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Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Eagle

Op/ed: SG responds to Founder’s Day criticism

I greatly appreciate the feedback that The Eagle editorial board provided. Rather than criticizing the process, the board provided concrete suggestions and even gave us credit for improvements we have already made.

First, we have strived to make this event better every year. Prior to 2012, a majority of students were unaware Founder’s Day Ball existed. In 2011 at the Corcoran, less than 400 attended and we were forced to charge for tickets. From that point on it was the vision of the university, Student Government and all partners to make the ball more accessible, open and memorable for all students.

We are working tirelessly to expand and improve the event. Given financial and logistical restrictions, it’s not possible overnight. In the past four years, we have been able to increase attendance from 400 to 900 to 1,200 to 1,300 and are working to find ways to make it even bigger.

Previously, the Graduate Leadership Council took part in the event. This year, they chose not to participate, putting a heavier financial burden on SG and RHA. Despite this, we still added more tickets.

All suggestions that The Eagle gave have already been considered, and here is why they have not been implemented:

1. Names must remain on tickets. If a student gets a ticket from us and then decides to “re-sell” it to someone, we are in a significant legal bind with the venue. This also prevents tickets being given to people outside AU.

2. There is an easy solution to surrender your ticket. If you cannot attend the ball, simply email We take the next student off the waitlist and register that student. Why put the burden on students to pawn off their ticket when they cannot attend?

3. Regardless of whether tickets are sold in-person or online, students will still complain about how fast they sell. In-person ticketing is far from perfect. However, it gives students a bigger investment in their ticket rather than simply registering online. Additionally, not everyone has consistent Internet access.

4. The ball celebrates all of AU. Moreover, not all upperclassmen are available the night of the ball or are even interested. The event is meant to be celebrated as a community for everyone. Our advisers already rejected exclusive upperclassmen ticketing times last semester. At the end of the day, the ball and the process will never be able to accommodate all students.

It is never the SG’s goal to make things more difficult. We learn from the past with a vision to make the future better. That is what AU stands for. If someone can find the space, money, and logistics to have a Founder’s Day ball for all AU students and alumni, please call me. I’d love to hear about that idea. Until then, we will try to make this the best ball to date and continue to strive to make it better every year.

Abigail Finn is a senior in the School of Public Affairs.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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