The senior class council held the senior Met Gala on April 2 in commemoration of their upcoming graduation. Seniors were able to choose between two types of tickets, photo and general admission, and could purchase one ticket for their attendance.
In an email to The News-Letter, Senior Class President Nathan Mudrak explained that there were 300 confirmed registrations with 25 guaranteed walk-ins. There were 26 people on the waitlist, and all walk-ins were admitted. He shared that 251 guests were checked in through Hopkins Groups, but he estimated attendance was around 275 since some guests did not check in.
Mudrak was impressed by the number of seniors who registered for the event. Because of the number of students interested in attending, the council decided to negotiate its initial contract with the venue.
“This allowed us to both allow all seniors who registered within the first hour to have a confirmed ticket and for us to admit all walk-ins/those on the waitlist,” he wrote. “We were then able to open walk-ups to even those members of the Class of 2022 who graduated in December and were therefore unable to register in advance on Hopkins Groups.”
In an email to The News-Letter, senior Mai Hoang discussed the limits placed on registration for the event.
“It’s kind of silly that [the council] held a senior event that can’t accommodate the entire class of seniors, especially because our class never really had the chance to all spend time together in that capacity because of COVID,” she wrote.
Similar to Hoang, graduate student Daniel Wang, a member of the Class of 2022, expressed his frustration with the registration capacity for the event in an email to The News-Letter. He explained that although he understood that the venue may have had its own capacity, the limit prevented a large portion of the senior class from attending.
Wang noted that this is the last event before the seniors graduate and the first since freshman year due to COVID-19.
“It's really a shame considering this is the last big event for us before we graduate, and I know many would have loved to come,” he wrote. “I personally believe that we could have chosen a venue with a higher capacity or created two met galas for two halves of the senior class so more people could come, and the seniors could choose to be with whomever they wanted.”
Wang acknowledged that COVID-19 is still prevalent, and given that vaccinations and boosters are required, another option could have been a mask requirement to allow more seniors to attend.
Mudrak noted that COVID-19 precautions were taken into consideration when organizing this event and placing the attendee capacity.
“While we pushed capacity as much as we could (needing to send in a formal proposal to the university for a waiver of the 50-person capacity limit), we also certainly didn't want to pack people in,” he wrote.
Mudrak elaborated on how the council had a limited budget allocated by the Student Government Association (SGA) that could only pay for as many as was negotiated in the contract with the venue. He explained how if they had admitted anyone over the cap without further negotiations, they would have been at risk of breaking the contract.
In an email to The News-Letter, senior Ellie Buscemi explained that while she believes it is unfortunate that not everyone who wanted to go could get in, she understands why overpacking the venue would have been a risky decision.
“It was honestly a well-planned, good time,” she wrote. “I think a lot of people were originally upset at the maximum capacity but then SGA talked to the venue (according to the email they sent around) and were able to get it increased, which shows SGA responding to student concerns.”
Hoang believes the event wasn’t broadcasted well until a few days prior to the event. She explained how if the students had gotten a notice, more people could’ve had a clear schedule to attend the event.
Wang also commented that there seemed to be an imbalance between the food provided at the event and the drinks that the seniors had an opportunity to buy.
“While having free food is always nice, we were told to eat dinner beforehand, and a ‘Met Gala’ sort of event doesn't really lend itself well to eating a lot of food,” he wrote. “Overall, I would have personally preferred it if we got rid of the food altogether and just put the funds towards free drinks since it would have made the event much more fun and entertaining.”
Mudrak highlighted that students have the opportunity to use the feedback mechanisms SGA has put into place and are welcome to attend weekly general body meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m, in Hodson 311, where they can get immediate responses to their feedback.
“For me personally, there's an anonymous feedback form at the bottom of most of my class-wide emails, and I'm accessible on all main social media platforms, as well as via email, for students to reach out to me directly,” he wrote.