DM waiting list policy spurs more fund raising

Janette Neuwahl

Jennifer Chambers has helped raise about $1,500 for Alpha Kappa Psi’s Dance Marathon efforts. But until Wednesday, she didn’t know if she would be dancing.

Stuck on DM’s waiting list since dancer registration in October, Chambers and her partner only found out Wednesday that they were selected as one of 11 waiting list couples to take part in the weekend’s festivities.

But for the first time, hopeful dancers in Chambers’ position had some control over their fate. The waiting list policy was changed to reflect fund-raising efforts by independent couples this year, not to honor the order in which they signed up.

Chambers, a Weinberg junior, said she worked to raise money because her experience dancing last year left her yearning to participate again.

“If I don’t get the advantage of dancing, my money is still going to a great cause and the reason I’m doing this is for philanthropy so dancing is just an added bonus,” Chambers said. Michelle Madigan, DM co-chairwoman, said the policy was altered to give the best chance at dancing to the waiting list hopefuls who raised the most money.

“This way we motivate people that if they are No. 10 on the waiting list they could increase their chances of becoming No. 1 just by fund-raising,” Madigan said.

DM registration began in the fall when finance committee members collected fees from the first 250 couples along with 30 who were placed on the waiting list. The extra 30 couples added their names hoping that some of the original couples would not raise the required $750 to dance, allowing them to take the slots, said Karyn Brasky, DM finance co-chairwoman.

In past years, some waiting list members have assumed they wouldn’t be dancing and therefore stopped raising money, Madigan said.

“In the past, the waiting list wasn’t an indication of who really wanted to (dance), but now it keeps up the excitement throughout the year,” Brasky said. “This way, if DM is something they really want to do and if they commit to it, they can.”

Besides Chambers and her partner Jeremy Johnson, the other 10 couples that made it off the waiting list came from Willard Residential College. The residential college’s fund raising topped all other groups on the list, allowing their waiting list members to attain dancer status, Brasky said.

Meg Wagner, a Willard resident moved up from the waiting list, said she wasn’t surprised when she heard she’d be participating in DM. Although she would have been disappointed if she wasn’t dancing, Wagner said the money she raised would go to a worthy cause.

“If my money wasn’t enough to get me off the waiting list then that means other people raised more money, and even though I’d be slightly disappointed, it would be gratifying to know that a lot of people had raised a lot of money,” said Wagner, a Weinberg sophomore.