The Video Dance—the one night every year when Borden Memorial Gym is draped with projector screens, decked with strobe lights and flooded with Andover students—has traditionally fallen on the first Saturday of Fall Term. The dance offers an escape from the stress of the first week of classes and marks the start of the year’s social events.

Previously, the Video Dance was Andover’s first social event that new students would attend, and for the Juniors, their first high school dance. This year, however, the dance has been postponed until the second weekend of Fall Term. Taking the dance’s place will be the new Fall Carnival, a decision made by the Student Activities Board.

The decision to postpone the dance was rooted in an effort to change the typically hook-up-driven environment of the first weekend. Though the decision has been received rather negatively by many students, a Fall Carnival will in fact be much more conducive to meeting new students than a dance.

The Video Dance is admittedly daunting for many new students, and even some returners. Choosing how to dress, act and socialize puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on students to form a social identity before they’re ready. What’s more, students should never feel pressed to leave with someone just because it’s the thing to do. The often shocking first exposure to Andover dances is not the kind of environment that alleviates the stresses of assimilating to a brand new community.

The first social event of the school year should be about meeting and getting to know new people, not hooking up with them.

The Fall Carnival will not feature countless strobe lights and enormous speakers, nor will it blare deafening Top 40 songs. Instead, the first Saturday night of Fall Term will be host to burgers, carnival games and low-key music. Encouraging students to socialize in a more comfortable environment the first weekend will better foster new friendships and and forego the messy sex-driven drama of everyone’s first Sunday brunch.

Hopefully students will take full advantage of this opportunity to expand beyond their social sphere and meet new people.

_This editorial represents the views of_ The Phillipian _Editorial Board CXXXVI_.