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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Superhero Dance moved to Cowling

<an style="vertical-align: baseline">Due to the event’s popularity and concerns about security, the annual Superhero Dance was held last Saturday in Cowling rather than at the Grand, where it had been hosted for the past six years.

The Grand has a maximum capacity of 350 people. At last year’s dance, there were times when the space was over capacity, according to Ana Sontag, assistant director of student activities. However, Sontag pointed out that no official head count of the event exists because students could come and go, which made estimating attendance difficult.

The capacity of Cowling is 100 people, which is less than the capacity of the Grand, according to EMS, Carleton’s scheduling software. Mikki Showers, director of campus recreation, said the capacity was chosen based on how many people can exit the building safely. The fact that Cowling has one small exit door and has two doors that empty into other rooms in the building made 100 seem like a reasonable number, Showers said. Sontag estimates that about 500 students attended this year’s dance.

“Cowling is a larger, more flexible space than the Grand,” Sontag said. “It gives students the space to dance and have a good time.”

Security concerns also played into the decision to move the dance. The Grand has several entrances and exits, making it difficult for security services to monitor who entered the dance, according to Sontag. In addition, the Grand hires its own security service for its events, which gives Carleton less control over the security. With the Superhero Dance at Cowling, Carleton was able to hire ASIA, the external security service it uses for all large on campus events. The staff at the Grand deferred all comments on the change to the student activities office. Because of the move, the student activities programming board, which plans the Superhero Dance, no longer had to pay a rental fee for the event and was able to decorate the space however it wanted, according to programming assistant Saehee Lee ’17.

“We worked hard to make Cowling look less like a gym by highlighting comic strips, having life-size cutouts, setting up a photo booth and, of course, having pizza,” she said.

The Grand was not the first location of the Superhero Dance. Until 2010, it was a masked party deep in the Arb for everyone – not just Carleton students. “This was unsafe, so the CSA president at the time institutionalized the event,” Sontag said. “In the move, we are continuing to make the dance safe and fun.” The student activities office is currently gathering information from students who attended the Superhero Dance in order to determine whether it will continue to be held at Cowling in the future.

Battle of the Bands, which is also traditionally held at the Grand, will not be held there this year due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, it will be Saturday, May 7 at the Cave. However, Senior Prom, the third major Carleton event traditionally held at the Grand, will still be in the space this year.

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