The annual AHANA Leadership Council (ALC) Boat Cruise took a themed turn this year, bringing students out on the water for a night of music, food, and casino games.
“I personally had a great time on the Boat Cruise,” said Denise Pyfrom, co-director of the ALC programming department and A&S ’14. “It was very rewarding to see people having fun and making new friends. That’s exactly what we wanted. We wanted this to be a chance for students to get dressed up, get off campus, and have a great time.”
The ALC added a theme to the event for the first time this year. In the past, many students have mistakenly believed that the ALC Boat Cruise is an event exclusively for AHANA students. The addition of the theme to this year’s event was intended to counteract this misconception and encourage a more diverse group of students to attend the event, while also bringing back students who have attended in the past, organizers said. The theme was considered a great success.
“Students seemed to really enjoy the music and the new casino theme,” Pyfrom said. “From what I saw, almost every casino table and dance floor was filled. We gave away personalized decks of cards as our souvenir to remember the night.”
The boat was divided into three floors, giving students the opportunity to participate in various activities throughout the night. The top floor hosted the photo booth, a boat cruise tradition. The middle floor was dedicated to music and dancing, and the bottom floor featured a fully staffed casino with 12 table games.
“The boat cruise reminded me of high school, in that I found myself surrounded by chaperones, restrictions, and sweaty dancing,” said Luiza Justus, A&S ’15. “That aside, the decorations were beautiful and the atmosphere felt sophisticated, almost like a Gatsby party. All in all, it felt like a fancy Vegas wedding party, where no one is old enough to drink, gamble, or get married. But free food, nice boat, can’t complain. Personally, I had fun.”
Pyfrom said that the response to the theme was generally positive, and students seemed to enjoy themselves.
“Since the casino theme was a hit, our department will certainly debate bringing it back next year,” Pyfrom said. “However, our programming department prides ourselves on innovative ideas. Nothing is set in stone.”
In addition, the ALC added new safety measures to cut down on problems due to intoxication, including thorough checks of bags and purses, jackets, and boots before the on-campus bus loading.
“We sent out an email to all of the ticket holders to remind them how important this event is to us, and how important it is to us that we act as responsible Boston College students while being able to have fun as well,” said Gabriela Mejia, co-director of the ALC programming department and A&S ’13. “In the past, the Student Programs Office has sent out an email on their own but this year, we thought that it was also important for the students to hear from us about our new safety measures. We think that our advocacy for appropriate behavior paid off in the end because we had very few alcohol-related incidents and people were truly able to enjoy themselves for the night.”
Pyfrom also spoke highly of the organization and work done by the entire programming department.
“Our department worked meticulously to plan every detail of this Boat Cruise,” Pyfrom said. “Many people do not realize that a group of eight students created this event. We will now move onto planning our annual Ball.”
The boat cruise sold out of tickets just as the purchasing period was ending. The ball, ALC’s second marquee event, generally accommodates more students than the boat cruise, and will be held in February.