Updated: 3 days ago
By Saesha Bhat (‘24)
Prom is considered one of the highlights of most people’s high school experience. It can be seen in coming-of-age movies and TV shows that cater to high school teens. At SBHS, the junior and senior proms are put together with months of planning and teamwork through the class council. However, this year’s junior class prom is changing its traditional junior prom as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which pushed back all major events from 2020 to 2021 and 2022.
So what are these changes? One of many changes to the junior prom is the date of the event, which will be held on a Sunday instead of its usual Friday. English Teacher and Class Council Advisor Mrs. Jaclyn Jennings shared her reason for this unusual decision and its major impact on the price of the event.
She said, “We needed to consider inflation. In the event industry, it used to be that Saturdays were the most expensive, Fridays were a little less expensive, and Sundays and Thursdays were the least expensive. Now, Fridays and Saturdays are the same price, and Thursdays and Sundays are less expensive. We can't do a Thursday, because we have school the next day. So considering the limited dates, and the cost to students, Sunday was the most appropriate choice.”
Many people have suffered due to the economic crisis that came as a result of the pandemic, and given the current state of the economy with high inflation, it is no doubt that the school will look for more affordable options to keep student prices low. Planners see It as a great way to include as many students as possible and make it available for much of the student body to join. Although prices have not been announced yet, it is reasonable to think that they would have decreased compared to last year’s tickets which were well over $100.
But one downside that comes with a Sunday event is its placement in the week, being the last of the weekend and almost the beginning of the next school week. The timing has changed as well, with the event starting at 4:30 and ending at 8:30. It may not seem like the ideal plan for some, but this might be the case to get SBHS back on track after COVID.
“Students would have the entire morning to get ready, have fun at the prom, and then would still be home in time to have a good night's sleep before school on Monday. It just made the most sense,” Mrs. Jennings said.
Considering these changes, many would find it to be not so different than years past; however, a major modification is also the location, now placing the event not in a typical venue but on a cruise, the senior dinner cruise to be exact. Instead of separating the two events like how it traditionally has been done, the school decided to conjoin them together into one event, transforming the prom into a dinner cruise, and scrapping the dinner cruise as a separate event.
“Furthermore, this event will replace the traditional Senior Dinner Cruise, which has always been a Sunday. We are excited because it is a bigger boat so each student can bring a guest and it reduces the financial burden for senior year…Typically senior year, seniors have to pay for a lot of things: dinner cruise, prom, cap and gown, yearbooks, etc. We would like to make it so that senior year isn't as expensive as it has been in the past, so instead of a senior dinner cruise, we are making junior prom a dinner cruise,” she said.
Junior Anjana Kailasanath was surprised about this information as she had expected it to be how it was traditionally kept for years.
She said, “I think it’s nice that they’re making this an option that's more affordable to all but at the same time, can’t we have a budget-friendly event on the cruise and then another separate prom? It’s literally not asking for much to have a prom in our school while having a separate dinner cruise. It's our senior year and these events are fully possible to be done on their own. I hope the student council will do something about this issue.”
But other juniors like Rhea Aiyar favor this new change to the tradition and hope to see more affordable activities for high school students in the future.
“As someone who does a lot of extracurricular activities, paying so much money for school events has become a turn-off for me. Most of my friends even stopped going to these events as they can be boring and not worth the money. Having this combined event makes it easier for me to attend events like these and feel like I am not missing out on high school experiences. As well, I bet that this would make junior prom even more exciting to attend, possibly gathering more attendees,” she said.
Although this can be seen as a loss to some and a win to others, it is best believed that the school is keeping the interest of the students when it comes to planning and what would best benefit their futures, especially in times of crisis like now.