SCPC’s first annual formal held in exhibition hall

A picture of the SCPC formal. The event comes at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic and provided students with a chance to gather and dance with friends. // Photo by Andy Borst Student Publications

It was a night to celebrate under the night sky as the Student Center Programs Council (SCPC) hosted their first ever formal dance on March 5. Tickets for the event, which were free for Tech students, sold out in two hours of being released.

The event attracted many students for two main reasons. For one, the event is one amongst many of an increasing number of events hosted on campus that have allowed students to slowly begin to feel a sense of social normalcy after two years of pandemic worries. Second, the event’s formal attire dress code attracted many who have been waiting for an opportunity to break out their suit jackets and dresses.

Chandler Pitts, a third-year ME and attendee of the event, was especially drawn to the dance for the later reason.

“The words formal attire [convinced me to come]. There are so few reasons to dress up already, and the pandemic certainly didn’t help. Sometimes it’s just nice to dress up and get out,” said Pitts.

The event was held on campus in the exhibition hall, allowing for the building’s sliding door to be lifted to create an indoor-outdoor style experience. While the main event was hosted inside, the fresh air was allowed to come in and lawn games such as cornhole and giant Jenga were readily available outside for students to play if anybody wanted to take a break from dancing.

The dance is one of several SCPC events put on to help provide a fun outlet for Tech students to destress with their friends throughout the year. Other events regularly put on by SCPC every year include Midnight Breakfast, GT Six Flags night, GT Night at the Aquarium and many more events put on by SCPC’s various student-led committees. Many students take advantage of every event SCPC has to offer, making tickets to their events in great demand.

“I have been to three other SCPC events, including the Georgia Aquarium and Midnight Breakfast, and I would say this was on par with the other events. It was fairly well organized and had a relaxed, fun feel to it,” said Pitts. Upon entry, students were greeted to a wide dance floor with tables and drinks located in the back. A DJ had set up shop at the front of the room and a photo booth was located off to the side where students could pose with various props with their friends and have their photos printed. Multicolored lights surrounded the transformed exhibition hall room and provided a fun, laid back atmosphere to an otherwise formal event. “I did enjoy the atmosphere of the dance quite a bit; it was loose enough to have fun but not completely wild,” said Pitts. The event began at 7 p.m. but started fairly slow, with most of the crowd not showing up until an hour into the event. However, after the first hour, the dance began to pick up speed, with music booming out of the middle of campus as over a hundred students forgot about the stressors of school and spent a night under the stars.

While there was a solid crowd of students at the dance, it was clear that the pandemic had still prevented the event from reaching its max capacity, with a hard limit on the amount of student tickets available. The lack of tickets was a common complaint among many, and reflective of the toll the pandemic continues to have on student organizations hosting large scale events for the Tech community.

“The dance could have been better if they allowed more people and if they had food of some kind,” said Pitts. As students exited the event, they were given a goodie bag on the way out filled with stickers, a bouncy ball with the SCPC logo on it and starbursts candies to cap off their night under the stars.

While the pandemic has shifted the social gatherings of the student body, the dance was a promising sign that the days of social distancing are seeing themselves out of our everyday lives, something we can all be grateful for.