School dances at Pacific University are constantly evolving and in recent years have undergone a massive overhaul in their format to promote student safety and enjoyment. This spring semester, the Activities and Cultural Events Board (ACE) will once again switch things up and allow for re-entry into dances. According to ACE Board Director Pete Erschen, all students who sign up for an advanced ticket to dances this semester will be allowed re-entry privileges.
“The reason re-entry was limited in the past was mainly for managing the line,” Erschen said. The several entry and exit points at dances in the past added to the trouble of managing students and compromised the safety of the dances. Allowing some students the chance to leave a dance and return at any point, raised concerns over alcohol and drug consumption. The newly implemented set of rules for dances were introduced last year by ACE Board. The fact that dances today only have one main entry and exit point, monitored by a Campus Public Safety (CPS) officer throughout the night, has helped safety at dances drastically improved. “Historically, on dance weekends, we have had an uptick in vandalism and overall write-ups, usually alcohol related,” CPS Manager Jerry Rice said.
“The new implementations ACE Board has done, requiring tickets, checking people in and turning away those who are unfit for the dance has been huge. We still have write-ups on those weekends but it is definitely less than it used to be.” Erschen and ACE Board are hoping this re-entry privilege paired with new themes for dances this semester will revitalize student interest and encourage more people to partake after the one and only dance held last semester drew a total crowd of 70 students, a decrease in participation numbers from previous years.
“Maybe the fact that people can now come and go as they please, if they get their ticket in advance, and show up at the one entry point so we can know that they are ok and functioning, will make dances better,” Erschen said. “For everybody.” The first dance of spring semester will be from 8:30-11:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the Multipurpose Room of the University Center and will be neon themed. Students can get their tickets in advance online at tinyurl.com/ACEdances. “Be mindful, be respectful and obey the law,” Rice said. “Too much ‘pre-func’ is never good for a dance.”