Founders’ Day Ball postponed for now due to snow

The Founders’ Day Ball, originally scheduled for Feb. 20, was postponed indefinitely due to complications resulting from last week’s historic snowfall, according to Student Government Vice President Alex Prescott.

The SG was in negotiations to have the ball in the Old Post Office Pavilion when last week’s snowstorms forced both the university and the Pavilion to close for nearly all of last week, delaying contractual negotiations.

Negotiations were behind schedule due to a past occurrence in the Pavilion during a George Washington University dance, Prescott said. During the dance, a student was stabbed, prompting the venue to insist on more stringent security measures for the Founders’ Day Ball.

Furthermore, orders of flowers, food and other merchandise associated with the ball were unable to be delivered on time, according to Prescott.

Orders for more merchandise were also unable to be made because they had to go through Student Activities, which was closed for most of this week, he said.

Prescott, who consented only to an e-mail interview for follow-up information, would not comment as to why the SG chose the Pavilion for its venue.

Class of 2010 Senator Steve Dalton said he was annoyed that the Senate, along with campus media outlets, found out about the postponement from an SG press release sent Friday.

“We just want to know what’s going on if there’s a problem with the timeline,” he said. “Hearing about it from a press release annoyed me more than the fact I had heard about it a week before [the ball].”

As vice president, Prescott is charged with coordinating events for the student body, including Founders’ Day and Artemas Ward Week. Prescott appointed Jacque Martin to exclusively coordinate the Founders’ Day Ball. Martin did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

Last semester, there was controversy regarding Prescott’s handling of Artemas Ward Week. Some students, including former SG Treasurer Matt Handverger, complained that there was a lack of programming.

One event during Artemas Ward Week was canceled due to conflicts with Bon Appétit, and another event was moved to another day after a date on a contract was wrong. The caterers arrived on the day specified in the contract, but the event was scheduled for the next day. The caterers came back the next day for an extra fee.

Planners of last year’s ball also encountered several setbacks. Problems with the cost of the venue, the Mellon Auditorium, and a shortage of tickets compared to demand caused the SG to later issue more tickets to the event.

Dalton said Founders’ Day is the signature SG event.

“This is the one thing that students know Student Government does,” he said. “So I think the vice president needs to spend some extra time in the office, some extra time on the phone, some extra time with his director and say ‘let’s get this done because it’s important.’”

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