‘City of Oz’ – Students, Public Safety gear up for annual celebration

By Rachel Loetzbeier
Elm Staff Writer

As most students know, “Birthday Ball is an annual event organized to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, the college’s founding patron,” explained senior Alex Shull, SGA secretary of social life. Voted upon by the student body last semester, the theme of this years Ball is “The City of Oz.”

“I really like the theme this year. I think it’s creative and fun and allows for a lot of colorful decorations,” said sophomore Rachel Petrie.

This year’s Birthday Ball is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. From 8 until 12:30 a.m., enjoy everything the night has in store for you: dancing, food, friends, and of course, fun.

Shull and Kristen Hammond of the SEB have worked very diligently alongside their committee to make this year’s experience very memorable.

“We are expecting a huge turn out. Approximately 1,500 tickets have been sold so far, including those students, faculty, and staff who have picked up their free tickets,” said Director of Student Activities Heather Morris.

“Students are more than welcome to earn free guest tickets again this year by volunteering themselves to assist in the set up of the event for four hours,” Shull said.

Students can expect to be wowed by not only the incredible props and decorations, but also by The Gold Magnolias, this year’s featured band that will be entertaining the crowd until 10:30 p.m., when the DJ is scheduled to begin.

“I expect to have a blast and end the night with a slew of glorious memories,” said freshman and first time birthday ball attendee, Josh Morgan.

Junior and second year Birthday Ball veteran Daina Raiffee agrees.

“I am excited to see returning alumni, and look forward to a night of dancing and fun. After seeing the way birthday ball has looked the past two years, I’m expecting to be blown away by the decorations once again this year. It should be a blast,” she said.

Finger foods and water will be available throughout the night and wristbands will be given to those 21 and older with a valid ID who wish to purchase alcohol at the bar portion of the room.

Enjoying every minute of the ball is a given but Jerry Roderick, director of Public Safety cannot stress enough the importance of being responsible the night of.

“Our biggest concern is the ‘pre-gaming’ that students engage in before attending,” said Roderick.

Public Safety will be abiding by the county law, which states that students will be turned away if intoxicated.

“We would like to remind students about the annual ‘Remember the Ball’ campaign,” Shull said. ‘Remember the Ball’ urges students to take a pledge to either not drink the night of the ball, not to pre-game the night of the ball, or if students do imbibe, to drink responsibly.”

To participate in this campaign, ask your RA for a pledge card or stop by Hodson Commons to pick one up. Those who take the pledge have a chance to win one of three Apple iPads.

Along with exercising responsible behavior, Roderick also emphasizes the importance of staying safe.

“Be very conscious of your surroundings and what is going on. Be aware of what’s happening with your friends. Make a plan, stick to it, and look out for one another,” he said.

As a means to keep students safe, there will be a shuttle to transport students who are off campus and need a ride to Birthday Ball. Shuttle service will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 and will continue until approximately 2 a.m. Call Public Safety at 410-778-7810 after 6 p.m. on Saturday to make arrangements for a ride. Provide your name and contact information, where and when you would like to be picked up, and the number of people in your party. An email will be sent out in the near future containing the final shuttle schedule as well as general information all students should be aware of.

So join fellow students, alumni, 1782 society members, as well as faculty and staff while they follow the red brick road all the way to the Benjamin A. Johnson Fitness Center on Saturday for an unforgettable night.

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