A night of dinner and dancing under the quot;starsquot;

by Beacon Staff • April 18, 2007

The posters feature a city skyline surrounded by white stars against a purple background.,From dining out on delicious desserts to cheering on your favorite sports teams, there's a little something for everyone. You just have to be willing to look for it. "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you," read the signs all over campus.

The posters feature a city skyline surrounded by white stars against a purple background. On Sunday night, the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel will be transformed into that classy, starry-night themed jazz scene, all thanks to a semester of stress and hard work from the committee behind Emerson's annual Hand Me Down Night (HMDN).

"The ballroom is beautiful, and will look wonderful once we arrange it as planned," said sophomore organizational and political communication major Grace Konrad. "I don't want to give too much away, but it will be very classic and elegant."

Beginning in January, the seven-member HMDN committee, led by adviser Chris Serwacki, started planning out every detail of the event, from choosing the color of the flowers at the tables to the dinner options on the menu.

"What hasn't the committee been doing?" said Serwacki in an e-mail to The Beacon.

"We have been working hard for this all semester, so I can't wait to see everything come together at the actual event," said freshman marketing communication major Shannon Lehotsky. As a member of the marketing/public relations committee, Lehotsky spread the word about the event through various mediums.

"Meetings, e-mails, timelines, phone calls, confirmations, bookings, orderings, binders, table sitting, Facebooking," said senior writing, literature, and publishing major and SGA Treasurer Emily Patrick. "Everyone on this committee has worked extremely hard to make this evening a success."

The evening in reference is a celebration of student leaders on campus, where outgoing presidents "hand down" their positions to their replacements. Awards, such as Emersonian of the Year, are also given.

"We've listened to feedback this year and toned down the award ceremony a bit," said Patrick. It will now be shorter than in previous years, and will focus more on those students who are present for the evening.

"The best part of the event is recognizing the work and dedication of our student leaders," said Patrick. "Seeing their name in the program, honoring them with awards, and giving them credit for all they've done is my favorite part."

But for others, the excitement of the evening comes before the awards are handed out.

"It's a great chance to get dressed up, have a night out with my friends, and just have a good time," Konrad said.

After a taste-testing at the hotel to choose the menu items, junior TV/video major Amanda DiPiazza said the catered dinner alone is worth the price of a ticket.

"The hardest part to organize was getting as many kids on the student body to know what Hand Me Down Night actually is," said Lehotsky. "Many students came up to the ticket table, telling me that they don't have any old clothes to donate."

Patrick agreed.

"I think our biggest challenge will be selling enough tickets and getting people to attend the event," she said. "Publicity and marketing has been doing a great job, but we've found that word of mouth is always the most effective way."

In addition to a big marketing campaign, the committee has added some new elements to HMDN with hopes of drawing in more people.

"Noteworthy will be opening the awards section, and WECB will be DJing the dancing portion," Serwacki said. "They are a welcome addition to this year's evening and perhaps future committees will seek them out as well."

"Also, we have listed some of the clubs and organizations not recognized by the SGA in the program as well, since they are just as integral to the Emerson community," Serwacki said.

So for a unique way to unwind, get your ticket to Hand Me Down Night, which entitles you to dinner, dancing, and a soda bar, complete with free Shirley Temples.

"We wanted to do something out of the scope of typical Emerson events," said Konrad.

The reception begins at 6 p.m., with dinner being served at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased today outside of the dining hall from 12-2 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. The last chance to buy a ticket will be tomorrow from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Student Life Orientation Office on the second floor of Piano Row.