Student Senate hosted their annual Diner en Blanc celebration on April 27, held at a location unknown to guests until their arrival.
Diner en Blanc is a Senate-hosted event held each spring, where Lehigh students, faculty and staff join together to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year.
Attendees paid an admission fee of $ 5 in advance and were told they would celebrate the evening at a secret location with music, dancing and food.
This year, guests were treated to catered food, live music by local band – The Wonton Soups – and the sights of the Musikfest Cafe at the Bethlehem Steel Stacks.
This year’s dinner was the first return to a normal Diner en Blanc since 2019. Last year, the event was held in a hybrid format.
Francesca Logozzo, ’24, chair of the Senate’s Student Outreach Committee, was responsible for a large part of the planning for the event.
Logozzo said the committee began organizing the dinner in December, and was brainstorming location ideas, until one stood out.
“Someone kind of threw out what the ending idea was, like just on a whim, like ‘hey, let’s try this,’” Logozzo said. “So I ended up contacting (the venue) and being like ‘I’m looking at the possibility but we’d really like to have it here.’
Logozzo said the coordinators from the Steel Stacks were immediately on board with the idea. They were also able to accommodate the predicted turnout of about 500 people.
“We actually originally planned for only 300 because that was what the budget allowed, and then we fundraised so much more than we anticipated,” Logozzo said. “So, 500 it is.”
Diner en Blanc, Logozzo said, is one of the largest student events on campus. The theme of the evening was a “Year in Review,” with a brown and white color scheme and dress code.
“It’s giving (students) those memories and experiences that they’re gonna remember outside of just their academics,” Logozzo said. “That’s why we wanted to be this big celebration that everybody wants to be a part of.”
Members of the Lehigh community including Senate members, students, staff and faculty all gave speeches at the event.
Ben Kabakow, ’22, a former Senate member, was a speaker at Diner en Blanc. He said he was impressed with the planning of the event.
“The Student Senate did such an awesome job,” Kabakow said. “I think it’s really cool. I was part of the organization and I knew what it was like to set it up, and seeing it happen, even though I wasn’t part of it, it was great. “
Amanda Hall, ’22, an attendee, said she thought the secret venue concept was a great idea and enjoyed the company and nostalgia the event brought to close out her Lehigh experience.
“I had so much fun,” Hall said. “It was a great way to end senior year by celebrating with my friends and remembering everything we’ve done here.”