Students flock to Unity Ball

Nearly 1,000 students dined, danced and drank at the Unity Ball held in the Capital Hilton this Saturday.

The semiformal dance – which included a cash bar, catered appetizers and desserts – was designed to celebrate diversity on campus and commemorate the 150th anniversary of Greek-letter life on campus. Although the ball’s 1,000 tickets were offered for $20 to the entire student body, Greek attendance was especially high since it also served as the kick-off to Greek Week.

Altogether, the event cost about $50,000, with more than $20,000 coming from the student fee. Some students have expressed concern that the ball, which was funded by a variety of student organizations, mostly benefited the 20 percent of the student body involved in Greek-letter life.

Senior Andrea Criollo, president of the Organization for Latin American Students, said she considered the event “not a bad start” to creating more interaction between the many student groups on campus, but she added that the event seemed like “a Greek formal.”

SA President Vishal Aswani, a senior, said the ball brought together more individuals than many other GW events and noted the many student leaders in attendance from GW’s multicultural and student organization community.

“Greek or not Greek, it is all the same GW family in the end,” Aswani said.

After opening remarks, Criollo and juniors Scout Seide and Elizabeth Acevedo performed a short dance representing OLAS. Soon after, the lights were dimmed and a DJ turned the Unity Ball into a dance party.

Junior Hilary Peltz, the Panhellenic Association’s vice president of programming, said the event was “bigger and better” than she imagined due to the involvement of the different student organizations. She said she is interested in making the ball an annual tradition.

“I would love it,” Peltz said.

Some said they felt if a Unity Ball happens next year, it should occur on a smaller scale, however.

Senior Alex Stegmaier said the Unity Ball should broaden its outreach to bring more GW communities together and use less money for a smaller event.

“Is it necessary?” he said, referring to the $50,000 price tag of the night. “Do you need to spend so much to bring unity?”

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