The Student Bar Association (SBA) has confirmed that this year’s Fall Ball will take place off of the New York University School of Law’s campus in October 2016. Although Fall Ball has historically been hosted in Vanderbilt Hall by the Office of Student Affairs, the SBA is in the process of reserving Terminal 5 for the event, according to an emailed statement from Evan Shepherd, SBA Social Chair.
Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Terminal 5 is a large, music venue, which features five separate rooms and can accommodate up to 3,000 people, according to Gothamist.
Taking Fall Ball off-campus will likely mean significant changes for the event. For one, the off-campus move will mean local students will have to travel to 56th Street and 11th Avenue in Midtown to access the location. Currently, the SBA plans to arrange busing for students from campus to Terminal 5 on the night of the event.
Second-year law student Mark Sanchez ‘17, noted that while moving the event off-campus could potentially make it more enjoyable, losing the convenience of the Law School’s location was a disappointment. “While I would rather the event stay in the Law School and return to being open to all guests, if Fall Ball means having the side stairs blocked off and the building’s fluorescent lights turned on all night, perhaps moving the event to a location that was meant to host events like these is a good call.”
Perhaps the most sweeping change to previous years’ Fall Ball policies will be the likely relaxing of the current guest policy, according to the SBA. Fall Ball’s current guest policy limits the total number of guests admitted to Fall Ball to 200 guests total. Law students are required to enter into a lottery for the opportunity to bring a guest and lottery winners are limited to one non-transferable guest ticket.
While Mr. Shepherd noted that the guest policy will likely become more lenient, he posited that the Law School might impose a limit of up to three guests per student in order to ensure the event remains geared primarily toward to the Law School community.
The current Fall Ball guest policy was the result of several years of controversy surrounding the Law School’s annual party. In 2007, then-Assistant Dean of Students Yvette Bravo-Weber sent a memo to law students outlining changes to that year’s Spring Fling, the Spring-semester counterpart of Fall Ball.
The policy, which required all NYU Law students and their guests to present valid government-issued identification verifying their age in order to be granted admission to that year’s Spring Fling, emerged from several incidents that occurred during Fall Ball in 2006 and Spring Fling that previous semester. According to reporting from The Commentator and Above the Law, incidents back in 2007 included two student hospitalizations, property damage in Greenberg Lounge, several students becoming ill on campus and in campus housing, and the consumption of alcohol by underage guests.
In 2014, after again citing fire code restrictions, NYU Law School amended their Fall Ball policy to further limit guests. This led the Office of Student Affairs to create the current lottery system.