonnenfeld said. "So that we would have that opportunity to come together as a community. Fall Fun Day is one of our lowest days of incident, according to Campus safety, and that's why we did it."

When asked if Fall Fun Day would one day serve as a replacement for Moorebid, Sonnenfeld said that was not the case.

"Fall Fun Day was a way to balance out the semester. We don't have anything in September, we don't necessarily have anything to feel like we're all coming back as a community," Sonnenfeld said, referring to the fact that most of the College's major fall events, such as Moorebid, Junior Ring and the Winter Carnival, all take place towards the latter half of the semester.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 24, approximately 500 students had purchased Moorebid tickets, and Sonnenfeld said nearly 300 had been bought on the first day of sales. The event will run from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

"There are people who are going to understand why we had to do it this way," Sonnenfeld said. "I'm hoping there's going to be a little more positive atmosphere around Moorebid this year."

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