Dear Westmont Students,

Several students have recently asked about the price increase in Spring Formal tickets and WAC (Westmont Activities Council) would like to share some context behind this decision.  We cannot possibly unpack all the logistics of planning an event of this size in a short note, but hope to provide some numbers to better your understanding of how we got to where we are.

We recognize that Spring Formal is a special event and held in high regard by the student body, but the high price tag has raised legitimate questions.  After doing a bit of digging into the numbers, it became clear that the Spring Formal (particularly the dinner portion) is unsustainable without an increase to ticket prices.

In 2013, Spring Formal cost approximately $45,000.  Ticket sales amounted to about $15,000, meaning WAC picked up the remaining $30,000.  A dinner ticket last year was priced at $25, but the actual cost of that ticket was closer to $80.  To give some perspective, WAC’s annual operating budget is around $55,000.  This means about 55% of the operating budget was spent on a single event.

So we had a decision to make: either significantly increase the price of a dinner ticket or change the format to a one-ticket price event.  After weighing the options we opted to move away from the dinner and identified the following goals.  In no particular order:

  • Do not limit attendance. 
  • Cut unnecessary expenses.
  • Keep ticket prices as reasonable as possible.

WAC has made every effort to stretch our budget this year and has successfully eliminated approximately $8,000 from last year’s cost, bringing the price of the 2014 Spring Formal down to about $37,000.

We have also taken great strides to increase the depth and breadth of WAC Activities this year.  Hopefully you have enjoyed multiple of our sponsored/funded events such as: The Line Dance, Great Gatsby, Bingo Night, Community Picnic on Kerrwood Lawn, Reel Talks, Homecoming Dance, After Hours, Midnight Madness, Fall Fest, Fall Formal, President’s Ball, Cupcakes and Clubs, Catching Fire, Beat Biola, and the list goes on…  (click here for a full list of 2013-2014 WAC events)

All this to say: we love Westmont, we love planning events for Westmont, we love Spring Formal, we know you love Spring Formal, and we think events should be subsidized, but we simply cannot afford to spend such a high percentage of our budget on one four-hour function.

While the absence of dinner might be disappointing to some students, we are hopeful that the format shift will be a positive change overall.  Keep in mind that your $28 ticket allows you to spend four hours at one of Santa Barbara’s nicest venues with the classiest college students in town!  (And your ticket is actually costing the college about $50, assuming attendance of 750.)

So grab dinner with your date/friends and then enjoy a fabulous evening at the Fess Parker, just steps from the beach.  Come dressed up because we’ll have multiple photo booths as well as a professional photographer.  And if you get hungry during the course of the evening, help yourself to a spread of appetizers and desserts.

Looking forward to dancing under the stars with you from 7pm to 11pm on April 12th!

Feel free to email thoughts or questions to wac@westmont.edu.


The WAC Team



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