Written by Bailey Ridenour // Photo by Macy Cox
Students participated in a new activity in Cone Chapel called “Informal Formal” this past weekend. The March 25 event hosted 47 students from varying majors, social clubs and classifications for a night of spontaneous choreography and food for $20.
“It was fun,” senior Chandler Curtis, an attendee, said. “It was just good to dress up a little bit.”
The idea for “Informal Formal” started in fall 2022 when sophomore Alexa Cook decided she wanted to join a club for the purpose of going to a formal. After talking with several friends, she realized other universities did not require their students to be associated with a particular group in order to have this type of opportunity. So Cook took it upon herself to create her own formal event that could include anyone who wanted to participate.
“I think it’s good because it gives the opportunity to cross boundaries,” Cook said. “It gives an opportunity to have kind of a clean slate.”
In the fall, Cook planned an “Informal Semi-formal” with the help of the Student Association and Logan Light, assistant dean for Campus Life and chapel programs. The semi-formal was really meant as a trial run for the formal Cook would eventually put on in the spring.
Instead of planning the event alone, as she did for the majority of the semi-formal, Cook enlisted the help of her close friends to create the “Informal Formal.”
Junior Merek Hailey was in charge of finances and making the videos shown in chapel over the course of the month ahead of the event. The purpose behind the videos was to make people excited for the event. But, aside from the videography and financial side, Hailey emphasized the importance of the idea of accessibility.
“Come as you are and come comfortably I guess is the theme,” Hailey said. “The whole point is that it’s informal so you can go however big you want.”
Planning an “Informal Formal” does not come without its challenges. Cook said creating a price for the event when there is no confirmation of how many people was one of the greatest difficulties she encountered. However, it was important to her that there was a space on campus that was as accessible as possible.
“Oftentimes in life, the most difficult things are the most beautiful,” Cook said. “They’re what we reap the most fruit from, and it’s the best fruit.”