Van, Schman: Why The Formal Might Suck

One of my pet peeves is people telling me how to act. You know, normal stuff like how to dress, how to act in front of other people, or what kind of life-style you should live in general. The best example of this I can think of is having a really overprotective mother or father. You know deep down that they really care about you, but they cross that fine line between being cautious and being so paranoid that Oliver Stone thinks they need therapy.So is the case with this year’s formal. A few things have changed about this year’s formal: Firstly, it’s not the Binford Formal, just “The Formal”; secondly, it is being run by Union this year; and thirdly, and this is the biggie, you cannot drive yourself.

Picture this: You and your date; you get all dressed up; your dress or suit is nicely pressed. Your hair is combed neat. Cotton swabs have made your ears cleaner than an operation room floor, and thanks to help from a little cologne or perfume, you both smell wonderful. You walk out of your living area. And then, to make this most romantic moment complete, you get in a van with a half a dozen other couples, and that loving feeling is gone before it ever really got going.

Now picture this: You are now stuffed close together in a van. Clothes are getting wrinkled. Hair is getting mussed, and the combination of all that cologne and perfume is reminiscent of Moulin Rouge – in July – with 100% humidity – and it’s the janitor’s day off.

To me, the idea of having to take a van to the formal is just so ridiculous that it almost defies comprehension. Of course, the argument made for the van is that it prevents drunk driving and no one, including me, is going to argue that drunk driving is not a very serious issue and is a definite plague on our society. But, in this case, the prevention is going way tofar.

What is making this year’s formal different from years past? Don’t tell me that this is because of there being a cash bar. I don’t know about years past, but for the past two years, there have been cash bars and the van was just an option for students who did not have transportation to get to the dance. Maybe this is not true, but it appears to me that Union is trying too hard to make rules so they can feel important.

I am a junior and I have been to two formals, and I do not remember drunk driving being a problem at those formals. There was no article in The Guilfordian, no public service announcement, no letter from the president, nothing, nada, zilch, nil, informing me that this is a problem at dances. Also, as a side note, I don’t remember students being asked about what they thought about this possible rule. Way to take a bat to our knees, Union!

My argument against this rule is two-part. One, you are only encouraging people to drink more before the dance. There are always going to be people who binge before any social event, but now you have increased your chances of having any future formal renamed “If-you’re-going-to-spew- try-and-make-it-to-the-bathroom- and-spew-in-the-toilet-Formal.”

Also, what about the dozen or so students on campus who don’t drink? Seriously, I know there are many students who are active participants in sobriety. Is it really fair to the real future leaders of America to put them in a van next to some guy who smells like he has been swallowing kerosene, and on their other side, a the girl who has her dress up to her chin?

What it all comes down to is my belief that students at Guilford are responsible enough to make proper decisions when it comes to drinking and driving. I believe that Guilford students are smart enough not to drink and drive, but it appears the school does not feel the same way.

I am sure that the school cares very much for the safety of the students, but this is going to far. The best thing the school can do is offer the van as an option to students. If the option is there, students are going to take advantage of it, but there needs to a be a choice.

For me, the best part about Formal has always been going out to dinner before hand, and then casually making your way to the dance for a night of fun. I never once fantasized about being herded like a sheep with a bowtie.