Seniors are celebrating because the countdown to graduation is no longer triple digits. As of Jan. 31, seniors are fewer than 100 days away from walking across the stage and receiving their diploma.
However, this year, the annual senior 100 days party was canceled. This tradition was organized by the Center for Student Involvement and began in 2016 as a way for seniors to come together and celebrate.
Joey Sammut, the associate director for the Center for Student Involvement, said the department has chosen to focus on one large senior dance, due to time and cost restraints.
In past years, the senior 100 days party took place at the Knitting Factory, a small concert venue located in downtown Spokane. GU rented out the entire facility, hired a live DJ and provided discounted drinks. This quickly became a costly event for GU to put on every year.
“There is a high cost associated with renting out a large event space and a large amount of logistics with putting on a dance for 800 to 1,000 people," Sammut said. "Previous classes have mentioned enjoying the 100 days party, but wanted more of a focus on having a senior ball that as many seniors as possible could attend."
Denis Kalamar, a GU alumnus, who graduated in fall 2018 and is now pursuing his master’s degree, said the party was not worth the money because it lacked a "Gonzaga spirit."
“There weren’t that many GU students that actually went because it was kind of out of the way, no one really knew what was going on and it didn’t cover the GU atmosphere," Kalamar said. "It just felt like a meeting place for everyone that was a senior. When I was there, it wasn’t anything special."
Kalamar said he wasn’t too surprised the party was canceled this year.
“I was a little dumbfounded but, at the same time, I can totally see why they wouldn’t do it, just because nobody really wanted to go to it," he said.
Canceling the senior 100 days party allows the Center for Student Involvement to put more time, effort and money into making the Senior Ball a positive experience for seniors.
“We made the decision this year to have Senior Ball in a space that would fit more members of the senior class and also keep the costs as low as possible,” Sammut said.
While the class of 2020 did not get to experience the senior 100 days party, Senior Ball will be a night for seniors to celebrate together one last time, said Sammut.
The Senior Ball will be held in April. Tickets will be available in February.