By HEATHER BRADY
This semester, Class Council has again cancelled the Spring Formal without planning a replacement dance.
According to Trish Lauck, President of the Senior Class Council, there was a budget of only $8,000 for an event that cost $30,000 the last time it was held in 2007.
“We realized that the Spring Formal was going to resemble a bad high school dance, so we decided to allocate the funds to the Centennial Ball for more impressive decorations,” Lauck said.
This is the second time in the past three years that Class Council has cut this event from the calendar of spring activities.
Senior Leslie McGlothlin recalls a time when the Spring Formal was a very important tradition with a high level of attendance, selling out as soon as tickets went on sale.
“I went to the Formal my freshman year,” McGlothlin said. “It was a cruise on the Potomac at night, when you could see all of the monuments lit up. I don’t think there has been a dance at Mary Washington since then that was as popular.”
Other students do not know a lot about the tradition, considering its recent rocky past. Freshman Thomas Larson was not aware that the event existed.
“I don’t know what the Spring Formal is,” Larson said. “I have never heard of it before.”
“My sister always talked about how much fun the Spring Formals were when she went here,” said freshman Ashley Maynard. “It made me excited to go to one, and it upsets me that we aren’t having one this year.”
Class Council officers say that they were reluctant to ask for more funding because they knew that the Finance committee was affected by the statewide university budget cuts.
“Class Council is charged with keeping traditions alive, but we didn’t want to have a Spring Formal that wasn’t as good as it has been,” Lauck said. “We felt bad asking for a large amount of money from the Finance Committee when we know they don’t have as much to begin with, so we intended to ask for more money later.”
However, Finance Committee officials said that not only did they have the budget money for the Spring Formal at the time of the original request, they still have a surplus of funds even now. Senior Thomas Tokhi, a member of the Finance Committee, stressed that they did not withhold funds, and that their role in deciding whether events will be held is very minimal.
“We work hard to give clubs the money they ask for,” Tokhi said. “Class Council asked for $8,000 for the Spring Formal without considering transportation costs, as a result of picking a much cheaper venue for the event that would have been in downtown Fredericksburg.”
Half of the original amount of money was given to the Centennial Ball’s Great Hall decorations fund for the creation of a 3,000-balloon ceiling and for fabric that will be draped from the chandeliers to the columns. The remaining $4,000 was given back to the Finance Committee.