By Amina Bhatti
The night of Sept. 12 was festive and frivolous as it pulsated with the beat of pop music into the wee hours of the next day. Students crowded into the large dark hall of the Lombardi Fieldhouse, dressed to the nines and full of energy and excitement.
This was the scene of the 11th annual President’s Ball, which is open to Fordham students from all the university’s campuses, bringing them together as part of one large ramily. Sodexo catered a variety of snacks and beverages that were served at the event. Students could enjoy their food sitting at one of the many small round tables set up in the back of the room or head to the dance floor to move to the beat of the latest hits.
It was a night full of merriment and memories.
The President’s Ball is a tradition that began when Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, was inaugurated as the 32nd President of Fordham University and deemed it to be an event worth holding each year. Assistant Secretary of Fordham University Jennifer Nolan explained that the event originally took place at McGinley Center before it was moved to the Lombardi Fieldhouse to accommodate the throngs of students in attendance. “As many as 1,500-2,000 students come each year,” Nolan said. She pointed out the fact that the RSVP list several hours before the event kicked off already had 900 names.
“People don’t always RSVP,” Nolan mentioned. Many people, generally more than what the list indicates, attend.
The Ram Van, the intercampus transportation service for Fordham, shuttles students from Lincoln Center to the ball and back.
As with any event of its size, the President’s Ball takes careful planning. Both the Office of the President, as well as the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD) coordinate to set up and run the ball. The ball usually takes place close to Homecoming for Fordham students. Last year, Nolan explained that the ball took place in October, so this year it was hosted relatively early.
While the particular date of the ball is subject to change, certain traditions are kept as they prove popular with the crowd. DJ Cassidy is a great favorite with Fordham, as evidenced by his presence at the President’s Ball for the past few years. This year was no exception: Cassidy arrived to turn up the music and mix beats for the entertainment of all.
Whether students wanted to take a break from dancing or were simply hungry, they had a circle of tables full of food throughout the night to keep themselves energized or just stuffed. The selection of foods included various hors d’ouvres, chips, crackers, fruits, salads, sambosas, other fun finger foods and even desserts. The beverages included sodas, lemonade and iced water.
While some students thoroughly enjoyed the party, others thought that the event could use a few changes. Ryan Khan and Kimberly Velasquez, FCRH ’17, agreed that “[the event] was fun, but there could’ve been better food and music.”
Perhaps the essence of the ball was captured in the statement of another student, Tiffany McKay, FCRH ’17: “[While it was fun] the best part was seeing everyone have fun as well!” Overall, the special tradition of the President’s Ball has given the student body a night to remember and look forward to every year.
Amina Bhatti is a Staff Writer for The Fordham Ram.