Homecoming Brings 1,000 Into Boston
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Prior to attending this year’s homecoming dance, freshmen had concerns, with rumors ranging from “it’s going to be all freshmen” to “it’s mostly an event for the upperclassmen.” Brandon Marianacci, UGBC’s special events coordinator and A&S ’13, quelled their doubts.
“Homecoming is a major bucket-list item for seniors,” Marianacci said, “but it’s open to everyone.” Just four years ago, however, the dance was a smaller affair held in the Mod parking lots and exclusively for seniors.
This year’s rendition of the annual tradition was hosted for the second consecutive year in the Republic Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. Over 1,000 students donned semiformal attire in order to “dance your face off,” as the organizers advertised.
In order to ensure maximum attendance, coordinators Marianacci, Emily Rella A&S ’15, and John Zimmerman, CSOM ’15, joined forces with the AHANA Leadership Council (ALC), offering a package to seniors for a 10 percent discount on tickets for both the Homecoming dance and the ALC Boat Cruise.
Still, ticket sales were noticeably slower than in previous years, so UGBC worked with Kim Principi, Boston College’s box office manager, to make tickets available for an extra day, and hundreds of students flocked to make the $30 purchase at the last minute.
“It was Halloween weekend, so people had other plans,” Marianacci said of the drop in sales. “There were only so many options available due to the football schedule, and this was the day the Sheraton would be available.”
Previous venues had been discarded due to noise complaints and security issues, but all were impressed with the beautiful and spacious accommodation at the Sheraton last year.
Although doors opened at 9 p.m., most waited until after 10:20 p.m., 10 minutes before the doors were scheduled to close, to arrive in groups.
Ultimately, attendees filled the enormous ballroom and took full advantage of a dance floor enlivened by Guy Dupon, aka DJ ILO, LSOE ’13, who made sure to incorporate popular hits such as “Gangnam Style” and “Rolling in the Deep.” The haze machine and dazzling lights made for a provocative atmosphere, inspiring many creative dance moves.
Although last year’s event was successful by all accounts, efforts were made to make this year’s rendition still better. Highlights of the night included glow sticks, a raffle for two Notre Dame football tickets, and an immensely popular photo booth, where a number of colorful props were provided.
The food offered included chicken fingers, French fries, pizza, and chips, a different style of choices from previous years’ spring rolls and shrimp cocktails. The quantities were abundant, and servers were gracious and attentive.
The only area to show signs of overcapacity was the restrooms. At certain points during the night, long lines formed to use the facilities, and large quantities of paper towels were strewn about the floor and sinks, eliciting surprised remarks from many female students.
The most notable deviation from previous years was the absence of a bar, as the event would be open to underage students. As a result, the night passed largely without incident.
Many upperclassmen chose to have drinks with friends downtown before arriving at the Sheraton, a rational choice because no shuttles were available for transportation directly from BC.
Rella arranged for a convenient busing system to take students back to Newton and Lower Campus.
As a “bucket-list item,” the homecoming dance held sentimental value.
“As a senior, it’s nice to have the opportunity to dress up and enjoy this moment with your class,” said Christy Lattimer, LSOE ’13.
But did they have a good time? “It was awesome,” said Samantha Goetz, A&S ’13.