The Troy University Spectrum Alliance held its Winter Ball event Monday night at the Arboretum, giving students the opportunity to attend a dance with their significant others.
The introduction of this event was prompted by the success of Spectrum Alliance’s annual spring event: the Second Chance Prom.
The Second Chance Prom is a dance where members, and anyone else, can attend with their significant others if they were not able to do that for their regular proms.
“We’ve always had a lot of people turn up, so we decided to have something for the fall semester,” said Jana Wieser, current president of Troy University Spectrum Alliance and a graduate studying international relations from Bremen, Germany.
“The Winter Ball is to offer the opportunity to attend a ball without a dress code and with whoever they want,” Wieser said. “Many members from our community have not had the chance to attend any kind of school event with their partner of choice, and we want to create that opportunity.”
Margaret Tomanovich, a sophomore social work major from Rochester, New York, and current treasurer of Spectrum, attended the event.
“At my school, we never really had a prom, so helping set up and everything is kind of a sense of closure for me, and I like dancing,” Tomanovich said.
The arboretum was adorned with winter and Christmas decorations. Tables were decorated with various handmade centerpieces, and the dance area was lit with hanging Christmas lights.
A photo booth, complete with props, was available to students to take pictures to commemorate the event like any other school dance.
Carleigh Sherman, a freshman global business major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, said that this event was her own second-chance prom.
“Besides, who doesn’t love dressing up, feeling pretty and dancing like an idiot?” Sherman said.
The event was open to the public and cost $3 to enter. A bake sale was also set up at the event, selling brownies and cupcakes.
All proceeds from the event will go towards the annual Southeastern LGBQT+ Conference.
Jessica Posey, a junior nursing major from Hazel Green, said that she had a horrible prom in high school but decided to attend the Winter Ball.
“This is a really, really great group of people — very open-minded,” Posey said. “There’s always a good atmosphere, so any time we do anything it’s always so much fun.”
The president of Spectrum Alliance said while the event did not have as many numbers as expected, everyone in attendance had a lot of fun, and the Winter Ball will become an annual event for the organization.
According to the Spectrum Alliance Facebook Group, the goal of the Spectrum Alliance is to provide a safe zone to all students and members of the surrounding community, without discrimination.
“I’m from a really small town and everyone is very close-minded, and not many people are educated on a lot of things,” Posey said. “I found a sense of community when I came to Troy and joined the Spectrum Alliance.
“It’s nice being involved with a group of people that understands that everyone is different and that it’s OK.”
Tomanovich said she joined the organization to learn about new people.
“I was really sheltered, and I didn’t want to be anymore.”
“We are the space that anybody is welcome at, and people shouldn’t be scared to come check it out,” Wieser said, on behalf of Spectrum Alliance.
The Troy University Spectrum Alliance holds meetings weekly on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Trojan Center Room 224 and can be contacted on its Facebook page under the name Troy University Spectrum Alliance.