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Junior Class Dance Takes Students to Junior High

Streamers, strobe lights, and board games transformed Annenberg from an austere dining hall to a middle-school cafeteria this weekend as the junior class returned to junior high.

The Junior Class Events Commission (JCEC) held its first social event to promote class pride, “Junior Class Does Junior High.”

The JCEC, which under a different name has in years past planned Junior Parent’s Weekend, cooperated with Campus Life Fellow Justin H. Haan ’05 this fall to organize such an event.

“People indicated that they wanted to have some greater class community between freshman year and Senior Week,” Haan said.

Playing off of the word “junior,” the committee decided to throw a middle-school dance featuring nineties pop music, JCEC co-chair Pia S. Desai ’07 said.

“It’s a balance between something special for the junior class and enjoyable for the entire Harvard community,” JCEC co-chair Daniel Gonzalez-Kreisberg ’07 said. Juniors had free entry to the dance, but all other undergraduates had to pay a $5 admission fee.

The commission secured a $2,000 grant from the Student Activities Fund for the event, Haan said.

But the Undergraduate Council denied the committee any funding, Gonzalez-Kreisberg said.

The UC felt a “serious discomfort with funding an event that they felt could or should have been funded by the Dean’s Office,” UC and JCEC member Lauren P.S. Epstein ’07 said.

Epstein said she was dismayed with the UC’s decision.

“The UC states as one of its objectives improving the quality of life on campus,” she said. “This dance was a very important part of that in terms of increasing class cohesion among the juniors and providing a valuable piece of entertainment on a Friday night.”

The grant from the Student Activities Fund was insufficient to cover the party costs, Epstein said. The JCEC has yet to assess whether it turned a profit from the event, Desai wrote in an e-mail.

According to Gonzalez-Kreisberg, around 800 students attended the dance. The JCEC believes that over a quarter of the junior class went to the dance at some point during the night, he said.
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