First-year class comes together for Mardi Gras formal

The Allegheny Student Government Class of 2020 senators held the annual First-Year Formal at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Schultz Banquet Hall. The event was Mardi Gras themed and between 75 and 100 students attended.

Popular music filled the room throughout the night, balloons bounced and popped across the floor and all of the pizza was gone within the first 30 minutes of the formal. The night was considered a success by many of the first-year senators.

“I am very happy with the turnout,” Class of 2020 President Hamza Masaeed said. “More people than we expected showed up.”

Class of 2020 Vice President Jason Ferrante said the event’s Facebook event had less than 100 people RSVP but around that number arrived in the first five minutes.

“We were all really surprised by the big turnout, especially with the snow,” Ferrante said. “I believe it speaks volumes about how involved the Class of 2020 is.”

By 9 p.m., many of the first-years — wearing their Mardi Gras beads — had made their way to the dance floor as songs like the “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Cupid Shuffle” played over the speakers.

“I really loved the decorations, like the necklaces and streamers,” Cayton Hornberger, ’20, said. “Dressing up was nice too since I don’t get to do that too often.”

While the 2020 senators have hosted and participated in other events this year, such as a collaborative event with the ASG Class of 2018 Senators on study day and the Meadville Halloween Parade, the First-Year Formal was the biggest event for the 2020 class.

“We wanted to bring the entire first-year class together so that they would be able to know each other a little better but also enjoy themselves,” Ferrante said.

The event also provided an occasion for the first-years to dust off their formal attire, which Class of 2020 Sen. Gabriel McIntire said many students bring to college but never get a chance to wear.

The biggest challenge for the Class of 2020 senators was planning, which began when they returned from winter break. Last year’s formal was winter themed, according to Sen. Elyse Cinquino. The senators this year  contemplated a Valentine’s Day theme but ultimately decided on Mardi Gras.

“It was a team effort for sure,” Ferrante said. “We each had individual roles that we identified that we would be good at, and we focused on that.”

As the public relations chair, Cinquino said that her role was to get the word out about the formal.

“I posted on the Facebook 2020 page, sent out a reminder on the Remind101 texting service, tabled and helped make the poster,” Cinquino said.

We wanted to bring the entire first-year class together so that they would be able to know each other a little better but also enjoy themselves.

— Jason Ferrante

The week of the event, community advisers in first-year dorms also sent out emails to help spread the word about the formal.

“We talked with a lot of students to get their input of what they would like to see too,” Masaeed said. “It was a lot of collaborating to make sure everyone would be happy.”

Other members of ASG assisted the Class of 2020 with the event as well.

“We relied a lot on outside help and support to get this event going. Several senators from other classes came to help and made sure everything went smoothly,” Ferrante said. “Without everyone’s help, I don’t think this event would have been possible.”

The senators did run into some problems, including struggling to find a DJ and borrowing a speaker from residence life at the last minute.

“We had to make compromises because of time constraints and our budget,” Cinquino said. “There are a lot of growing pains in ASG. While most of us were in student government in high school, it is very different, and we can do so much more here.”

Despite these problems, the 2020 senators considered the night a success.

“I’m really excited that the formal went well,” Cinquino said. “We planned this for our class and everyone seemed to have a really good time.”