Students who had been hoping for a night of glitz and glamour atop the Bellarmine Lawn opened an email Thursday, Oct. 1, informing the Fairfield community that the Presidential Ball was to be rescheduled to Thursday, Oct. 8
According to Colleen Wilson, program coordinator for Fairfield @ Night and the Fairfield University Student Association, the move was considered a last-resort due to safety measures.
“The predictions of high speed winds and significant rainfall led us to decide it is best to reschedule for our safety and to maintain the success of the event. This was a collaborative decision between FUSA, the Department of Public Safety and key campus partners,” stated Wilson in a letter to students published via Facebook on Oct. 2.
Junior Brianna Tancredi, FUSA chair of programming, said that FUSA hopes that student excitement for the event is still high after the change.
“We acknowledge this new date cannot accommodate everyone’s schedules, but we have received feedback from many students saying they are still excited for next Thursday,” said Tancredi.
However, student responses were not as positive.
Sophomore Allison Devaney was frustrated that fewer of her friends can now attend the event. “Even though I can still go, a lot of my friends have major conflicts with it that would all be avoided if it wasn’t a Thursday,” said Devaney.
Others like Marla Walton ‘19 have guests that can’t make it due to the date change. “My boyfriend was coming from Rhode Island. Luckily he doesn’t have classes on Friday so he can come next Thursday night. But I have a midterm the next day at 8 a.m. so Prez Ball is going to be very stressful for me,” Walton said.
Walton’s fears are not unfounded. President of Fairfield Fr. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. wrote in an email to the student body that students attending Prez Ball must also be sure to attend classes the following day. “FUSA does not normally schedule events like this on a night before classes, so I want to make sure all students plan to attend class on Friday and honor any academic commitments they have,” he stated.
Senior Taylor Rosello echoed Fr. von Arx’s statement:
“I feel the change is necessary due to safety concerns caused by the inclement weather. However, I feel Oct. 8 is a highly inconvenient date due to the fact that it’s during the week and people have classes that day/night as well as the next day. Not to mention it’s right before the Columbus Day weekend and people may want to go home that night”
In response, FUSA issued a statement explaining their decision to postpone the dance to a later date.
When asked about FUSA’s response to upset student, Tancredi stated, “We believe The Presidential Ball on October 8th will be as much of a success as this event has been year after year. Due to the harsh weather forecast for this weekend, we postponed the event until next Thursday to not only ensure the safety of all students and staff but also to uphold the traditions everyone loves about Prez Ball. We hope students recognize how difficult this decision was, but understand that we had everyone’s best interest in mind.”