It seems so long ago. White Christmas lights, wooden stands holding balsam and Douglas firs, sappy school clothes, sappier hands, and, most importantly, a group of Fifth and Sixth Form Fords ready to sell you the best tree of the lot—the Haverford Christmas Tree Sale fundraiser was only the first step in the months-long process of planning a prom.
Since then, the prom committee, composed of five Sixth Form students—Max Rosenberger, Stephen Walker, Bram Schork, Charles Witmer, and Pranav Dixit—has been hard at work.
Here’s what they have put together:
The prom is set to take place on May 7, 2022, at the Adventure Aquarium ballroom in Camden, New Jersey. Fifth and Sixth Formers, along with their dates, will meet at the quad and board a fleet of buses to the aquarium. The prerequisite to boarding the buses: every student participates in the time-honored tradition of introducing their dates to the Head of School. At the dance, prom-goers will choose from a menu with vegetarian, kosher, and gluten-free options. At the end of the prom, each Sixth Former will receive a senior gift.
In discussing their vision for this year’s big dance, prom committee members have shared setbacks, discovered many small details, and found themselves disagreeing.
A unique setback for the prom committee arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic: whilst past committees had their Fifth-Form prom experience to base plans on, the pandemic prevented Fifth and Sixth Form proms from taking place. Although there was a prom last year, it was planned by Sixth Form parents solely for that class; thus none of the current committee members have attended a Haverford prom. The committee believes this offers some creative potential.
“We are not basing this year’s prom off of any other. We want to create a prom specifically for the Classes of 2022 and 2023,” Schork said.
“We want to take it in a different direction.”Pranav Dixit ’22
Dixit echoed Schork’s sentiment. “We want to take it in a different direction,” Dixit said.
While the committee had no say in certain decisions, like holding the prom at Adventure Aquarium—the school still holds the deposit for the Class of 2020’s did-not-happen prom—it has still a significant amount of autonomy. Sra. Lambour and Mrs. Lewis, the faculty advisors to the committee, offer insight into and help with the financial aspects of planning, but little more.
So, for better or for worse, the committee’s decision to take the prom in a “different direction” will have weighty implications.
In planning this year’s prom, the committee has also discovered the sheer number of details that go into planning such an event.
“There’s a lot to think about, more than you might expect. We think about everything from the color of the tablecloths to the food on the menu to the songs DJ will play.”Bram Schork ’22
“There’s a lot to think about, more than you might expect,” said Schork, “We think about everything from the color of the tablecloths to the food on the menu to the songs the DJ will play.”
Decisions balancing the ambiance and the cost of the event have been at the center of the committee’s discussions.
Want purple tablecloths because it fits the mood? Well, due to purple dye’s relative rarity, they will cost more.
Want steak on the menu? First, you’d have to decide the grade of beef, but, no matter the grade, it will be more expensive, meaning less food overall. What doneness will it be cooked to? Will students get to request a certain doneness? These are all questions that the committee might consider.
Another consideration is the music. The prom will have a DJ in attendance, but deciding what songs to play has been a difficult task.
“We decided to crowd-source the music this year. Of the requested songs, we’ll take thirty of them, give them to the DJ, and then he will put together a playlist with some of his own choices,” Schork said.
While there are some “no-brainers” like “Pump it up” by Danzel, which, of the twelve request forms submitted, has appeared eight times, Schork admits that pleasing everyone will be a hard task. To make the committee’s job easier, Schork requests that more students submit music requests, so long as they are non-explicit and not offensive.
While four members want a “pirate” themed prom—an apt theme for its location, some say—Schork called his dissent “a hill [he] is willing to die on.”
The committee has also found itself in quite contentious discussions, the most notable being the prom’s theme. While four members want a “pirate” themed prom—an apt theme for its location, some say—Schork called his dissent “a hill [he] is willing to die on.”
While the consequence of this disagreement may be no theme at all, Dixit said, “If you decide to wear an eye-patch to the prom, no one is going to stop you.”