ASFA Grad Ball Cancelled

Federation Cancels First Ever Graduation Ceremony

ASFA’s grad ball has been cancelled. Photo Laura Lalonde

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ first attempt at hosting an official grad ball will not come to fruition this year.

ASFA did not sell enough tickets to hold the event, missing the 300 ticket-sale mark by nearly 275. Only 27 tickets had been sold before the deadline to sign the venue contract, according to VP Social Affairs Marc Da Silva.

“[Students] didn’t really know that there was a timeline—a time limit for them to buy their ticket,” he said. “Unfortunately we can’t commit 300 people to a venue if everyone is going to buy their ticket last minute.”

Tickets for the event were priced at $90 for graduating students, $110 for non-graduating students, and $130 for non-students.

The ball—which was scheduled for June 7—was going to be the first of its kind hosted by ASFA. There have been similar spring events in the past, but this was meant to be the first official graduation ceremony, according to Da Silva.

The grad ball will be attempted again next year, and Da Silva says he will try to make sure students buy their tickets sooner. He will also try to find a cheaper venue and caterer for the event.

“If we found something that was a bit cheaper for students, they’d be more inclined to buy their tickets much more in advance,” he explained.

Da Silva does not believe that there was a marketing issue this year.

“I think my team did a great job. I think we did what we could this year, but I’m definitely going to try and put more time and work into it next year,” he said.

ASFA did not gage the interest of students in having a grad ball before planning, but “assumed” that graduating students would want to have a ceremony.

Costs for the grad ball were set at $53,651.60. The federation did not lose any money because of the cancellation.

“The money that ASFA put in is all still there,” Da Silva said.

There are no official plans yet for the money the federation saved.

During ASFA’s push to restructure, which took place throughout the year, the grad ball was an important aspect of the ‘No’ campaign’s argument. The proposed bylaw changes would have removed the VP Social Affairs executive position, therefore cutting ASFA’s mandate to hold social events.

The federation’s membership voted against restructuring.

Lizzy Duong, who was a prominent voice for the ‘No’ campaign, could not be reached for comment by press time.