This year, USUAA will be hosting the annual masquerade dance — but this time, there are two twists. One: The event will be held at the Alaska Airlines Center. Two: It will be a rave. Some students say that the rave being held in the Alaska Airlines Center Auxiliary Gym brings back nostalgia of high school dances . USUAA student government Sen. Sophie Leshan, who is Activities Committee chair and an Early Childhood Education major, talked to The Northern Light about the annual event.
TNL: Why is the MasquerRAVE being held in the Alaska Airlines Center Auxiliary Gym?
Leshan: “The Activities Committee arranged MasqueRAVE to be held in the Alaska Airlines Center Auxiliary Gym after receiving a lot of supportive feedback from students. At the beginning of the semester, our committee engaged in an extensive surveying process to get a read on what the students we represent wanted to see at the spring dance. When we asked students about their preferred venue, the Alaska Airlines Center was one of the top choices. We also received responses from Residence Life students — a substantial portion of whom attend our dances — who stated that the off-campus venues (where) USUAA has held dances in the past were not as convenient, so I think hosting MasqueRAVE at the Alaska Airlines Center — a quick walk away from the on-campus living community — is a wonderful opportunity to address this concern!
However, the decision to host at the AAC has not been without difficulty. Unfortunately, the AAC has forced us into a ticketing contract that adds additional fees on students who purchase their tickets anywhere but the AAC box office. We’ve tried to negotiate, but there’s nothing we can do if we want to use the facility. Moreover, catering at the AAC is substantially more expensive, with few discounts available for student organizations. We hope that in the future the AAC is willing to negotiate discounts for students and student-centric events.”
What do you hope this event will bring to UAA students?
“The goal of the Activities Committee is to bring a rousing event to a wider array of UAA students than we’ve reached in the past. Of those surveyed, the majority believed that USUAA should continue utilizing their resources to put on dances. The Activities Committee feels a significant responsibility to utilize the portion of student government funds we receive to serve a vast diversity of students, and our aim is to take all the feedback we received during our surveying efforts to make this event the best it can be for UAA students who wish to attend these types of events.”
What is your favorite part of this event?
“My favorite part of the event is that we really listened to student comments and suggestions while planning for the event. Significant components of the dance including the DJ, chocolate fountain, photo booth and location were all arranged by the Activities Committee following leads from student feedback!”
Why the add of the “RAVE”? Extra pizazz?
“While surveying, we noticed that students had very mixed feelings about the traditional Masquerade Ball theme USUAA has withheld (sic) for the past several spring dances. Many of those surveyed reported that they wished to see less rap and Top 40, and more house or EDM-type music. The MasqueRAVE theme was a product of recognizing our organization’s past traditions while still having a growth mindset for beginning contemporary traditions in a new space!”
Any additional info you’d like to provide?
“The MasqueRAVE Dance is brought to you by the USUAA Student Government Activities Committee, whose mandate is to organize events that encourage campus involvement and enhance student life at UAA. This is the eighth annual spring dance, but first time on campus at the Alaska Airlines Center. Please join us Friday, April 3 from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. for dancing, photo fun, refreshments and entertainment!”