In-person Birthday Ball set to bring “Enchanted Forest” to campus community

By Olivia Montes
News Co-Editor

On April 23 from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, the Washington College Student Events Board will bring back campus spirit and community at this year’s Birthday Ball celebration.

According to previous Elm coverage, following developments of safety concerns regarding the rise of COVID-19 cases and previous conversations between WC administrative members, SEB announced in the fall 2021 semester that Birthday Ball will be postponed and instead take place outdoors in the spring 2022 semester.

This year’s celebration — themed around on enchanted forest — will be the first since 2020.

According to Director of Student Engagement Antoine Jordan ’12, while the initial decision to postpone Birthday Ball was not an easy one, he is thrilled that the College community has “done a really great job” staying safe during the semester.

“Even though we’ve shifted the date, thankfully, [several] students have done their part to keep themselves as safe as possible,” Jordan said.

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sarah Feyerherm echoed this sentiment.

“[I believe] we made the right decision,” Dr. Feyerherm said. “Now it’s a combination of Birthday Ball [and] end-of-the-year celebration. So I think, in some ways, it’s kind of cool, because you get all the students to celebrate the end of the year.”

According to the April 13 campus-wide SEB email, Birthday Ball will take place in Martha Washington Square. Check-in will be located at the Goose Nest at Hodson Hall Commons.

While tickets are free of charge for current WC students, staff, and faculty members, they must register via the provided ticket link to attend at

They also must show their College ID upon check-in to be admitted.

Additionally, attendees are permitted to bring one guest each. Guest tickets are $40 each and must be purchased online using the same link. All guests must provide a photo ID and “present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative…test within 48 [hours] of Saturday, April 23” or else they will not be able to enter, according to the email.

All ticket sales are final as of April 22 at 11:59 p.m.

No refunds will be made after the deadline. No cash tickets will be available for purchase at the door. To request a refund before the fact, be sure to contact Student Engagement at

In addition, according to the email, “no COVID-19 tests will be available on-site so please plan accordingly.” Also, “unless they are invited as a guest by a current student,” WC alum will not be invited to attend to maintain the safety of current students in the still-ongoing pandemic.

Additionally, attendees who are currently 21 years or older will be permitted to purchase alcohol in the provided bar tent at the event. According to the email, “drinks will be available for purchase until 11:30 p.m.,” with the last call being at 11 p.m. In addition, “any students or guests who are visibly intoxicated can be denied bar service and removed from the event.” Those caught attempting to sneak alcohol into the event will also be removed from the premises.

Lastly, once guests have left the event, they “will not be permitted to re-enter,” according to the email.

Many WC students, while excited to attend, also expressed mixed emotions about the event taking place.

According to senior Elizabeth Tilley, while they plan to attend Birthday Ball for their final year at WC, they are “a bit worried” about how the College will “handle the COVID-19 aspects of the dance.”

“There are currently cases on campus right now…[and] I feel that it would be in the College’s best interest for students to get tested to attend without wearing a mask,” Tilley said. “Especially with how close Birthday Ball is to graduation, it would be imperative for WC to enforce these COVID-19 regulations so graduation can stay in-person.”

According to incoming Student Government Association Secretary of Student Life junior Kamden Richardson, she is particularly excited for the event, saying that it is important “to keep those [campus] traditions happening” amid still-uncertain times.

“To me, [Birthday Ball is] a way to bring the campus together…[and] to reconnect with the roots of the founding of our school, and [us coming] together as a community,” Richardson said. “I think it’s all a good sign [that] students are wanting to get out, and events [like Birthday Ball] are happening.”

For freshman Justus Williams, Birthday Ball is “one of the primary events” he’s looking forward to, and he hopes that the event will be safe and fun for his peers and fellow community members.

“I live for the lights, laughter, and love that happens when hundreds of sweaty young adults are packed into a facility and given one choice: to have a good time, [and] I confidently believe that, because we have a smaller student body and successfully monitored our COVID-19 cases, Birthday Ball should happen,” Williams said. “I commend the work WC has done to combat COVID-19, but I cannot wait to move out of the pandemic into the fluorescent lights of the future.”

According to Dr. Feyerherm, for attendees concerned with COVID-19 safety, she encourages them to “think critically about how and whether they engage in activities” — especially before and after the event.

“If you’re planning on going to Birthday Ball, instead of [going out to get] ready…stay with [a bubble of] people,” Dr. Feyerherm said. “Also, limit the amount of time that you’re indoors with people who you don’t normally interact with…[since] now’s the time just to lay low and stay with your bubble.”

According to Jordan, he hopes that, in addition to respecting others’ decisions regarding their personal safety, Birthday Ball attendees will have “a fun time” — while also “think[ing] smart.”

“It’s always nice to get dolled up and have a good party and have an excuse to get dressed up and have a good time — and Birthday Ball is the perfect event to do that,” Jordan said. “I’m just looking forward to everybody being able to come together to celebrate the almost-end of the school year, to celebrate…one another and all the hard work that everybody has put into having our first full year back on campus as well.”

Elm Archive Photos

Featured Photo Caption: The Washington College Student Events Board is hosting the annual campus Birthday Ball on Saturday, April 23 from 8:30 p.m. to midnight in Martha Washington Square.

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