Last Man at the Formal


Kyle Williams, Staff Writer

When the Student Government initially announced the Winter Formal over email in late November, many juniors and seniors were immediately skeptical of whether the event would be enjoyable: Most adolescents, after all, don’t really enjoy being told to have fun by adults. I, however, was looking forward to it: a little shindig with my fellow classmates would be a great way to decompress before our strange, new midterm week.

I arrived on campus for the formal about ten minutes late due to traffic. I expected the Novogratz building to be teeming with people, but it was surprisingly empty. I could count the number of students who had shown up other than me on my two hands, and no one had even bothered to go up to the gym yet, presumably because they were waiting for more people to show up. We went into the gym a few minutes later.

Student Body President Julien Feuerman told me that the main difficulty of organizing the Winter Formal within student government was creating a fun environment on a limited budget. There was a DJ who brought a very fancy light show and photo booth along with him. There was also a random assortment of snacks and drinks along with little decorations that dotted the tables in the back of the gym; they advertised hot chocolate, but none was ever given.

The student body was slow to pour into the Novogratz gym; the majority of people showed up an hour late. Feurerman estimates that 215 people signed up, a few more came to the party without RSVPing, and that, in total, about 150 people showed up.

All in all, the party was alright. Once enough people showed up, everyone was happy to get on the dance floor and jam to the popular music of the past two decades. I somehow ended up at the center of a mosh pit (guess that’s a thing at parties now) more than a few times even though I have no idea how to dance; guess I’m just that charismatic.

 Senior Peter Fossum was, in my opinion, the main highlight of the event. The guy is so flexible he can whip and nae-nae with his legs. The photo booth, even with the gym’s very poor lighting and the camera’s autofocus and flash lacking, was very popular among partygoers. I happened to be able to snag a bunch of abandoned stills since the photo booth printed out multiple sheets per session.

Even still, the student body was eager to begin leaving campus once the clock struck 9:30, the earliest time students were allowed to go. Because I was writing the story for the Polygon (and because I had told my dad to get me at 10:30), I felt it was my duty to stay the whole time. By 10:07, I was the only student in the gym.


As the party was slowly disassembled, I kinda felt that the past three hours hadn’t really mattered if everything could be undone so quickly. Feuerman told me that he personally had “a fantastic time dancing, singing, and being with friends at the Formal.” 


Personally, I walked away from the evening with mixed feelings. I think more could have been done to make the party engaging for students, like engaging them in games, but now that I know how the sausage was made, I feel a little ambivalent to it all.