Celebrating birthday ball without the ball

By Megan Loock

Elm Staff Writer

The Washington College community will be celebrating George Washington’s Birthday a little differently this year. 

Instead of loud music, elegant dresses and suits, and midnight breakfast, the Students Events Board will be dialing the festivities back to enjoy some entertainment amid a global pandemic. 

Birthday Ball, along with Shorefest and Shoremal, are some of SEB’s largest events of the year. Birthday Ball is usually held the weekend of  George Washington’s birthday, which is on Feb 22.

“We always knew it was going to end up being virtual, unfortunately,” SEB Director of Special Events senior Jacklyn Russo said. 

The event would usually take place within the Johnson Fitness Center, equipped with a DJ, photo-taking area, appetizer catering, and a cash bar for those old enough to drink legally.

Last week, SEB posted an Instagram poll asking students if they would be interested in attending a virtual Zoom meeting, in place of an in-person Birthday Ball, which didn’t garner any interest.

“I understand,” SEB Director of Annual Events junior Tyler Hawkins said. “It’s new and it’s kinda awkward and it’s something that people aren’t used to doing.”

According to Hawkins, instead of forgoing the entire week of activities, SEB will work very diligently to bring the spirit of Birthday Ball alive during a very isolated time. 

However, despite the major setbacks a virtual dance presents, SEB found a way to reach out and connect with students. 

On Feb. 1, SEB sent out an email to the school with a Google Form attached, announcing they would send a free shirt to any student — on or off campus — who filled out the form. The poll closed Friday, Feb. 5. 

Students on campus will be able to pick up their shirts, while students who are living off-campus, will have their shirts shipped to them for free.

Right now, there is no definite timeline of when the sweatshirts will come in. However, according to Hawkins, they hope to get them shipped/handed out between Feb. 22 and 26.

In addition to the shirts, the SEB will be decorating Hodson to fit the Hawaiian/Luau theme that they originally chose for the Birthday Ball this year. 

“It’s a little bit closer to the real thing, even though unfortunately, we couldn’t have the actual event,” Hawkins said. 

For more information on upcoming events follow the SEB on Instagram @wac_seb.

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