Dance to move and require shuttle

Callie Burgan, News Editor

The winter formal is to see changes this year, including a new location and a transportation requirement.

According to Activities and Engagement Director Heather Hall, a committee of Program Board and Student Government Association members decided to hold the event at Ace’s in Johnstown instead of the traditional venue, Sunnehanna Country Club.

“We had great experiences at Sunnehanna, but we wanted to explore lowering costs for the university and give students more for their money,” Hall said.

“We also wanted to find a venue that would hold more people and include more members of our student body.” Hall said.

A new rule requires all formal attendees to use provided buses as transportation from campus to Ace’s.

  “This was a decision by the committee to help with parking limitations as well as offer safe transportation to and from the event,” Hall said.

“We want to eliminate any issues that could put students and their guests in danger, especially with February weather.  

“Event management with our expected crowd is important to us, so we want to be sure that we are offering a way to have those who are drinking to not drive.

“The shuttles will run continuously. However, students are not able to come and go from the venue and bus. “Once you are there, you are there until you leave on the bus.    

“We also listened to students from previous formals and spent the additional money on charter buses to offer a nicer experience.  

“While it may not make sense to some, it is the decision of the committee that all of our students and their guests do not have vehicles on site.” Hall said.

Tickets are $30 per Pitt-Johnstown student and $35 for nonstudents, which is a $10 increase from last year.

The ticket price includes required charter transportation, according to an email sent out by Student Government Association and Program Board members.

Sophomore Hunter Gleason said he thinks it would be easier for commuter students to attend if there was not a transportation requirement.

“If a commuter student lives closer to Ace’s, it seems unfair that they would have to drive the whole way to campus just to go back on a bus.

“To save money and time, they should just have a breathalyzer at the door. 

“That’s what they did at my high school, and we never had any trouble.” Gleason said.

Williams said she doesn’t think the bus requirement will discourage attendees.

“I believe it is beneficial because people don’t have to worry about bringing their car keys or driving if the weather is bad. 

“Students of age don’t have to worry about having a designated driver, and in general they don’t have to worry about finding a spot to park.

“We are trying to keep our students as safe as possible and allow them to have a night full of fun, too.” Williams said.

The dance is to take place Feb. 22. Cocktails and a cash bar are to begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. 

All non-alcoholic drinks are provided in the ticket purchase. The event dress code is cocktail attire.