Nearly 2,000 attend homecoming dance

Students turned out in big numbers for the first dance in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex. Two thousand wristbands were given out for the first homecoming dance since 2008, and most wristbands were used Saturday, said Associate Director of Campus Life Matt Gustafson.

“I think no dance last year helped the attendance,” Gustafson said. “[The dance] was very successful.”

Gustafson said part of that success was driven by the size of the new field house, which allowed Student Activities and Recreation to give out more wristbands than in the past. Gustafson said he believes it was the most attended dance in the four years he has been at St. Thomas.

Junior Jess Urban went to the homecoming dance for the first time and said “it was a good time.”

“It seemed like that’s where everyone was,” she said. “I really liked the DJ.”

Junior Nick Ryan also enjoyed the music, but said he would have appreciated more variety.

“More club and techno music would have been nice,” Ryan said.

Ryan also said the photo booths were cool, and added that he would like to see the extra space of the field house used for other activities besides dancing.

Gustafson said the photo booths seemed to be a success.

“There was a line every time I walked by,” he said.

A steady line into the cafeteria formed as the night wore on, and although Gustafson wasn’t sure of the official numbers, one clue pointed to a big turnout for the Undergraduate Student Government late night breakfast.

“I know they ran out of food,” Gustafson said. “That’s a big positive.”

Gustafson said outside of a few incidents, students behaved well throughout the night. He said any time there are that many students for an event, the school expects to have some alcohol issues with students.

Urban said her friend was pulled out of the dance and held in detox, but for the most part she said “everyone who was underage was being pretty cautious.”

STAR will evaluate in the coming weeks what went well, and what didn’t, with the dance.

“That will affect the spring dance,” Gustafson said. “It was the first dance in the new space … It was very successful.”

Jordan Osterman can be reached at