Photos courtesy of subjects
The administration announced that the dates of both Junior Prom and Senior Ball will be delayed in hopes of a more realistic outcome. In the March Newsletter, sent out to families Feb. 26, Principal Caesar Diliberto announced that Junior Prom will be rescheduled from April 22 to June 16, nearly two months later.
“The administration is committed to safely providing the closest resemblance to traditional events such as Junior Prom and Senior Ball,” Diliberto said in the email. “The State of New Jersey currently mandates that the maximum capacity of any indoor gathering shall be no larger than 150 individuals. If Junior Prom were held within the upcoming few weeks, only half of the junior class would be able to attend.”
While a normal prom is the ultimate goal, there are guidelines that the administration must follow and safety is their number one priority.
“The Prom and Senior Ball, they’re really good times, literally everyone’s dancing,” Diliberto said in an interview. “But at the same time, we have to adhere to whatever the governor says is the indoor, or outdoor, restrictions at the time.”
Although many view the June date as more realistic, the two month postponement left many juniors conflicted. Some students were disappointed, as they were looking forward to attending the big event, but many felt relieved that their Junior Prom may actually mirror a normal year’s prom or approach as close to one as possible.
“I was kind of upset when I heard prom was being moved to June because I feel like this time of the year is very slow moving and there is nothing really to look forward to right now, junior Angelina Velardi said.” So having it in April was something I was excited for.
But rescheduling prom does not mean there is a 100 percent chance of it occurring, the administration cautioned. Students are frustrated that prom can still be cancelled, even after spending money on clothes and arrangements for the night.
“I am aggravated and worried because of the possible rescheduling problems and more importantly, is there a possibility for prom being cancelled since it was already moved?” junior class president AJ Michelotti said. “If so, all of the students have spent money on dresses and tuxedos for nothing.”
Moving prom into the warmer months of the year opens a handful of more opportunities. In the event that the CDC guidelines do not allow for an indoor prom, it is possible that the event can be held outside. Many students are optimistic about this option.
“I’m happy about prom being rescheduled because now there’s a better chance that more people can attend and if it needs to be, it can be outside,” junior Emily Proscia said.
One of the biggest differences for this year’s juniors is who they can take to their prom. At the moment, only the junior class is allowed to attend and if guidelines although, more students will be included.
“The priority attendees are the juniors,” Diliberto said. “If restrictions allow, the guest list will be opened for juniors to invite dates from other grades at West Essex High School. If restrictions allow further, the guest list may be opened for juniors to invite dates who attend other high schools.”
Although a necessity for health and guidelines, many juniors who were set on bringing either students from another grade or friends of theirs from different towns are frustrated. The flexibility of prom dates is one of the reasons so many students look forward to their prom, and this year’s juniors hope to have the same opportunity.
“I’m excited that prom is postponed so other grades can hopefully be involved. I feel that the more the merrier so I’m glad that more people may be able to come and enjoy prom,” junior Caitlin Lutz said.
Longing for a more practical prom, students are looking forward to their Junior Prom in hopes of having a somewhat normal year. While there are still many unanswered questions as to how prom will run, both students and the administration aim to stay positive and realistic for the future.