An Untraditional Senior Prom Announced


Decisions about prom have finally been made, juniors decide to throw their own prom.

Ellie Pogorek, Writer

On May 8, West will host an outdoor prom at CBAC for seniors. This decision comes after long consideration by the school board regarding the safety of the students and staff. The prom will be open to seniors and junior class committee members only, and students will have to RSVP beforehand to help keep things as safe as possible. 

“We have some really fun and unique ideas that we think will make prom really fun and different from what we’ve seen in the past,” activities administrator Josh Umphrey said. “Obviously, there will be dancing and things like that but there will be some cool events too.” 

This year’s prom is planned to be unique to work with the current circumstances. Typically, prom includes dancing and large groups; this year’s prom is set to include every individual, engaging activities and more. 

“I think it will be similar to what you see in school,” Umphrey said. “Obviously, masks will have to be worn, and we’ll do our best in terms of trying to disperse the groups as much as possible.”

Guidelines for the prom are still being mapped out, but masks and social distancing will still be mandated, just like in school. Although it can be hard to social distance at a usual prom, since prom will be held at CBAC, there will be enough room to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Unlike years past, tickets will be free, meaning students are only obligated to RSVP.

“About three weeks out, at lunch, kids can come up and RSVP, just like how you typically buy a ticket,” Umphrey said. “You just have to come and give us your name, say that you’ll come, [and] we’ll actually give you a ticket and add your name to the list.”

Every senior will have an automatic plus one available for $10, and this plus one can be of any grade level. Students that are part of the junior committee and help set up prom will also be invited. 

Since there will be so many restrictions on prom, including juniors not being able to attend unless accompanied by a senior, some juniors have concerned throwing their own proms. 

“It’s hard,” Umphrey said. “You have to follow guidelines and take into account [COVID-19] and I think the [junior] students and parents are understanding…there’s some disappointment but the good thing is for next year, the hope is for us to be completely back to normal. [Juniors] will have a much more traditional prom and probably have things that the senior class didn’t.” 

Because only seniors will be attending prom this year, some juniors have taken measures into their own hands by planning separate, junior-sponsored proms at separate locations, on the same night. 

“I just thought I really wanted a prom,” junior Tyanna Penman said. “I was really looking forward to it.”

For this reason, Penman decided to host a party of her own at Eagle’s Landing.

“I thought, if they’re not going to allow juniors, I might just take it into my own hands and try and do something,” Penman said.

With a limit of 160 people allowed to go, Penman is already filling up the vacancies. But there are some challenges with this plan, including enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols and keeping illegal activities at bay. Penman has come up with a couple ways to combat this.

“I have a security guard that comes with the venue, and my parents want parental supervision there,” Penman said.

Although some students are already planning on throwing alternate parties, school administrators advise not attending these gatherings due to COVID-19 and the possible risks that could come with throwing an alternate prom. 

“Always, [don’t] go,” Umphrey said. 

Keeping students safe while still hosting a fun and entertaining prom is the goal for West administration. The school-hosted prom is hoped to be a fun night for all who attend. 

“I think prom is the great end to a school year,” Umphrey said.