Emma Newman staff writer
ASB will be hosting a starry-night-themed senior prom on Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. at the City Market Social House.
Due to relaxing COVID-19 precautions, the venue can host up to 400 people. This number allows for seniors to invite non-senior and non-BHHS dates to the prom. However, the school is requiring those who plan to be in attendance to report to the high school on Friday, June 4 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. to get tested for the virus. Students will be required to wear masks during the event unless they are eating, although social distancing will not be required.
Because of the relative lack of restrictions, ASB advisor Nickolas Henggeler expects the upcoming prom to look similar to other years.
“I think [that] prom will look pretty normal,” Henggeler said. “I’ve seen many other in-person events that have taken place in recent weeks, and we are at a place where we can slowly start to get back to how things were. There will be food, games, dancing, a photo booth, a coronation, cheesy pictures, dresses, tuxes-the whole shebang.”
While the appearance of the prom was not significantly affected by COVID-19, according to Henggeler, the planning process was.
“The pandemic has greatly impacted prom planning,” Henggeler said. “In a normal year, we’d start as early as May of the class’s junior year…but this year, we had mere weeks to put it together. We also have county and state guidelines we must follow and occupancy limits. It’s been a huge obstacle, but somehow, we’ve managed to pull it all together.”
ASB President senior Nahal Sarafian agrees that COVID-19 “largely impacted” the prom planning process. At its earlier stages, for example, she was not sure whether or not the prom would take place. Despite this uncertainty, Sarafian liked planning the “details” of the event.
“I really enjoy picking our decorations and activities for our prom,” Sarafian said. “I like knowing how the prom budget is being utilized so that I can give my input on how it can be best spent based on what my classmates want.”
ASB treasurer senior Jacquelyn Bakshian also enjoyed aspects of the planning process, which she thinks was “great,” mainly because of the accommodating nature of the people who are in charge of the event’s venue.
“They’ve been helping with a lot of decor, and like the music and the little things you wouldn’t think about,” Bakshian said. “Honestly, for us, the most we’ve had to do is talk to the venue about the stuff we want, and they did the rest, which has been great because we’ve only had one or two months to plan.”
While ASB’s target number of attendees is 300, Bakshian is not sure how many people will show up due to the many conditions surrounding the pandemic.
“This year, we honestly have no idea if it’s going to be more people or fewer people. It can be more if people are looking forward to a big event because we haven’t had a major event like this all year, or it could be fewer people than usual if people don’t feel comfortable being in a big event with other students,” Bakshian said. “We’re hoping this is going to be the former because we really want to have a great big prom.”
Henggeler, on the other hand, “anticipates” that their target goal will be reached because of the level of energy he has witnessed from the seniors.
“I think seniors are ready for it,” Henggeler said. “They’ve been cooped up, they’ve sacrificed a lot, and they’re ready to let loose and have fun.”
He hopes that people will come to the prom because he views it as a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“This is an American cultural touchstone, and an opportunity you will not get again,” Henggeler said. “It’s a rite of passage and a very fond memory that many of you will cling to and remember fondly in the years to come. I am confident that you will feel safe, you will have fun and you will leave Beverly’s 2021 prom happy that you bought a ticket.”
Bakshian agrees that people should come to prom because of the event’s historical significance and enjoyable nature.
“It’s the biggest and the most famous event of all of high school,” Bakshian said. “It’s a chance to come together with your friends and people you’ve gone to school with for the past four years and celebrate all your hard work, and it’s a fun event. It’s just a big party with everyone you’ve known for the past four years.”
Sarafian believes that every negative aspect of the prom is outweighed by its positive qualities.
“Yes, prom is relatively expensive. Yes, there are other ways that the money could be spent, [but] you can go to dinner whenever you want. You can go to a big party another time. But when will you ever get the chance to go to prom again?” Sarafian said. “This is one of the last times that our class will be able to celebrate [with] one another. I urge everyone to join us on June 5 for prom for a night of celebration and memories.”