S’no Ball: Tradition Cancelled


Above, a sign posted in Banks Student Life Center showing that Snow Ball is cancelled. The event has been an MU tradition for 35 years.

Anette Riztko, Reporter

   Snowball is cancelled for the first time in 32 years due to poor ticket sales, and officials are trying to find out why.

   Officials warned students Jan. 25th that ticket sales needed to increase to hold the ball.

   Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities, is both upset and confused about having to cancel Snowball, which she believed was one of the university’s most loved traditions.

   “We’re trying to find out how this could have happened. We’ve had the ball for about 32 years, and for each of those years, I’ve had around 300 to 350 students attend. We’ve even been as high as 650 students about five years ago, so it is something I thought everyone looks forward to,” said Brodmerkel.

   Brodmerkel understood the Snowball was going to be held earlier than it was in the past, but the date selection was a result of a lot of planning..

   “I know it was a bit earlier than usual, but when I planned this in the summer, I always look at the winter sports’ schedules to make sure the dance lands on a Saturday when everyone is playing at home. February 6th was the only day that would work out.”

   Brodmerkel doesn’t believe the costs kept student away.

   “I know money can be difficult for students to find, but they’ve always seemed to find money before. It was certainly not an easy decision for me to make, and I kept sending out emails to make sure everyone knew that time was running out, but I needed to let Genetti’s know at a certain time whether or not we were cancelling.”

   Student Activities had to take a hit financially with the deposit for Genetti’s and the DJ. Brodmerkel said Genetti’s may apply the funds, but she is not sure that the dance will be held next year, either.

   Brodmerkel sent a survey to students via email to understand why students skipped out on Snowball and why there is low attendance to many activities on campus.

   “I’ve sent out emails, Snapchats, had it on the Mac Attack, the Stall Street Journal, and on a board outside of the Student Activities office advertising the Snowball, so I don’t know how else to inform students about events. I heard more people talking about it after I cancelled, than I did when tickets were on sale. They were asking why I did it. It’s disappointing, but I’ve noticed students not participating overall in things.”

   She said few students attended the week-long series of Martin Luther King events.

   “We had a big committee spending time to plan it, and hardly any students showed up for it. I don’t know whether students are studying more than before, going home more often, or staying in their rooms and watching Netflix, but I hope with this survey, we can get more answers and more participation in the future,” said Brodmerkel.

   Students’ survey answers were mixed. Some students didn’t know about Snowball, others were disappointed, while others didn’t mind getting their money back.

       Juniors Ryan Horn, an occupational therapy major, and Michael Trygar, a physical therapy major, said they were slightly disappointed, but they liked getting their money back.

   “I bought two tickets because my girlfriend wanted to go. I felt they gave us less time to buy the tickets and there was less advertising,” said Horn.

   “I thought there was enough time and advertising, but that people just didn’t want to go,” Michael Trygar.

   Leah Persing, a freshman speech-language pathology student, said she looked forward to the dance.

   “I bought a ticket in advance because I really wanted to go, so I’m pretty disappointed about the news,” said Persing.

   Jeffery Li, a junior health care management/physical therapy major, said he was ready for the dance.

   “I got a new suit for the occasion and had planned on asking someone to the dance. I felt it was at an awkward time of the year, since it was so close to the beginning of the semester. I think there was enough advertising, just not enough time for people to buy the tickets,” said Li.

   Other students like Tara Koskulitz, a sophomore math major, and Julie Bogaert, didn’t want to go alone and also didn’t have the time to go.

   “I didn’t buy a ticket because I didn’t really know of anyone else going, and I didn’t want to go by myself. If I had known someone else was going, I would have, since I thought the price of the ticket was reasonable,” said Koskulitz.

   “Since this is my first semester of graduate school, I decided to not go to Snowball to save time for studying. However, if I had known a lot of my other friends were going or if I had a date who was an undergraduate, I would have gone. I’m really sad it was cancelled, since it was a tradition and I went two out of my three undergraduate years. Hopefully we can bring it back next year,” said Bogaert.