Disinterest Spells Doom for May Ball

    The May Ball, a proposed formal event for graduating seniors, was canceled this week due to poor ticket sales and a general lack of interest from the student body.

    The event, organized by the A.S. Council and scheduled to take place at Bear Court in Earl Warren College on the evening of May 12, was announced the week before spring break. By late last week, only 12 tickets had been sold.

    Earl Warren College Senior Senator Michelle Yetter, who was in charge of organizing the event, said that the weak sales may have been due in part to students waiting too long to purchase tickets.

    “”Some people like to wait, and maybe there would have been a big rush at the end, but we just can’t take that chance,”” Yetter said. “”I didn’t think that it was a wise expenditure of student expenses at that point when so few people had bought tickets.””

    Despite efforts to boost sales through advertising – which included flyers, posters, large signs and individual e-mails sent to all graduating seniors – the event failed to capture student interest. Warren senior Adam Crocker felt that the advertising drive may not have been enough.

    “”I saw a poster for it once, but that was all,”” Crocker said.

    Crocker added that the varying graduation dates of those in his class also contributed to his lack of interest.

    “”Most of my friends are on the five-year plan and I’m on the four-year plan,”” he said. “”None of my friends were really going, so it didn’t seem like something I’d want to do.””

    The few students who did purchase tickets were disappointed by the last-minute cancellation. Revelle College senior Martha Alatriste, who purchased a ticket earlier this quarter, expressed such a sentiment.

    “”I was really looking forward to go and hang around with my friends, dance a little and drink maybe,”” she said.

    The event had a proposed budget of $30,000, requiring 200 tickets purchased at $35 each to make a profit. According to Yetter, estimated ticket sales were originally much higher, but due to an anticipated lack of interest, expectations were scaled back.

    “”Initially we had hopes of about 500 students, because that’s typical of a college semi-formal,”” Yetter said. “”Since it’s a new event, though, you kind of have to get the idea into the students’ heads. It’s a learning process, so we had to scale back plans.””

    Even with those cuts, the May Ball fell short of its mark.

    “”Ticket sales weren’t approaching anywhere near that number, so [having the event] just wasn’t a viable option,”” Yetter said.

    The event was organized in order to allow seniors from all colleges an opportunity to celebrate their graduation together.

    “”The semi-formals that the individual colleges put on have more of an appeal toward the freshmen and sophomore students,”” Yetter said. “”When you’re getting ready to graduate, it’s a different environment. You have more cross-college connections and you just want to be able to get together with all your friends.””

    Inspired by the highly celebrated formal event of the same name, which takes place at most major British universities, the May Ball was planned as an attempt to boost school unity and spirit.

    Yetter, who studied abroad in Britain last year, was inspired to bring the tradition to UCSD.

    “”At the university I was at, it was a really nice event that everyone looked forward to,”” Yetter said. “”It was the highlight of the social calendar.””

    Despite the failure of this popular British tradition to take root at UCSD, Yetter remains optimistic.

    “”I think that the May Ball definitely has a place on this campus, just not this year,”” she said. “”We don’t like to say ‘canceled’ so much as ‘postponed until next year.'””

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