Defying the High School "Rule": Student Government's Proposal for an Underclassmen Prom

Tanya Calvin

A couple of weeks ago, grade reps visited advisories to ask questions about how to improve Latin for us in a couple different areas. One of those ways was about an idea to have a dance at the same time as prom for underclassmen. First of all, Nadja Knox, Social Chair, wanted me to clarify that the proposed idea was not intended to create another prom for freshman and sophomores. It would have been just a “small dance for underclassmen to keep things lively even after Winter Ball, during the final parts of the year.”

        Though it’s been decided to not have the dance, the idea brought up some interesting opinions about prom and what a “junior” prom would be like. As of right now the rule is that all juniors and seniors are invited to prom and sophomores can go if they are asked by an upperclassman. Freshman can’t go at all. Some people think that having another dance would break some awkward social barriers that are built during prom season. Sophomore year is filled with talk of who got asked and who didn’t. It tends to take away from the general spirit that prom should evoke- one of celebrating the year coming to a close and taking part in an American tradition.

        Some freshman like Deon Custard think another dance would “give us [freshman] an experience similar to prom as underclassmen, which is something that no other school I know of does in a way like this.” Still, the idea of another dance got a lot of opposition. Many feel like sophomore Jessica Kubert does and think “it’s a little odd…even speaking as a sophomore, upperclassmen privileges are something that I think make sense and I like them.” Junior Johnny Buchanan agrees, saying “it makes prom less special. Prom is for juniors and seniors and will be fun when you can finally go.” Senior Nicole Rich says she doesn’t “think it’s necessary. We already have Homecoming and Winter Ball, so it’s not like they don’t get to go to dances too…even if their dance wasn’t like prom it would have a similar connotation and concept behind since it’s for them while juniors and seniors are at prom.”

        This whole ordeal said a lot about two things. One, miscommunication can happen easily at a school as small as Latin. Many people misunderstood the idea when it was first presented, and that’s the only reason the topic got so much attention. Second, that students at Latin really value prom. It’s our only formal dance where people (usually) take dates, and it seems like everyone cherishes it. There is a lot of build up to prom as an underclassman, and it looks like freshman and (most) sophomores are going to have to wait just like everyone else did.