Senior-only prom brings up mixed reactions


Photo by Kiera Rivers

Seniors Haley Eder-Zdechlik and Sophie Schuster at their prom in 2019.

Kiera Rivers, Photography Editor

A lot of anticipation surrounds a high school room: a rite of passage, the final dance of high school years and an overall good time. But for this year’s junior class, prom is simply a dream. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, juniors will not be dancing this year as the school announced that prom has been officially canceled for them. 

COVID-19 has already taken so much away from high school students over the past year, like seeing friends every day, casual hallway small-talk amongst peers, and many other necessary social interactions needed in order to have meaningful relationships. 

Even so, the reaction from juniors who were asked how they felt about prom being canceled was understandable.  Many said that it was unfortunate, but also that they understand the predicament that the school faced. With the junior and senior classes being so large at Stillwater, it would simply be too difficult to find a venue that would be large enough to allow for COVID-19 safety measures, like social distancing. 

“Obviously we are a little sad, but with Covid we also understand,” junior Veda Roeske said. 

We are doing our darndest to get the best opportunity to pull this thing off. This is why the limitations in numbers. My hope is at the least to give our Seniors a last chance to have a send-off…

— Dusty Dennis

Veda’s opinion is largely shared amongst the rest of the junior class. Many juniors believe prom is a rite of passage that only happens twice in a lifetime, but acknowledge that a global pandemic is a once-in-a-century phenomenon.

For those juniors who are asking why they are not getting a prom while the seniors do, the answer is really simple.  For seniors, this is their last chance to have a prom. Juniors will still have one more year to go. There simply are not any venues that are large enough to accommodate both while creating enough social distance to keep people safe.

Between juniors and seniors, you are talking 1,000-plus people,” Prom Committee advisor Dusty Dennis explained. “Where exactly is that supposed to happen?  Junior’s will get their day, but let’s prioritize those students who did not get a senior dance or even a single school dance the entire year.”

 Although seniors are happy they will get a prom this year, it is not without a heavy heart for their friends who are juniors.

“Some of my best friends are juniors, and not having them at the one and only prom I get to go to is really sad,” senior Jacki Kulzer said. “For years we have been talking about going to Prom together, so it’s pretty disappointing it can’t happen this year.” 

There are some juniors who are more upset than others, and they argue that with the crisis over the past year and a half, both of the upper classes deserve a prom. But when it comes to public safety, the prom committee had few options but to limit the number of people at the dance this year. 

For the most part, the junior class understands that safety needs to take precedence over having a fun night at the prom. Students understand that it just is not going to happen this year. While juniors may be sad now, they will have their chance next year.