AUGIE DANCES UNDER REVIEW BY UBG, ASA

MATTHEW STOFFEL

mtstoffel11@ole.augie.edu

dance

Sweat hasn’t dripped from the Back Alley ceiling for almost four months.

UBG postponed dances last semester when concerns were expressed about student safety and other aspects of the events.

Patrick Brende, UBG’s Head Governor, said the group wants to assess whether dances fit the UBG mission.

“At the start of the year, we knew that we needed to change dances to make it a safer environment, so we took steps to do that,” Brende said.

These steps included stricter policies about denying obviously inebriated students admittance and making the “Safety Dance” crew more visible with event t-shirts.

However, a more thorough evaluation of dance practices was requested by administration officials.

“There have been some complaints on a number of people’s behalf,” said Jeff Venekamp, director of student activities. “My first and foremost responsibility is to make sure activities are held in a safe and healthy manner.”

ASA senator Emily Grandprey, chair of the co-curricular council, said the administration asked ASA and UBG to form a student-led committee to evaluate dances.

After meeting with Venekamp and dean of students Jim Bies , Brende and Grandprey reviewed dance attendance records to compile a representative group of students.

“We wanted not only people who attend dances, but also people who don’t attend dances and people who are involved in different things on campus,” Brende said.

The committee consists of 15 students and four administrative officials who will meet over the next three to four weeks.

“What we really want it to be is a fact-finding task force,” Grandprey said.

This will include gathering student perceptions about dances and information about dances at other colleges.

One of the first steps the committee took was issuing an anonymous survey on dances to 600 students on Tuesday. The survey is designed to offer different questions based on whether students have or have not attended dances.

After gathering information, the committee will make a recommendation to UBG about how dances should be changed or whether they should be discontinued.

“In my opinion, people aren’t going to stop dancing,” Brende said. “They’re a fun release for people.”

Without UBG facilitating, Brende said dances would likely occur someone with less concern for safety.

According to sophomore Dakota Driver, many students that attend Augie dances haven’t experienced larger dances. This can cause them to find dances gross or think they need to be drunk to partake.

“I know there ends up being a decent amount of being who aren’t sober, but I also know there’s plenty of people who are sober,” Driver said.

Driver said he enjoys the way dances bring people who aren’t usually social together to have a good time.

“At the Augie dances the most unsafe I’ve felt was if I couldn’t walk five feet without getting shoved,” Driver said. “But even that doesn’t bother me.”

Both administrative officials and student leaders stress that the committee was not formed in response to an incident at a dance.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive,” Grandprey said.