Homecoming dance produces uproar

By The Beacon | October 13, 2010 9:00pm

Dance brings controversy: lack of communication about sell-out, students acting up and new check-in system

New card readers were introduced this year in hopes of maintaining accountability for students and preventing overflow of guests. At this year’s Homeoming dance on Oct. 2, students who tried to get in with a friend’s ticket were denied access to the dance. (Alissa White -- The Beacon)

By Gaona Yang, Staff Writer -- yang11@up.edu

When senior Stephanie Chamness ventured from her Friday afternoon class to the Student Activities office at 3:30, she hoped to purchase her Homecoming dance ticket.

Instead, she was greeted on the way by friend Olivia Silva, junior, who informed her that the ticket booth had just been cleared.

Disappointed, Chamness checked the Homecoming Facebook page and the University announcements for updates on ticket sales, but there were no notices about the Saturday night dance being sold out.

Since she heard students chatting about tickets being sold out, Chamness finally called a friend from ASUP and was told that they probably could not admit anyone else into the dance.

"There was no official information we could find that said the dance was sold out," Chamness said. "We thought it was really bad communication."

This year's Homecoming dance was the first to be sold out prior to the start of the event, which resulted in complaints on several fronts.

Students received no announcements about the sell-out.

New card readers prevented students from trading tickets, as they had in past years.

Angry students lashed out at coordinators.

"Since we'd never sold out before the actual dance," CPB Director and junior Hillary White said, "we didn't know what to expect."

With enrollment increasing, the Homecoming dance has also topped the charts in popularity.

Last year, Homecoming was three tickets shy of selling out.

The Homecoming dance has been hosted at the Melody Ballroom for many years, and this year was no exception. The venue has a maximum occupancy of 1,100 persons.

This means only one-third of the student population can be admitted.

This year, 735 tickets were free for students who attended the alcohol speaker's presentation.

While CPB aims to provide events for all students, safety regulations limit capacity at off-campus venues.

However, relocating to a larger venue would significantly increase expenses and ticket prices, White said.

"I know it's traditional to go to the same venues, but we're also breaking tradition by bringing more students in to UP," Chamness said. "That doesn't make sense. It doesn't reflect our growth as a student body."

Despite the sellout, only 986 students showed up to the dance, meaning 114 ticket-holding students did not attend.