Late ‘Gate Dance

Late Gate Dance

Elsie Denton

Colgate suffers from a lack of formal events, at least if you aren’t involved in a fraternity or sorority. In fact it lacks a lot to do after nightfall that doesn’t involve alcohol. Non-drinkers may find themselves doing homework just to keep themselves busy. Not to imply that homework is a waste of time, but Colgate could do more to encourage diversity here on campus by providing a broader range of activities. Very few college students find themselves in bed at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. They should have options that are fun, active and healthy, and won’t encourage them to develop alcoholism. This is the mentality and the action plan behind one of Colgate’s latest initiatives, Late ‘Gate.

Late ‘Gate came into existence this semester to cater to the perpetual insomnia that college seems to encourage in students. Much like a mini-Budget Allocation Committee (BAC) students and organizations can bring event ideas before the committee. Ideas should be for substance-free, fun events to take place at all hours of the night, after 10 p.m. that is. You have to provide the staffing but, if your idea is approved, Late ‘Gate will provide the funding.

So far Late ‘Gate has been operating in a rather clandestine fashion since word of its existence hasn’t spread yet. But the program is responsible for one well publicized event that had people giddy with excitement, last Friday’s, November 14, Guy Fawkes Masquerade Ball.

Guy Fawkes? What? Isn’t that the guy who tried to blow up the British Parliament back in 1605? Indeed he was, dear reader ,and part of the night’s festivities were finding and capturing the man before he had a chance to do the dubious deed.

The Guy Fawks Ball was held in the atrium for the Robert B. Ho Science Center.

“It is a nice, big, open space,” head organizer sophomore Margaret Swaney said. “I love the building; I know a lot of people who love it. There aren’t a lot of big open spaces like it on campus, particularly not that look nice.”

Attendees were encouraged to dress in formal wear and bring masks. Apparently Colgate students don’t hide behind masks to commit their nefarious deeds because only very few showed up with their own masks. Swaney and team where prepared though and had a plethora of shiny gold, green and purple masks to hand around. The formal-wear requirement went over much better even though there wasn’t a bouncer at the door to turn away those who weren’t up to snuff. Many of the gorgeous dresses that twirled across the floor last Friday probably hadn’t seen the light since senior prom.

A surprising amount of actual dancing went on during the ball. Perhaps the bright lights and open space limited the grinding possibilities, but more than a few couples waltzed across the floor or sashayed down the hall.

Swaney explained that Coglate’s Ballroom Dance Club had helped host the ball in concert with Late ‘Gate.

“It is a chance for the Ballroom Dance Club to show off what they have been practicing all semester,” Swaney said.

The evening’s music was a rather odd blend. Sweney and company played mostly modern music but they tried to select songs that would allow the possibility of traditional ballroom dancing.

The highlight of the evening, or at least it was supposed to be, was the hunt for Guy Fawkes. At exactly half past the eleventh hour the hunt began. One among the nervous masqueraders had been chosen as the terrorist, Guy Fawkes. Some were townsfolk who were supposed to discover Guy Fawkes’ identity so that they could protect him. Others were the servants of an oppressive government, out to catch the villain before he set off the bomb. Knowledge could be gained only by questioning your fellow masqueraders. Sounds fun in theory but few people were interested in interrogating every person in the room. Everyone hung around in awkward clumps for the next half hour until midnight struck and the organizers announced that Guy Fawkes had been caught. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The Ho would not go up in a great ball of flames.

Was the ball a success? Probably, but there is room for improvement. Perhaps Swaney’s idea of adding a prize for the best dressed couple will help add to the excitement next time.