One more year: Behind the decision to postpone the Class of 2022’s junior prom

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Credit: WSPN Staff

WHS students stand outside of their prom in Boston, the last junior prom that happened prior to COVID-19. “I felt that, although it was disappointing, students understood why it needed to be postponed and ultimately came to a unified decision,” junior class advisor Jennifer Reed said.

Delia Caulfield and Tess Alongi

After receiving input from the class advisors, the executive board and various students in the grade, Class of 2022 President Andrew Zhao made the decision to postpone his class’s prom. The Class of ’22 will now have a senior prom on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

“I decided to postpone prom due to how unlikely [it is that] we would be able to have 300 students in a room at once this spring,” Zhao said. “We wanted to get started on planning for a senior prom as soon as possible in order to be able to book the dates that we wanted.”

Although prom is still happening, students had different reactions to the news that their junior prom will now be a senior prom. Some were upset that they would have to wait a full year while others were excited about the probability of having more normalcy at their prom.

“I am, of course, upset that I won’t be able to have prom this year, but I don’t think it [will] be that different having it a year later,” junior Alexa Neuman said. “I could see me being closer with my friends and classmates by next year, and it could also be a lot more memorable having it senior year, as it would be one of the last big events in high school.”

Prom will take place at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor where it was originally planned for spring of 2021.

“Planning a prom during a pandemic has been challenging due to many uncertainties,” Zhao said. “We weren’t able to visit venues during the pandemic which made choosing a venue harder, but there is still lots to be determined as we get closer to the date in the spring of 2022.”

Despite being deprived of crucial fundraising time last year, the Class of ‘22 was able to fund its prom due to previous successful events and fundraisers.

“The Class of ‘22 did a fantastic job fundraising the last two years, which relieved some of the pressure during the pandemic,” junior class advisor Jennifer Reed said. “The class did have a successful cookie-dough fundraiser this year around the holidays, which will go towards next year’s senior events, including prom.”

In order to abide by the current protocols and ensure the safety of those in attendance, many feel that the decision to move prom was necessary, and the unpredictability regarding the pandemic has caused the Class of ‘22 to take precautionary measures whilst planning.

“Last year, [the executive board] planned and decided on many of the prom vendors,” Reed said. “Officers did a great job of making sure contracts had the correct language about postponing or canceling because of the pandemic. They contemplated whether to wait and see if there could be a prom this spring but ultimately decided that it would be best to postpone until next year.”

The Class of ‘22’s Executive Board members and advisors recognize that crucial steps, such as vaccine distribution, will be a significant factor in determining the outcome for their prom.

“We are very optimistic that prom will take place, especially since more vaccines are becoming available to the public, and schools are returning to normal capacity in the next few weeks,” Reed said. “Although it might be disappointing to some that it won’t take place this year, we are lucky to have the ability to book the event for next spring.”

Although the ultimate fate of prom remains unknown, many hope that it will occur despite the challenges.

“There will always be uncertainty about our prom taking place, but we look forward with optimism and will be ready for whatever challenges the upcoming year throws at us,” Zhao said.