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1400 Attend Ball, But Have Trouble Getting Home

By Amita M. Shukla

Almost a quarter of Harvard's undergraduate population got in touch with their inner child on Saturday evening at the Children's Museum, when about 1,400 students attended the annual CityStep Ball held at the museum.

This year's formal was one of the club's most successful, with a record number of tickets sold, according to Melanie Q. Kansil '98, co-executive producer of CityStep.

But a number of organizational glitches caused confusion towards the end of the program, according to students attending the dance.

Although students said transportation to the event was well-organized, many said returning from the ball was more difficult because there was not enough space on buses back to campus after the formal ended at 1 a.m.

"I ended up waiting on the street for an hour before getting on a bus and there were about 100 people out there who missed the buses after the event ended," Heather L. Stroud '98 said.

"A lot of people were trying to get on the buses and pushing each other," Scott D. Muoio '99 said. "There was confusion as to where the buses would stop and there were crowds waiting outside."

Students said that many of the buses were packed to capacity and some filled up before getting to the front of the museum.

"We walked over the bridge to get a cab but there was a school bus coming so we got on," said Margaret E. Schotte '99. "It kept stopping for students and was full before it even got to the museum, so it just turned back to Harvard."

"My roommate ended up wandering into Boston and the bus picked her up somewhere in the middle of Boston," Stroud said.

Organizers said that there was some confusion involving transportation for the event, which is the only yearly campus-wide formal.

Kansil said that some buses mistakenly showed up at the museum at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, but added that the error did not affect the bus shortage after the ball.

Citystep organizers decided early in the evening to run the buses continuously rather than every half-hour, in order to accommodate the large number of students attending the event, according to Kansil.

"At least from my end of it, I think things went well," Kansil said. "There is always confusion inherent in transporting that many people no matter what you do."

"I saw a lot of people waiting outside, but there is no way to transport that many people at once," said Kristin N. Javaras '99, co-producer of the ball. Javaras added that one of the reasons for the backup was that most students stayed until 1 a.m., instead of leaving the dance early.

Students also said that the large number of students attending the ball led to confusion in the coatroom.

"The coatroom was extremely chaotic," said Jane C. Manners '97. "At the end everyone was trying to get their coat at the same time and there were purses and cameras all over the floor. I think the CityStep organizers were overwhelmed and people were also too impatient to get their coats and get out of there."

Organizers said some of the confusion could probably be avoided at future events. This was the first year the ball was held at the Children's Museum.

"There are certainly ways we can improve," Kansil said. "You learn about the specifics of a venue by having an event there."

Nonetheless, most students said that they enjoyed the event and were particularly pleased with the ball's site.

"I had a very good time there," said William C. Ewing '99."There were a lot of different things to do there and it was a nice opportunity to get out into Boston."

"I think they definitely put forth a great effort and I think everyone there was having a great time," Manners said. "Despite the little glitches, it worked out very well.

Organizers said that there was some confusion involving transportation for the event, which is the only yearly campus-wide formal.

Kansil said that some buses mistakenly showed up at the museum at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, but added that the error did not affect the bus shortage after the ball.

Citystep organizers decided early in the evening to run the buses continuously rather than every half-hour, in order to accommodate the large number of students attending the event, according to Kansil.

"At least from my end of it, I think things went well," Kansil said. "There is always confusion inherent in transporting that many people no matter what you do."

"I saw a lot of people waiting outside, but there is no way to transport that many people at once," said Kristin N. Javaras '99, co-producer of the ball. Javaras added that one of the reasons for the backup was that most students stayed until 1 a.m., instead of leaving the dance early.

Students also said that the large number of students attending the ball led to confusion in the coatroom.

"The coatroom was extremely chaotic," said Jane C. Manners '97. "At the end everyone was trying to get their coat at the same time and there were purses and cameras all over the floor. I think the CityStep organizers were overwhelmed and people were also too impatient to get their coats and get out of there."

Organizers said some of the confusion could probably be avoided at future events. This was the first year the ball was held at the Children's Museum.

"There are certainly ways we can improve," Kansil said. "You learn about the specifics of a venue by having an event there."

Nonetheless, most students said that they enjoyed the event and were particularly pleased with the ball's site.

"I had a very good time there," said William C. Ewing '99."There were a lot of different things to do there and it was a nice opportunity to get out into Boston."

"I think they definitely put forth a great effort and I think everyone there was having a great time," Manners said. "Despite the little glitches, it worked out very well.

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