OP-EDS

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February 18, 2005

Bring back the ball

During the time of Vietnam and Woodstock, the University of Chicago created its own tradition as a lasting testament to the counterculture era: the Lascivious Costume Ball. In its original form, the ball was a conduit for University students to relieve sexual frustration and break away from their tired intellectual lives through mock beauty pageants, wild dancing, and gaudy costumes. However, from its initiation in the late 1960s to its demise in the early '80s, when former President Hannah Gray shut it down, the ball evolved from a mockery of a staid formal into a ruckus crashed by drunken, drugged, and often naked students (and non-students).

Now, even in a University climate that has accepted, if not applauded, the Polar Bear Run, Scav Hunt, Vita Excolatur, and the cross country team's quarterly streak through the Reg, students are not exactly clamoring for another event for blatantly debauched event, such as the ball was. Yet, the original purpose of the Lascivious Ball, for students to have a madcap event to let loose and just have fun, has not been completely achieved on this campus.

The problems that administrators had with the original ball (the violent altercations, drunkenness, and uninvited intruders) can perhaps be solved with a tamer, more regulated version. While the U of C could continue on without the ball, the Maroon would not be opposed to bringing it back to titillate the masses. First and foremost, issues of security must be addressed. Although it might be hard to make students carry University IDs while naked, it's worth a new look. Party on.