Junior Prom held on campus for first time, raises concerns from Class of 2024


Dressed for a school dance, students pose for a photo outside. After discussion between school staff and junior class officers, it was decided that Junior Prom Apr. 22 would be held on campus in the small gym for the first time. Photo by Todd Cravens via Unsplash

For the first time, Junior Prom is set to take place in the small gym Apr. 22 rather than an outside venue like in years prior. Some students said they are worried about their experience for prom at the school, and some opted not to attend and instead have plans to replace the time they would have spent at prom.

“It’s a little disappointing just because a lot of other high schools got to have theirs at a pretty venue,” Payton Dean said. “Prom is something I looked forward to throughout all of high school. When I was little, I would see it in movies and be so excited. It’s just frustrating that we have to pay $50 for a school dance in the gym.” 

Junior class officers Lauren Ansaldo, Nayeli Glaude and Brendan Whitmore said they worked together along with the juniors in the leadership class to make prom memorable. They dedicated their leadership class into organizing their decorations and plans for prom.

“What we’re trying to create is just something magical,” Ansaldo said. “So when you walk in, there’s [going to be] flowers and everything. We know with it being at Whitney, the expectations will probably be much lower. But obviously, we don’t want them to see it like that. So we want them to see it as something that is magical and memorable.”

Activities Director Mr. Jesse Armas oversees the event and supervises the class officers, he said they are working hard to create an exciting event.

“They are planning to transform the small gym so that students forget it is Whitney High School. So, some very cool decor will be used as well as a drink and dessert bar. Students will also have access to a photobooth to take a memory home with them,” Armas said. 

The freshmen and juniors in leadership collaborated to choose the theme Enchanted Forest to make the experience more exciting.

“[We] junior class officers worked with the freshmen. We all made a slideshow and we came up with different themes we might want and then we just narrowed it down from there,” Ansaldo said.

Despite the efforts going into Junior Prom, some students said they are worried about their experience. They are concerned that because it is being held in the small gym, they would be unsatisfied with prom.

“[I’m] a little bit [concerned] just because prom is supposed to be a whole experience. And now it’s kind of just like Homecoming at the gym,” Evan Karr said.

Even with the concerns of the students, the junior class officers said they managed to find benefits of prom being held at the school that they could not provide if it was held at a venue. 

“The school wanted to make it more accessible to everyone. So we decided to hold it at the gym [to lower the cost and make tickets less expensive]. I think they’re making it so it’s [on campus] every year,” Ansaldo said.

More students will be able to attend prom because of the lower cost in ticket prices. Also, students have the opportunity to choose where to eat, since everyone has different tastes in food.

“The first reason Junior Prom is being held on our campus this year is that we had some trouble solidifying a venue for the prom,” Armas said. “But most importantly, with the cost of everything going up in the world, if we did the traditional Junior Prom, the cost per ticket was going to be over $100. A lot goes into making this a special night for the junior class. When you choose the menu for the event, there are always complaints. This year students have the opportunity to host a dinner with friends, go to their favorite restaurant or just keep it low key.”

Because of the location, some people decided not to go. 

“[My friends and I] decided the week before prom tickets started to go on sale that we didn’t want to go anymore. Our whole group was not interested anymore,” Jaspreet Kaur said.

However, some students are excited for prom. They said they are excited to get dressed in their outfits and go out with their dates.

“I am very excited [for prom]. I’m looking forward to getting ready and I get to go to prom with my date. We are matching… we are both wearing pink,” Camden Osechek said.

Although some students worry about their experience, Armas said he is not worried for the students as he thinks they will enjoy their time at prom. 

He said, “We are really not worried about bringing an exciting event for the junior class. When people remember events, they remember the music and the people they were with. That is what making memories and having a good time is all about.”