Cleveland State University’s WCSB radio station cancels masquerade ball

By Amanda Light

It was announced that Cleveland State University’s student-run radio station WCSB’s 10th annual  Masquerade Ball would be cancelled this year on their Facebook page on Oct. 9. 

The masquerade ball was a free annual music event, featuring four bands and DJ’s in between sets with a live broadcast on WCSB 89.3 FM. Usually held the Saturday before Halloween, the event featured costume contests and other giveaways. 

In years prior, the event had been held at the Beachland Ballroom and Mahall’s. Dan Lenhart, marketing and web specialist for the Center for Student Involvement said, this year, WCSB was considering the Masonic Temple downtown.

The Facebook announcement said “Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside of our control, we will not be able to put on a Halloween Masquerade Ball this year. We were in the midst of planning the event when we got the word, and this comes as a huge disappointment to us all.”

Chavilah Witt, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement said she met with Sam Paskert, WCSB program director, and another person from the station to answer questions about the campus alcohol policy Sept 16. Witt said she asked them to come back with a risk management plan.

To hold an off-campus event where alcohol is present, student organizations need to have a risk management plan, according to Witt. She went on to say that it needs to address the safety concerns laid out in the Recognized Student Organization manual and show the organization’s communication with the venue.

“It’s just a summary of communication you’ve had with the venue to say this is who’s responsible for what,” Witt said. “With the updated policy now, we wanted to take the responsibility of distinguishing who needed to be cut off and who wasn’t off of the students.”

“We met way early enough for them to be able to come up, like have a plan, and for us to have conversations. But I had that meeting with them, and then I never heard,” Witt said.  “The next thing I heard was that they officially decided to cancel as a radio station staff.” 

Lehart said he met with Connor Simpson, WCSB general manager, to discuss the RSO manual before the meeting Witt had with members from WCSB. 

For a student organization to hold an event with alcohol, the guidelines state that, “Both on and off campus events at which alcohol is served may be either private (open only to organization members and invited guests), or social (open only to Cleveland State University students, faculty, staff, and invited guests). Guests must present official invitations at the door or appear on the guest list prepared in advance.”

Historically, the Masquerade Ball has been an event open to the public, Lenhart said, as a thank you to the listeners. 

“My sense is that they may have felt they didn’t have enough time to get an invitation list together and do it right. Lenhart said. “Who do we invite, who do we not and that sort of thing.”

As a possible solution to host this event in the future, Lenhart said that the station may use the donor list from their annual Radiothon held in mid-November to generate an invite list.