Having a ball at Fireball

Naiya Laskin and Lucy Severson

Dancing under disco lights, the boom of the bass, formal dresses and suits, creating fun memories with friends or romantic partners – these are the sights and sounds that many students associate with school dances.

Hamline students had the chance to create new memories and associations at Fireball on Saturday, April 22. This year at the annual Hamline dance, there was great music to dance to, transportation and a fun atmosphere for students to enjoy at The View in Minneapolis. The event included free pizza, burgers, fries and desserts. Fireball provided a much needed break for students studying for finals and working on end of the year projects. The dance encouraged students to let loose and have fun while creating fond memories with friends.
The View’s atmosphere was loud and excitement-filled. The interior was softly-lit, with a dance floor and a scattering of tables. If the noise got overwhelming, the venue had an outdoor patio where students could go to cool down and take pictures with friends. Any students of age who wanted to drink received wristbands, and there was a sectioned-off area where the bar and alcoholic beverages could be found.

Fireball is one of the largest events that Hamline University puts on, and students tend to go all out. It’s a time to celebrate being a Piper, to get all dolled up and eat as many seasoned fries and mousse cups as your heart desires.
“I love seeing everyone really celebrate the end of the year,” Hamline’s Director of Student Activities and Leadership, Patrick Haught, said.
After being canceled for two years in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, Fireball came back last year, although the comeback was rockier than intended. In preparation for this year’s Fireball, the Hamline University Programming Board (HUPB), which organizes the event, covered all their bases.

“We do have a lot more alcohol safety protocols put into place this year,” Anna Schultz, HUPB’s Special Events Programmer and Fireball organizer, told the Oracle during the week leading up to the dance. “Last year, the venue didn’t have any of their own security but this year they do. They’ll have four officers there to help out. Last year, the Minneapolis police were there and the venue didn’t tell us that they were going to show up and that was kind of upsetting.”

Schultz went on to describe the rest of the stricter safety protocols put in place this year.

“We have two Public Safety officers who will be there and a van if anybody needs to go back early or isn’t feeling well,” she said. “This year, the venue has a very strict policy that if they see any underaged drinking, that person will be kicked out. Bags will be checked. We always check IDs. And we’ll also have support on campus.”

Schultz emphasized that Hamline Public Safety was prepared to do everything they could to ensure students’ safety.

“Public Safety can do escorts if people are too drunk and need help walking home. They’ll also pay for Ubers so people can get home safely. The head of Public Safety has been really great with coordinating all that. So Public Safety is really all hands on deck that night in case anything happens.”

A notable issue those organizing Fireball have to consider is Ramadan. While planning the 2022 dance, the venue had hardly any flexibility with date options, so the dance happened during Ramadan. As Haught told the Oracle, this was almost the case this year too.

Originally, Fireball had been scheduled for April 15, during Ramadan, as that was when The View was available. Thankfully, there was a cancellation, and the dance was able to be rescheduled.

“It’ll be nice when Ramadan shifts earlier in the year,” noted Haught.

Students are encouraged to reach out to HUPB if they are interested in helping plan events like Fireball.

“We hire through the Student Leadership Selection (SLS) and we’ll be hiring one new person next year,” Schultz said. HUPB also encourages students to volunteer as a “VIP.”

“A VIP is just anybody who wants to come and volunteer and help with any of our HUPB events throughout the year,” she said.

Overall, Fireball 2023 turned out to be a success. Students were able to forget about the stress of finishing out the year for a few hours and just enjoy themselves.