Daily Dose: A MSU Charity Ball for everyone
When I walked into the MSU Charity Ball, I didn’t exactly hold my breath. Instead I staggered in, put my hands into my pant pockets, and whispered to no one at all, “Here we go again.”
Maybe it was the jumbling together of the decay and life of the city that branded me with a smug weariness. Right near Jackson Square with the wet-smog of a sewer filling my nostrils, I was asked for change by a homeless man. I, donned in my suit and tie, probably seemed insulting in my fumbling reply: don’t have any.
Or maybe it was because I felt the night would be like all others. Loud music would drum through my ears. I’d bounce. I’d teeter. I’d repeat in that order. I’d dance this way then that way then this way again, painfully aware of how bad I am at shuffling around. Photos would be taken. I’d smile, be told I blinked, I’d smile again, be told I wasn’t smiling, I’d smile one more time, and a grumble of forced satisfaction would answer how I looked. I’d talk to people who I don’t know for no other reason besides close proximity. I’d have dressed up myself in every way, laughing at jokes that I don’t find funny and doing things I probably wouldn’t do otherwise. Most of all, I’d probably be drunk – poisoned at any cost in order to have fun.
But unlike my brain-grinding first year formal events where being zonked was a requirement, not a necessity, the Charity Ball was different. I was surprised. For the first time a party’s mould wasn’t forced onto the attendants. Rather than everyone having to dance to music that a select number of people liked, there were videogame consoles, silent auctions, rooms playing alternate music like Motown, and rooms filled with various hor d'oeuvres, from vegetarian poutine to cotton candy, where one could just sit and socialize with friends.
This variety was enlivening. Though I have been critical of the MSU in the past – an inevitability that comes with power – I saw that this less like a ball and more of a gathering of many different people with many different interests. More than glitter on the dresses or the lasers that pulsed through the darkness, what shined through was the attempt to be inclusive for all those in the diverse McMaster community.
If you pardon the poor play-on words, this inclusivity was magical.