By Tommi Mandell, Staff Writer
During this time of year, “Barrister’s Ball” would normally be right around the corner. Barrister’s Ball is held annually for students to enjoy cocktails, music, and a break from the pressure of fast-approaching final exams. But, as with most anticipated events this year, COVID-19 restrictions and precautions have changed how “Law Prom” looked this year.
The Student Bar Association (SBA) did not want to let these limitations completely put a stop to Barrister’s Ball, however. Tayla Fauntleroy, 1L SBA Senator, said that the Student Activities Committee wanted to find a way to put on some kind of comparable event. When planning a virtual Barrister’s Ball, the SBA considered various alternatives to the in-person event, such as having a band.
Ultimately, the eight-person Student Activities Committee decided to host a comedian and a virtual bingo night, with raffles. The committee considered multiple comedians, including Amanda Seales and Kevin Hart, before choosing comedian Steve Hofstetter. Hofstetter’s website calls him “One of the top booked acts in the college circuit.” He has released multiple comedy albums, with his fifth album reaching #1 on iTunes’ comedy charts. Hofstetter was also the most reasonable when considering budgeting, according to the committee. Law Prom was held via Teams on March 13.
While there wasn’t a way to recreate the “open bar” accompanied with an in-person event, there was a solution: Cocktail Kits, complete with mixers, liquor, and snacks—all of the student’s choosing. Students were sent a survey, and the first 100 to respond were supplied with their chosen cocktail kits, which included a ceremonious “Virtual Law School” tumbler. SBA representatives Lauren Rosenberg and Stephanie Maldonado distributed kits on the VLS Green to local students, and Rosenberg mailed kits to non-local students.
In addition to the cocktail kits, the committee incorporated raffles into the event. The committee conducted a survey and “posted a raffle entry so people were able to choose from a ton of great either gift cards or experiences with the deans,” noted Fauntleroy.
The raffles got many people excited for the event, with prizes including Dean Brennan’s homemade ice cream and a ski trip with President McCormack. Every VLS student was eligible to enter the raffle for two of the eight prizes. Students were required to be virtually present at the time their name was called in order to receive their prize.
After the comedy sets, the SBA held a virtual game of bingo, giving away other prizes like Target and Starbucks gift-cards. Even virtually, the Student Activities Committee was able to plan a fun night and create some stress-relief for students. Over 100 students attended the virtual event.
Looking back on the event, “We all felt like Steve and his crew were amazing,” said Fauntleroy. “I’ve also gotten some great feedback on the event from fellow classmates. To know that folks were able to feel carefree—even if only for a moment—in the midst of everything we’re going through was our ultimate goal, and we definitely achieved that!”