Counterpoint: Should the school organize an underclassmen dance?

Lena Kogan, Staff Writer

Every year, one of the biggest events for upperclassmen is prom.  Prom season is always stressful, what with the scramble to find the perfect dress, and top the latest promposal.  However, many students long await the tradition, and part of its magic is the fact that it is reserved for upperclassmen only.  Of course, underclassmen are able to attend if a junior or senior takes them as their date, but it’s still a custom reserved for upperclassmen.

“Reserving prom festivities for the upperclassmen makes the events more special, because then, as underclassmen, there is something more to look forward to,” said senior Iliana Ioannides.

Last year, when there was talk of the Student Council organizing an underclassmen formal, students were worried that the formal would be too similar to the already existent Junior Prom and Senior Gambol.

“Are you kidding me?  Ninth and tenth graders are still having sweet sixteens,” said biology teacher Ms. Marla Ezratty.  “I can’t think of a good reason as to why they should have an excuse to have another party.”

Many current upperclassmen have waited for two or three years to attend one of these events, and believe that having an event in their earlier years of high school might take away from the excitement of upperclassmen dances.

“I see it almost as a rite of passage of being a junior and senior that you get to have a prom,” said senior Elizabeth Muratore.  “I think if underclassmen also had a prom, the whole prom tradition would seem less special.”

It’s like having to wait until you turn 18 to donate blood and then being told that your 15-year-old sibling can donate now too.  It’s not only unfair; it’s a health risk.  Okay, maybe it’s not exactly like that, but you get the idea.

Even some underclassmen see the idea of having a formal occasion simply as another unnecessary burden that they will have to worry about earlier on in their high school careers.

“It would spoil the anticipation and excitement of junior and senior prom,” said sophomore Amelia Zeh.  “It couldn’t even compare to walking down the red carpet to the castle.  Not to mention that the awkward underclassmen are still getting used to the school.”

If you went to Weber, you might remember the infamous Six Mixes, and no one wants to see a repeat of that.

Furthermore, prom is not cheap.  Even with the funding provided by the school, tickets still range close to $100.  If you factor in the price of dresses and suits and corsages and boutonnieres, Junior Prom and Gambol add up to be very pricey.

Spending that kind of money beginning in ninth grade might actually discourage people from attending dances by the time they are an upperclassmen.  Not only is it expensive for the people attending, it is a financial burden for the school as well.  Many clubs are already completely self-funded due to budget cuts, and it would not make sense to direct money toward funding another dance.

“With more and more clubs getting their budgets slashed, it seems wasteful to spend it on an event so many students seem opposed to,” said senior Andrew Costenoble.

It would make much more sense to use the money on extracurriculars (or maybe tissues) rather than reallocating it to a new school event.

Some students also worry about what the underclassman dance could be titled.

“Since there are already two proms with different names, it would be absurd to have to name two more,” said junior Evan Gilmore.