Boston College’s annual 100 Days Dance has incited frustration for some seniors, with high admission prices, difficulties with the ticketing process, and a limited number of spots available.
“I understand that the place where [the event] is is a little bit more expensive, but … we’ve spent a long time at BC, we’ve done a lot of hard work—I think that maybe they could just put out a little bit more for the senior class,” Michaela Balboni, MCAS ’22, said.
The 100 Days Dance is an event organized by the Senior Week Committee and the Office of Student Involvement, 100 days before graduation, where the graduating class can celebrate and reminisce about their college experience.
According to Matthew Razek, the associate director for student programming, events like the 100 Days Dance are important because they provide seniors with a sense of closure as they near the end of their time at BC.
“The event allows individuals to get together with members of their class and begin to think about those closure experiences, while also looking to the rest of their semester and celebrating,” he said. “It’s not about wanting to rush time away, but allowing people to consider how far they’ve come and also what their next steps will be.”
Both Balboni and Stephanie Wang, MCAS ’22, said that the dance is important for the senior class, but they expressed frustration with certain aspects of the event. Wang said she first had difficulty buying a ticket, getting stuck on the queue page.
“I couldn’t get to the queue page for whatever reason,” said Wang. “And the email explicitly said, ‘do not … refresh the page,’ but when it was 7:30, I still couldn’t get to the queue.”
Many students also complained about Royale, the dance’s venue, saying that it would only be able to host 1,400 out of a class of 2,297 students.
“I understand why they don’t get enough tickets for the full grade because maybe from a profit standpoint … the whole grade’s never all going to go,” Balboni said. “But I think 1,400 is really low considering we’re a grade of like at least [2,200].”
Wang said that while she wished more tickets were available, she also understands the decision to limit the event capacity.
“I understand why they limit it … I’m assuming it’s probably [for] budget reasons,” Wang said. “But also it’s hard to find a venue who accommodates that many people, and also especially during COVID.”
The capacity for the event was set by Royale, according to Razek, though the University continually asks Royale to increase that number.
“We ask them every year if we can up that number, but based on the size of the space and, to be honest with COVID, they take into consideration what the capacity of that space is,” he said. “So 1,400 was a number set by our contract with Royale.”
Even with a limit on the number of tickets, Razek said as of Feb. 10 they were still not sold out.
“It’s shocking to me,” he said. “And so I know … while there’s a cap on the event, we’re about 48 hours into ticket sales and we still have a couple dozen tickets left.”
Although BC considered other venues in Boston this year, Razek said Royale was the best option because of its already established partnership with the University. Royale also helps with most of the event organization including set up and food.
“Royale pretty much manages the event … we just make sure we have staff there and work to sell tickets,” he said. “It’s a low-key event that runs and manages itself because of the partners that we use to the process.”
Wang said she feels like everyone should be able to experience these critical moments in their senior year, regardless of financial status. Tickets costs students $40 plus fees, according to an email sent to seniors on Feb. 8.
“I know Montserrat does help pay for some tickets for some students, but I don’t necessarily know if it’s every student who wants a ticket, so I feel like there should be either more experiences that are inclusive or at least mindful of people that want to participate in senior activities,” Wang said.
Razek said that Senior Week events including the 100 Days Dance are funded not by the University, but from student ticket sales.
“There are some events that are sponsored by different offices and so we don’t need to charge students for those, but the Senior Week events are funded by the students in attendance,” he said.
For students unable to attend the 100 Days Dance, Razek said there are other events such as Dance Through the Decades and Commencement Ball. Also during Senior Week, there will be a sponsored relay through the mods and a Kairos retreat.
“Even if you don’t come to 100 Days, we want to make sure there’s other opportunities to experience that oneness and closure with your fellow seniors,” Razek said.
Despite the difficulties, Balboni said she is still looking forward to the event as a way to celebrate her last year at BC.
“It’s just a nice little last thing with friends and of course you have like, Commencement Ball and [Dance Through the Decades], but there’s just something about 100 Days Dance that’s just like, ‘Oh my God. Our time here is so limited,’” Balboni said. “And this is really just putting a banner over your head to like ‘make this last’ type thing.”
Update (2/19/2022. 2:23 p.m.): This article was updated to include the price of tickets.
Photo courtesy of Mark Miceli / Heights Archives