As the spring semester nears its end and students frantically try to scrape together papers and projects, social clubs and their sponsors put the finishing touches on what some consider to be one of the biggest social club events of the year: formal.
Mark Jackson, assistant director of student organizations and programs, said formal is the last time for each group to come together as their club.
“Clubs want to make it nice,” Jackson said. “It’s the end of the year, it’s the last time that entire group of students is going to be together, because you’ve got seniors graduating, you’ve got some students that might transfer out and you’ve got other students that are going to decide to be inactive for various reasons next semester.”
For many of the men’s social clubs it is fairly common to make the weekend trip to Austin, Dallas or San Antonio for their formals. But generally the women’s social clubs host the event in Abilene or the surrounding area.
Because of this trend, Jackson said there is a misconception that only men’s social clubs are allowed to make the trek out of town, when in reality the decision falls to the club’s sponsors.
“Club members used to think that I would only let guys clubs go out of town, but that’s not the case,” Jackson said. “Any club that wants to have their formal out of town and sponsors agree, can do so.”
In fact, Tri Kappa Gamma, who rechartered in 2012, will host their 2016 formal in Dallas on the weekend of April 23. Michelle Mickey, one of the TKG sponsors, said holding the event in the DFW area increases chances of finding a venue.
“It can be hard finding a venue that holds 150+ people between all the social club activities in the spring, so there are a few more options out of town,” Mickey said.
Mickey also said this will give students the chance to have a unique and memorable experience.
“It allows for the group to do something together, they would not normally have the opportunity to do, and people like to go out of town,” Mickey said.