Dance Marathon numbers increase amid changes to 2016 program


Daily file photo by Sean Su

Students dance during Block Two of Dance Marathon 2015. Registration numbers increased to more than 1,500 registrants this year after a drop in last year’s registration numbers.

Benjamin Din, Digital Projects Editor

Dance Marathon registration numbers rose to more than 1,500 registrants this year, following a drop in DM 2015’s registration numbers.

“We’re right on track with past years to be just as successful,” said James Keane, DM’s marketing and media co-chair. “We’re super excited.”

The registration fee for the philanthropic event lowered from $50 to $35 this year, following Associated Student Government’s decision to classify DM as an A-status student group for the first time, the SESP senior said. All of DM’s ASG funding went toward lowering the registration fee, he said.

Despite the increased registration numbers, Keane said DM is not focusing on the numbers this year, but on its potential to create greater impact through a new community service activity with this year’s primary beneficiary, Blessings in a Backpack. This year, Northwestern students have the option to participate in weekly lunch-packing sessions. The lunches will go home with students at public schools in the Chicago area to make sure they are fed over the weekend.

The service opportunity allows students to participate in DM in ways outside of traditional fundraising, Keane said. He also said this is the first year DM is working with a beneficiary that fights hunger.

“It’s a cool hands-on way to get physically connected to the beneficiary and have a different kind of impact beyond fundraising,” Keane said.

In addition, any student on financial aid again had the fee waived through the Office of the President. This is the second consecutive year the office has sponsored the service.

Keane said new student groups are participating with teams in DM this year, including Multicultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations, Ski Team and Hillel.

“We’re thrilled to see more than 10 new student organizations participating this year,” he said.

The addition of new groups and the lowered fee are a part of DM’s continued efforts to make the event more inclusive for students on campus, Keane said.

“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We’re always working on it, and we’re really excited to continue that progress.”

Earlier this quarter, DM moved its trivia nights from the now-closed Buffalo Wild Wings to World of Beer.

Now in its 42nd year, DM will take place from March 4 to March 6.

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Twitter: @benjamindin