Diversity Leadership Council Hosts COVID-safe Diversity-Ball

Mula LayStaff Writer

The Diversity Ball (or D-Ball) is an annual event held by the Diversity Leadership Council (DLC). The event usually features a dinner, a dance, a live show and an award ceremony. It is a night to celebrate the works of students and staff on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This year’s D-Ball was held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 17 at the Gustavus Arboretum.
Because of COVID-19 however, D-Ball looked a little different this year. The dance and dinner aspect of the event was scrapped but the ceremony and live performances by students were kept. While respecting COVID guidelines, the event was held in-person by setting up spaces between seats and mandating that masks be always worn. The event gathered 120 attendees while garnering even more virtual participants.
The event was a success even though it happened to fall on a rather chilly day, the attendees found a way to combat the cold while dressing up fashionably.
“It was a little chillier than we wanted it to be, but there is a solution to everything, and people brought blankets. But everybody still dressed up and looked amazing and I think overall it went pretty well,” Jorge Omana Palma, the co-president of DLC, said.
Even though there was no designation of dinner, there was still pre-packaged food. The main courses were catered by India Palace and the dessert was catered by Cocoa and Fig. The event coordinators were sure to be mindful of the attendees’ dietary restrictions and kept track of what an attendee asked for when they had signed up.
“We were really conscious about thise food, we wanted to make sure that everyone’s dietary restrictions were accommodated […] each ticket meant a different type of meal that you were getting. So if you were getting the vegan meal or chicken or vegetarian, then we have to get that information relayed back to the caterers constantly,” Aimen Zara, the other co-president of DLC said.
The event also featured a photo booth where attendees had a chance to flaunt their outfits and enjoy some time away from the stress of schoolwork and COVID-19.
While the event was a success, the event planners faced some obstacles along the way. The event was not being planned until around January when it usually takes five to six months of planning. With the shortened timeline, the co-presidents had to act fast.
“One of the challenge would be […] waiting for a couple of weeks to figure out if we were allowed to be in person […] we couldn’t really plan anything until we were approved […]I think that was one of the hardest challenges, was that we couldn’t do anything until we had an answer […] and then also just trying to figure everything out like in a month was also a big challenge,” Palma said.
Regardless of all the stress and anxiety the coordinators have gone through, the event was a success and seeing the numbers submissions grow excited Palma and ensured a sense of a job well done.
“I found it very fun just watching the numbers climb because it just meant more people wanted to attend […] that made me very happy […] we were just excited to see that all our tickets were sold out,” Palma said.