Transforming Traditions: The Autumn Soiree

At Regent, the end of the fall semester marks an event where students join together to dress up, commemorate their accomplishments, and make beautiful memories. At the threshold of the holiday season, this event, the Christmas Ball, is a long-standing tradition.

When the “Regent Ready: COVID-19 Preparedness Plan” threatened the tradition of the Christmas Ball, the Student Activities Board (SAB) quickly organized a new replacement for Regent’s beloved formal dance, the Autumn Soiree.

The Christmas Ball is an annual Regent University event where students dress to the nines and gather for a final celebration before Christmas break. Prom-like pictures flood social media sites featuring our beautiful campus and students enjoying each other’s company.

This year, university leadership adjusted the academic calendar to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by keeping students at home following Thanksgiving break. While leaders and students alike have done a magnificent job to limit the spread of the virus, this presented a unique challenge to the Student Activities Board. How could they host the Christmas Ball without an on-campus presence in December?

Because members of SAB have been vigilant in making the most of the current circumstances, they quickly assembled a new formal event, titled the Autumn Soiree. Autumn is a joyful expectation at Regent, characterized by the beautiful colors of leaves, the smell of pumpkin pie, and the comfort of wool scarves. The Student Activities Board did an excellent job capturing the essence of the current season while hosting this event.

On Saturday, October 10th, 2020, nearly 250 Regent Students attended the Autumn Soiree, grateful for the opportunity to embrace the old tight-knit community through a new COVID-19 friendly event. The Autumn Soiree was the last event of a fun-filled Student Appreciation week involving an open mic night, scavenger hunt, and bonfire, among others. The Autumn Soiree itself featured fun music, courtesy of DJ Trae, snack foods such as meatballs and chicken skewers, and an array of individual sweets like mini cheesecakes and raspberry cupcakes.

SAB decorated the dance beautifully and even set up a photo booth to the side of the dance floor. Students danced the night away at the Founder’s Inn ballroom, making new friends and long-lasting memories.

Safety procedures were also implemented by SAB to ensure few risks were taken, holding to the advice by the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Students filed into Founders Inn for staff to check their Regent IDs and ticket purchases, followed by a temperature check. Additionally, students were required to wear a mask for the entirety of the Soiree. Despite the additional precautions, students thoroughly enjoyed the new event.

The student body is anxious to see what the Student Activities Board comes up with next and is thankful to see Regent University still open and running.

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Kayla Walker

Kayla Walker is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.