Campus Life

Gala Review

By December 9, 2023 No Comments

Sciences Po students are accustomed to many things: debating about politics, standing up for our beliefs, perfecting the art of making it seem like you’ve done a reading in your tutorial even though you haven’t touched your course materials since Week 2. But unless you’re the type who for some reason wears blazers to 8 A.M. lectures, there is something we students don’t get very much of: formal events. At the BDE annual winter gala, however, a rare opportunity to mimic the global super-bourgeoisie instead of just reading about them in Sociology had Sciencespistes partying hard whilst looking sharp.

Arriving at the venue confers a much-needed glamour onto an otherwise dreary Week 12. Even though Caveau Castelnau isn’t an architecturally striking building, you didn’t particularly care — the tableau of seeing everyone at school swap jeans for evening gowns more than made up for it. Despite the queue, your friends alongside you and (if you were strategic) your pregaming made it seem tolerable. Tonight, you’ve put finals out of your mind; your only priority is enjoying the atmosphere, taking great photos, and maximising the impact of your champagne allowance. 

Speaking of champagne, allow me to devote a few words to the drinks policy. It’s tempting to apply the classic political science student grandstanding and say that the three-drink maximum is an outrage and infringes upon our constitutional right to drunkenness. However, as an EcoSoc IFT major (I know, don’t judge me too much), I’m inclined towards sympathy. After all, providing high-quality champagne is expensive, and the BDE has to keep the price of tickets accessible. Perhaps a better solution could be to keep the three-drink maximum for free drinks, but also allow people to buy extra glasses if needed. But who knows? I’m not a policymaker.

But back to the party. In this writer’s humble opinion –– although I did spend most of my time in front of the stage –– the music represented one of the best elements of the night. Whether you were cheering for Purple Haze’s renditions of iconic songs or for SoundSystem’s close-to-professional-level DJ set, you walk away feeling that perhaps Sciencespistes do have talent that actually could contribute to society. 

So you’ve now danced, posed for pictures an obnoxious amount of times, drank more than a bit too much. Never fear, though, for the genius — yes, I use the word — innovation this year turned what would be the worst part of any gala into one of the best. Whoever in the BDE exec committee came up with the idea to give out baguettes like party favours deserves a prize. Indeed, nothing but bread could console us when we were forced to walk home shivering after a fruitless search for an Uber. 

Gala complete, feet hurting from your heels or dress shoes, head still reverberating from the techno bass at the SoundSystem afterparty, you return home thinking: perhaps the super-bourgeoisie are onto something with this whole soirée thing.

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