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Future of Foresters’ Ball Threatened at The University of Montana

The 2012 Foresters' Ball was held at the Adams Center. (Photo courtesy of Jonah Vaughan)

About 140 students were kicked out of this year’s Foresters’ Ball, which was held in the Adams Center at The University of Montana, for being intoxicated and unruly.

The event, which was just held for the 95th year Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, is a fundraiser for scholarships for UM’s forestry department students.

The Foresters’ Ball is deep-rooted in tradition. Each year forestry students build a frontier town and host a dance with live music.

The two-night event has long been associated with rowdy behavior, and even used to make one “Playboy” magazines top college party lists annually. This reputation, and the incidents that led to it, ultimately resulted in the event being turned into an alcohol-free event in the mid-90’s.

Additionally, during the recent sexual assault investigations held by university administrators it was found that alcohol was a factor in all the assaults. Inline with this, the Foresters’ Ball was mentioned in these meetings as an event of concern.

UM College of Forestry and Conservation Dean Jim Burchfield told the Missoulian the students’ behavior at this year’s ball was “reprehensible” and added: “There will never be another event like this on campus.”

Approximately 1,500 people attend this year’s event, meaning nearly 10 percent of the attendees were kicked out of the 95th Annual Foresters’ Ball.

Forestry students met with administrators Friday about ways to make the dance safer. The Facebook page created for the Foresters’ Ball has received a slew of comments regarding this topic.


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