Georgetown students will face a Friday night dilemma this spring, as miscommunications led to the scheduling of both the 89th Annual Diplomatic Ball and the Georgetown Program Board Spring Kickoff Concert on the night of April 4.
This is not the first time a scheduling conflict of this sort has occurred. Last year, the ball conflicted with Relay for Life, and while the leaders of those two events worked together this year so as to avoid a similar issue, the respective ball and spring concert planners did not take each other into account.
Both the ball and concert are highly anticipated events planned well in advance, which includes the scheduling of venues. For the kickoff concert, McDonough Arena was scheduled immediately after last year’s Calvin Harris concert wrapped last spring. For the ball, after the committee chairs were elected in the spring, the venue was booked when students returned to campus in the fall.
The conflicting date was brought to the respective organizations’ attention in November, by which point it was too late to make changes.
“We spoke to each other but at that point we realized it was too late. Everyone had already booked their [respective] venue[s],” GPB Spring Kickoff Committee Chair Tiara Kawser (MSB ’15) said.
The organizations initially attempted to work together to seek alternatives, including arranging transportation for the students to shuttle back and forth between events if they were interested, but in the end, the funding from both ends proved inadequate to cover such expenditures.
“We talked to Tiara and we thought about taking GUTS buses and asking them to drive people from Dip Ball to the Spring Kickoff, but neither of us have the budget to do that,” Diplomatic Ball Committee Chair Victoire Carrasco (SFS ’15) said.
Kawser admitted that more could have been done to ensure that the events would be held on separate evenings.
“I wish it didn’t have to be this way. It was kind of a miscommunication on both our ends, which is a lesson to learn for the upcoming years,” Kawser said.
Carrasco added that perhaps in the future, a master scheduling plan or more effective communication route would be best to ensure that each event could be accorded its own time frame.
“We’ve learned that it would be good for someone higher up to be coordinating these events,” Carrasco said.
While neither organization anticipates majorly depressed attendance levels, Kawser did express some concern.
“I think the event will still be successful because the concert is something that a lot of students look forward to, but it is unfortunate because Dip Ball is a huge event as well. It will definitely affect our numbers. I know people will definitely be torn,” Kawser said.
Dip Ball recognizes that ticket sales may be affected as well, but considering that the event has consistently sold out in recent years, Carrasco is not overwhelmingly concerned.
“We sell out every year. It may affect ticket sales, but it will affect both sides,” Carrasco said.
Both organizations have remained upbeat in spite of the scheduling concerns. The upcoming artist reveal for the Spring Kickoff looks to capture students’ curiosity and interest in the event.
“I think that the artist will be highly anticipated. We will release it as soon as possible so students can get excited,” Kawser said.
Similarly, the ball leadership understands that although the events coincide, the array of students at Georgetown suggests that varying interests will lead students to both events.
“The good thing about Georgetown students is that everyone has very diverse interests, so I think both events are appealing to a large group of students. We are lucky in a way that these events come back every year, so if you don’t make it this year, you can always make it to the one next year,” Carrasco said.
Students seem to feel confident that both events will be successful as well.
“I plan on going to the Spring Kickoff Concert. It has nothing to do with ticket price, really. I just am more interested in the concert,” Courtney Lenny (NHS ’17) said. “[However], most of my friends are going to Dip Ball.”
If students feel torn between the events, and ticket prices are of no concern, it is possible to attend both events. The ball begins at 8 p.m., while the concert is expected to start over an hour later.
“There is a way around the conflict for students who want to go to both. If students want to do that, it can be done,” Carrasco said.