Class of 2023 semi-formal: The long awaited event


Credit: WSPN Staff

The Class of 2023’s semi formal is set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 6. Following many postponements, students are excited for the event. “This is our grades first real class event and I think people are just excited to do something as a grade,” junior Emily Campos said. “COVID-19 has taken away and postponed so many things, so we are lucky that we are still able to have a dance. “

Tess Alongi

After many postponements, the junior classes semi-formal is set to take place Saturday, Nov. 6. Originally scheduled for Oct. 2020, the dance has been postponed multiple times to be in accordance with the school and town’s COVID-19 policy.

Originally, the dance was to occur at the Wedgewood Pines Country Club in Stow, but because of COVID-19 protocols, the district revoked approval for the venue during the first week of Oct., which left the class government with little time to plan.

“We were scrambling to put together an event with the few weeks we had left before winter,” Class of 2023 Class President Prash Subbiah said. “Our only option was to have the event outside because the district would only approve an event indoors if all attendees were both wearing masks and had three feet of distance from one another at all times, which, for us, was a non-starter.”

The COVID-19 protocols came as a shock to many, as they were much stricter than the ones that are currently in place at the high school.

“The restrictions we would have had to follow aren’t even in line with what we are doing in school, so it’s all a bit irrational in my opinion,” Subbiah said. “We tried to explore options like a vaccine or test mandate with them, but there just wasn’t any movement from the higher powers.”

The class government was able to quickly plan an event for Saturday, Oct. 30, but the weather forecast looked bad. Due to rain in the forecast, and the protocol that would force students to wear masks and stay three feet apart if the event was to be held inside, the school once again postponed the event until the following weekend.

“We made the call to postpone semi to [Nov. 6],” Subbiah said. “After that, it was about finding vendors that could offer us their services on a week’s notice, which was incredibly difficult. I had to call around ten rental companies before finding one that would rent us a tent and a dance floor for [Nov. 6].”

There was also talk about postponing the dance until the spring due to the cold temperatures of New England fall nights, but many felt as though the wait for the dance had been long enough.

“The feedback we got from classmates was that since the event was originally meant to be held a year ago, it would be absurd to further postpone it to the spring,” Subbiah said. “We were also concerned that the folks who make the restrictions would perceive the COVID-19 situation to have worsened over the winter, preventing us from even having an outdoor event then.”

With the Saturday, Nov. 6 forecast currently predicted to be 34 degrees Fahrenheit, and the day’s high of 54 degrees Fahrenheit, many are worried about how the event will be with such low temperatures. In an email sent to the Class of 2023, Subbiah stated that there will be patio heaters and a heated tent, which should help to keep the cold away.

“I think we have a lot going against us, and we are doing the best we can to make it a good event,” junior E-Board member Ryan Desmond said. “The temperature and weather makes people want to have an event indoors, but the [COVID-19] restrictions hold us back, and we feel like no matter what decisions we make, not everyone will be happy. We are trying to accommodate everyone.”

Although semi being set to take place at the high school can seem like a negative to some, many positive aspects may come from the location change.

“Moving it away from the venue has provided us the opportunity to improve the food selection, since we are getting catering from a restaurant and cupcakes from a really great bakery in Reading, instead of just serving the food that the golf club offered,” Subbiah said. “We were also able to raise a ton of money since the beginning of sophomore year, so we were able to drop ticket prices by $10 while still leaving us plenty of money to burn on Prom.”

Even though the class government has had to navigate through negative feedback from both students and parents, many are grateful for the work that is being put in to make sure the event runs smoothly.

“I think that E-Board is doing the best they can with all the restrictions put upon them, and I appreciate all that they are doing to make this possible,” junior Emily Campos said. “I am excited to spend time with friends, and I am definitely looking forward to Semi.”

With the cancellation of many events due to COVID-19, a vast amount of students are happy that the long awaited event is still set to take place. The Class of 2023 is currently has yet to have a class event in the high school, so many students are excited about the opportunity to see their classmates outside of school hours.

“Although it is going to be cold, I feel like we are going to make the best of it and have a good time,” Campos said. “This is our grade’s first real class event, and I think people are just excited to do something as a grade. COVID-19 has taken away and postponed so many things, so we are lucky that we are still able to have a dance.”