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The Highlander

Snowball Tradition is No More

Annette Ritzko, Web Editor

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A lack of student interest forced the cancellation of Snowball, bringing an end to a 30 year tradition.

Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities, said only 19 students purchased tickets this year, and she cannot understand why. The ticket price has remained the same for years, and tickets include dancing, dinner and unlimited soda.

She said advertising was thorough. Staffers posted signs throughout campus and sent an email during Christmas break reminding students to bring formal wear and to buy tickets.

Snowball was cancelled last year as well, but Brodmerkel had hoped response would be better this year.

Genetti’s in Wilkes Barre, the location of the Snowball, had even rolled over the university’s deposit from last year. This year’s cancellation costs the university its $800 deposit.

“Because I’ve been such a good customer to Genetti’s in Wilkes Barre, they rolled the deposit over to this year from the last, but because I’ve canceled two, I do not see them giving it back and rightfully so. We are grateful they aren’t holding me to the minimum required for the snowball which could be thousands of dollars, but since they don’t want to ruin their reputation with us, they will probably let that go,” said Brodmerkel.

Last year students said they didn’t buy  tickets because they were too busy, short on money, and  friends were not attending.

This year some students say they simply are not interested in a formal dance.

“I’m not a huge fan of dances typically, and since none of my friends were going I don’t think it would have been very fun,” said Jacob Schweiger, graduate physical therapy student.

“The Snowball seemed pretty cool, but I do not have $25 to spare,” said Dawson Kerch,  first-year pre-DPT and psychology student.

“I did not get a ticket for the Snowball because for one I’m not a fan of dances, and secondly I don’t have time for it with basketball,” said Kristen Schmale, junior medical imaging major.

Brodmerkel said she has noticed that students’ interests have changed, but she thinks they do not understand the reputation the Snowball once had and the tradition it was.

“We went from on average 300 to 350 students buying tickets to 19 and at one point we even had up to 700. There was a time when I would have to cap the Snowball, and I would be pleading with Genetti’s to add another table in, because I would have students crying about not getting their tickets on time.”

The stress of missing out on a coveted ticket would sometimes cause relationship issues.

“Sometimes the boys would come to me upset because their girlfriends would be mad at them for forgetting to buy the tickets,” said Brodmerkel.

Snowball originally started as a prom-like event, but over the years more students attended as groups of friends.

Brodmerkel remembers a time when she hired a photographer and had party favors for the event. Students were also able to enjoy in a bingo with prizes that included free tickets to the Snowball or a gift card to the local salon or florist.

“So it has really changed throughout the years, and it saddens me that such a popular event in the past has now died. But people change, likes and dislikes change, so we’ll just go with the flow and maybe if students have an interest in it again we’ll reconsider starting it again,” said Brodmerkel.

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Snowball Tradition is No More