Students Put Stress Aside to Party

University can be a time filled with tension. People frequently juggle classes, jobs, homework and family obligations, and feel the strain on a regular basis, so it’s always good to be able to relax and enjoy student life whenever possible. The Brescia Ball at Brescia University College was designed to help them do that very thing.

Brescia, which is affiliated with Western University, was founded in 1919 by the Ursuline Sisters of the Diocese of London, Brescia is Canada’s only women’s university. The sisters, recognized for their experience in women’s education, were interested in expanding their horizons to include university education. Early on, students from the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia were welcomed.

The sisters are “committed to social justice, community service, and the development of women,” and even though the university is rooted in Catholicism, all cultures and religious traditions are respected. They also offer several scholarships, bursaries and employment opportunities to help students continue their education.



The ball, held on January 24 at the Hilton in London, ON, is a formal for students, staff, faculty, alumni and guests. Funded by the Brescia University College Students’ Council, the goal is always “to provide students with an opportunity to socialize, dance, and enjoy themselves while putting work, school and stress aside.”

Nicki Runstedler, a third year BSc Family Studies student and the Brescia Ball Commissioner, planned the event. The theme “Something Old, Something New” was exemplified by a vintage backdrop where students were able to have their pictures taken, the use of many old photos from previous balls as decoration, and “lots of lace, pearls and wood to help bring the rustic vintage theme to life.”



Guests commented that the décor was “spectacular” and became one of the highlights of the night. One student in particular stated, “I’ve been to a fair number of formals and balls over the years at Western, but I think that one was the best!”

The event also featured a large buffet dinner, dance performances from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, a photo booth, dancing and line dancers mixed in with the crowd throughout the evening. Marble Slab Creamery also made a guest appearance for a late night snack, which had never been done in previous years.

About the organization process, Runstedler notes that she “enjoyed every minute of it, as I love planning events,” and offers a lot of advice for other event planners. “I would tell others to be a confident decision maker, look around and negotiate prices, and don’t accept the first offer. Look for the best quality for the best price. Make a budget, stick to it and have fun staying true to your vision!”