BY MEGAN EICHENBERG
On Saturday, April 18, 250 students will again have the chance to attend Spring Formal on a cruise ship leaving from an undisclosed location.
Senior Class President Patrick Whelan describes the occasion of dinner, music and dancing as an opportunity to restart a tradition at Mary Washington. The Spring Formal was last held two years ago at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria.
This is the first time since 2005 that the event will be on a cruise ship.
“We’ve been working the past four years to make spring formal a fun and safe event, and the time has come to try it out on the boat again,” senior Ali Meier said, class council executive promotions director.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. in Great Hall, and cost $30 each. There is a two ticket limit per person, and there are no discounts. Students have the option of paying with cash or with an Eagleone card.
Meier said if the school didn’t foot most of the bill, students would each be paying about $150 per ticket.
The event is all-inclusive, with two s and a full dinner in the ticket price.
“It’s such a great deal, especially with dinner and transportation included, that I hope everyone wants to come out. I really think that this year the tickets are going to sell out super quickly, so that’s why we’re selling them on a Saturday instead of a weekday when people would have classes,” Meier said.
Only a limited number of tickets are being sold due to budget restraints.
Whelan said students who purchase a ticket must sign a waiver saying they will not bring alcohol to the event.
Students with tickets are required to ride chartered buses to the boat location.
According to Meier, buses will load around 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of the event. At 6 p.m., students will load the boat and cruise the Potomac until 10 p.m., and the ship will return to the dock around 10 p.m. Buses will arrive back at UMW around by 11:30 p.m.
Whelan said there will be police present at the bus location to ensure students are following the alcohol policy.
“There will be a cash bar on the boat for those who are 21 and up but no outside alcoholic beverages are allowed on the boat,” Associate Director of Student Activities & Community Service Christina Eggenberger said.
Whelan said Class Council has been planning for Spring Formal since the summer, when Meier contacted a company to see if having Spring Formal on the cruise ship was possible during the desired time frame.
Next, Class Council created a Request for Proposal and waited for responses from area cruise companies.
“After several boat companies replied to our RFP in the Fall, we were allowed to negotiate the details and then we had to rate each offer on a point system,” Meier said.
The company with the highest points was selected, and Class Council began working on funding and administrative approval.
“It was tough,” Whelan said, “But we’ve had great help from OSACS.”
Eggenberger said a jacket and tie are recommended for gentleman and semi-formal or formal attire is expected of ladies. Jeans and athletic shoes are prohibited on the boat.
“As a senior, I’ve only ever heard about having it on a boat, and after four years. I’m excited to finally experience it,” Meier said.