The mood was exuberant as close to 450 students attended the University of Chicago’s 2007 Fall Formal at the downtown Swissôtel ballroom, which brimmed with catered hors d’œuvres and music. Reminiscent of a senior prom, large groups of friends, rather than couples, dominated the scene, lending the otherwise formal, upscale event a relaxed vibe.
Members of the Council on University Programming (COUP), which plans the Formal as well as Dance Marathon and Summer Breeze, considered this year’s event a success. Wendy Gonzalez, chair of the COUP board, was enthusiastic about the dramatically increased ticket sales this year, noting that “[selling out of tickets] happens pretty rarely. It hasn’t happened since I’ve been here. We had numerous e-mails Thursday and even into Friday from people begging for tickets.” According to Gonzalez, budgetary restrictions limiting the number of buses COUP could provide to shuttle students to and from the event caused a shortage of tickets.
Assistant Chair Jane Li attributed the high sales primarily to “better marketing and a better location.” This sentiment was echoed by others on the board, who believe that the upscale setting and well-known downtown location was a major draw for students. On the entertainment committee, Alexandra Long added that “this year we started selling tickets a lot earlier,” which helped spread awareness of the event. With such a successful result this year, the COUP board is optimistic about next year’s prospects. According to Long, “we really hope that next year we can increase the attendance and capacity even more.”