Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

Honors student turns capstone into dance party

University of Massachusetts senior Dorothy Polatin has one hope for her capstone, a research-intensive thesis or project required of all honors students.

Amanda Joinson/Collegian

Amanda Joinson/Collegian

She hopes that everyone will dance.

Instead of opting to do a traditional project, such as producing a film or writing a manuscript, Polatin, a double major in communications and management, decided to organize a series of alcohol and drug free dances, the second of which will take place this Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby.

“I had always wanted to do some sort of dance that took away the pressures of alcohol,” said Polatin. “I want to give people who want to dress up, have fun and go out a place to do that.”

Since Polatin was already interested in hosting a drug-free dance, she decided to turn it in to her capstone in order to earn credits for her efforts.

“I told them this is something I am passionate about,” said Polatin. “And they didn’t say no.”

The dance, Neon Night, is open to all UMass students and free.

“You shouldn’t have to pay to have fun in college,” said Polatin.

Polatin is trying to create a club-like atmosphere in the FAC lobby, giving the event the tag line, “If you liked DAYGLOW, if you like Diva’s, then You’ll Like This.”

Hundreds of glow sticks will be distributed to partygoers upon entry and prizes, such as gift certificates to Bart’s, GoBerry, Central Rock Gym and Family Golf will be handed out throughout the night. The first 75 people to arrive will receive a free UMass Permaculture t-shirt.

“I want people to come and feel welcome, safe and meet new people,” Polatin said. “I want them to feel like they can go dance and still get up in the morning to do homework.”

Polatin does not drink, but still likes to go out on the weekends.

“I am outgoing. I feel very comfortable talking to anyone, and I don’t care if people think I look silly,” she said.

She also said the culture at UMass can be difficult for people who choose not to drink, which was one of her inspirations for the dance.

“Part of why I am doing this is because I have been around this culture of binge drinking,” said Polatin. “I don’t like this huge focus on ‘you can only have fun when you drink.’”

Polatin has sat in on several Campus and Community Coalition meetings, an organization that strives “to promote responsible decision making about alcohol and other drug use.”

Polatin said she feels that sitting on the committee has helped to shape her perspective of the relationship between townsfolk and students. The UMass Police Department’s committee membership has had the most influence, according to Polatin.

“I hear their side of the story,” said Polatin. “It is interesting. It is very difficult for the police. They have to put up with us, too.”

She continued to say that while she does not feel that house and frat parties are an “issue,” they do create some disturbances and problems within the Amherst community.

“We cause a lot of noise disturbances and not everyone is on the same schedule as us, some families have kids,” Polatin said.

Last semester, Polatin hosted “Winterball,” another alcohol and drug free dance, at the Newman Center. She said that approximately 115 students attended.

“I didn’t advertise enough,” said Polatin, noting that she hopes more people will attend this time. She has been advertising on Facebook, in the dormitories and via blog.

When Polatin originally proposed this project to the Honors College, she planned to hold one of these dances every month, but quickly realized she would have to scale it back.

“I am laughing now at the thought,” she said.

She is unsure of if she will be organizing another dance this semester.

“It’s a lot of planning,” she said. “This might be the last one I am doing.”

The dance is sponsored by the Stonewall Center, UMass Permaculture, the Panhellenic Council, University Health Service, the Office of Fraternities and Sororities, the Campus and Community Coalition and Campus Recreation.

Katie Landeck can be reached at klandeck@student.umass.edu.

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