COVID-19 has cancelled many Grand Valley State University campus activities and events have been canceled or postponed to ensure the safety of any and all potential attendees. This year, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, GVSU has cancelled Presidents’ Ball.
The Presidents’ Ball, a long-standing tradition at GVSU, is meant to be a space where students can let go, have fun and celebrate the new semester with their peers. The evening is usually filled with engaging activities, dinner and lots of dancing.
In an article highlighting the 2020 Presidents’ ball, the GVSU Promotions Office described the event as “an elegant experience” and a night that “will certainly be one to be remembered.”
This social event has indeed been one to remember in the past years at GVSU. Students from all stages of their education have looked forward to this night every year to spend well-deserved downtime with their friends away from the work the new semester is demanding from them.
Unfortunately, dressing up and dancing the night away will not be possible for students and staff because the Presidents’ Ball has been canceled for the second year in a row. This decision has been made due to an increased number of COVID-19 cases in the GVSU community.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, GVSU has implemented alert levels which indicate the potential COVID-19 risk members of the community face at any given time. As of Jan. 14, GVSU has increased its COVID-19 alert level to a modified level three, indicating “High Alert”, which means that some school operations are limited in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the GVSU community.
This decision, although disappointing to students and staff across campus, doesn’t come as a complete surprise. It has been carried out due to the abundance of safety GVSU keeps in mind for students and staff. However, the Office of Student Life, Campus Activities Board and Student Senate, all of which are responsible for the planning of the Presidents’ Ball, are hoping for the event to return in full swing in 2023.
In the meantime, students are encouraged to participate in safe, socially-distanced campus activities that are being held in person or virtually. Although the university has increased the alert level to “High Alert” and campus activities are significantly reduced, there’s still an abundance of activity options for students at GVSU. Activities centered on education, such as networking workshops, time management workshops and information sessions are available virtually or in-person.
Aside from events, students can also join clubs and organizations that pertain to their interests to keep in touch with other students in the GVSU community. Despite event cancellations and social distancing measures shutting down parts of campus, the GVSU administration has kept students’ safety at the forefront of their decisions while still maintaining social events and activities for students to stick together as a community.
The Office of Student Life provides a full list of activities and events, virtual or face-to-face, to students at www.gvsu.edu/studentlife under the “Get Involved” tab.