Eliot Adds New Fall Formal

A peek inside the gated Eliot House courtyard on a typical day in September reveals students lounging in the sun as they enjoy the view of the Charles River.

But for the first time on one Saturday evening this fall, the courtyard will transform into a classy dance floor decked out in flowers and lights with music, hors d’oeuvre, drinks, and “maybe even fireworks,” according to an email sent to the House community.

Response to the House life satisfaction survey conducted over the summer indicated that there was student interest in having an another formal event in addition to Eliot’s Winter Formal in December and Fête, the spring formal dance, in April.

As a result of the survey, the Eliot House Committee decided to throw its first-ever September Soiree this Saturday.“

It’s a chance to have everyone outside [in the courtyard] when the weather is still nice,” HoCo Co-Chair Jordan E. Sessler ’13 said. “It’s also a chance to foster more unity in the House.”

Sessler said that the night will begin with classic American music, such as “Sweet Caroline,” while guests sip on drinks like shandy and sangria. As the night goes on, the Soiree will feature a DJ, a dance floor, and “everything else that makes a good event,” Sessler said.

“The sophomores will get to see what the House is all about, and the seniors will get the most out of the House experience for their last year,” said Erin M. Fahy ’13, Stein Club co-chair who is also in charge of organizing the September Soiree.

Fahy said that the event is significantly smaller in scale than Fête, Eliot’s highest-budget event of the year and one of the biggest spring formals at the College, with 900 attendees last year. The Soiree’s cost is about a third of the size of Fête’s roughly $20,000 budget, according to Sessler.

Though Soiree will be smaller, Fahy said she expects it will be similarly successful in fostering a sense of community in the House. The September Soiree is open to all Eliot students who pay $52 annual House dues. Each Eliot student is allowed to bring one guest.

According to Sessler, HoCo is “really invested” in making the September Soiree a success, adding that its budget is bigger than that of the Winter Formal. “Eliot is the best House,” Sessler said, “and we just want to make it better.”

—Staff write Jane Seo can be reached at janeseo@college.harvard.edu.

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