By Madeleine Thompson
A tradition that began in 1996 but was discontinued in 2011, Philander’s Phling was reincarnated last Saturday in a new event, Philander’s Ball. Organized by the Senior Class Committee, the Ball featured snacks on the basketball court of the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC), dancing in Tomsich arena and the student band Motown.
Casey Griffin ’14, Lucy Phillips ’14 and Emma Strickler ’14 were the main organizers of the event, supported by Associate Dean of Students Tacci Smith. “I think it went well,” Phillips wrote in an email. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from students. And Campus Safety told us that the night went really smoothly on their end, so that’s great.”
Smith, on the other hand, pointed out some things that could’ve gone better. When the Phebruary Phunds committee met to decide which proposals would receive funding, they chose the Feb. 15 date because “there was nothing going on in the KAC.”
Somewhere between the decision and the event, however, the tennis team scheduled a match that started in the late afternoon and continued into the evening, which required the lights to be left on in the courts next to the arena. “The lights were not supposed to be on,” Smith said, adding that it threw off the ambiance.
“Apparently, [Kenyon] had already won the overall match. … So in some ways, they could’ve not played the last matches. It’s problematic because [that affected] this event, and [it was] frustrating.” Smith also lamented the fact that there wasn’t much socializing between students and the faculty and staff who attended.
However, she was happy that most student volunteers showed up for their assigned shifts and that the Ball helped break up the monotony of winter.
“I think it was a good first chance at it,” Smith said. “I think if any group goes to take it on for next year … it takes thinking through these issues.”
Students who attended the Ball gave mixed reviews: Luke Kresslein ’15 thought it was “good until it started sucking because the live band stopped playing,” but Freeland Ellis ’17 thought it was “really great.”
“I liked the music,” Ellis said. “I liked the set up. I liked the candy. I ate a lot of candy. And I liked that you could talk to people and dance.”
The final cost for the event has not yet been calculated, but Smith thinks they stuck fairly close to their $3,600 budget, which covered everything from coat racks to maintenance staff. Reflecting on the event planning, Phillips would “realize that it takes a lot of time and effort” earlier in the process. Overall, though, she would suggest bringing it back next year, however, there are no current plans to do so.
Phoebe Carter contributed reporting.