Shoremal will proceed with COVID-19 guidelines in place

By Cecilia Cress
News Co-Editor

According to an email sent out by the Student Events Board on Sept. 29, Shoremal will be held on Oct. 23 from 9 p.m. to midnight in Martha Washington Square. 

As the event was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been student speculations of what exactly Shoremal will look like this year, and whether there will be any added restrictions or changes.

 “I think everyone has been wanting things to be normal and to have Shoremal take place with added restrictions would not make it the same,” senior Alisha White said.

According to Director of Student Engagement Antoine Jordan, “Shoremal will look a little different than in years past, but will still be happening, albeit with a few changes.”

These changes include the prohibition of any outside guests at the event. Shoremal will be a Washington College students-only event this year. According to Jordan, this rule is to help prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 by outside individuals mingling with WC students on a large scale, and also for reasons pertaining to alcohol and safe driving precautions.

 “The College unfortunately doesn’t have the current infrastructure to provide additional testing to each guest and to have a system to collect vaccine and contact information in case of an outbreak. Nor does the Office of Student Engagement or Health Services have the capacity to contact trace potentially hundreds of outside guests,” Jordan said. 

Jordan said this rule of having no outside guests attend the event falls in line with the current protocol on campus of having no outside overnight guests on campus on any given day. 

“The College also is not allowing guests to stay overnight, which we could not in good conscience invite guests to attend a dance and ask them to drive home late at night, especially those who are of age and consumed alcohol,” Jordan said.

Jordan said that these protocols are “hopefully” subject to change in the spring for Birthday Ball.

“Though I am sad that we cannot bring guests [to Shoremal], I understand why and still think that we will all have a lot of fun,” White said.

As Shoremal will be held outside underneath a tent in Martha Washington Square, according to the current COVID-19 protocols in use by the College, no vaccinated students attending the event will have to be masked. However, students can still choose to wear one at their own discretion.

 “We certainly encourage students to bring a mask if they feel more comfortable wearing one to Shoremal. Holding Shoremal outside provides plenty of ventilation to keep the air moving and allow students to gather in a larger setting safely,” Jordan said.

According to Director of Public Safety Pamela Hoffmann, Public Safety will be attending Shoremal to enforce the policies and rule changes put in place for the event. 

“Public Safety Event Staff will be present for logistical support during Shoremal, and will enforce the COVID[-19] protocols of the college for the event as they’ve been established by the organizers,” Hoffmann said.

According to the Student Events Board, there will be a cash bar at the event for of-age individuals, and all students must bring their school ID to Shoremal in order to be admitted.

According to Jordan, besides these new outlined rules, “the event will be pretty much back to normal like Shoremal’s past. More guidance about the event itself will be released within the next week,” he said.

Additional questions can be directed to SEB via email.

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