The Hardest Date to Find: On Prom Scheduling Issues

Tanya Calvin 

Staff Writer 

It seems like this year prom is a hot topic. It’s already going beyond public prom askings and coordinating dresses. First, with the talk of a “frosh-soph prom” (that wasn’t even supposed to be a prom and didn’t end up happening anyway), and now with a possible date change, prom is stirring up even more controversy. For years it’s fallen on the same weekend, but now there are conflicts with student athletes. Girls who make it to the state championships for track have to rush back to the city after their race to make sure they can get ready in time for pre-prom activities. There are also students at Latin who have a national rowing competition that same weekend, and wouldn’t be able to go at all unless the date does change. The other proposed date would cause problems with those in Advanced Acting because that weekend is exhausting when it comes to their show. The idea of having it after graduation didn’t sit well with seniors who wanted their ditch day to happen.

So, student government sent out a survey asking people to choose between two prom dates, one the original and another that wouldn’t conflict with athletic events. Social Chair Nadja Knox wanted to gain a sense of everyone’s thoughts about the topic before she made any decisions. That one question survey was enough to stir several conversations. Senior Victoria Lancaster thinks “absolutely everyone should be able to go” but also that “there is always going to be some conflict.” As a track athlete, junior Audrey Stiffle thinks “with knowledge of how all the girls from track made it to prom on time last year, it is completely doable” to make it on the original date.

The real question here is how willing is Latin to change a tradition for a few students. Junior Izzi Weiss, who is on the crew team in question, says “that weekend is the biggest race of the season and what the team works for all spring.” She hopes that next year, we can all come up with a better solution. Grace Cummins, also a junior, says “even though crew and track participants are some of [her] closest friends, it all comes down to majority. It’s a bummer either way you look at it.” Senior Kaya Romeo, who is in Advanced Acting, thinks “we should choose the date the most people can go.”

It seems like the general sense with the majority is that majority rules, but in situations like these it’s important to keep the minority in mind. Senior Caroline Kaplan would not be able to go to prom if the date isn’t changed. She understands it’s a stretch to ask the entire community to change plans, but still feels “prom would give [her], and all the other athletes who cannot attend, an opportunity to feel like [they]’re a part of something. Latin has taught [her] to fight for equality…but to also advocate for [her]self.”

Prom is a time to celebrate the end of a long year with our friends and classmates, and making the call of whether or not majority and tradition trumps all is tough. As a community, we care about each other, and it seems like in this situation someone is going to be unhappy about what happens no matter when the date is. I hope, though, that we will still be able to feel that sense of unity whether we’re competing or helping each other with corsages.