December 7, 2023

If you were to ask seniors what they are looking forward to most in the coming months, you will most likely get the same answer: Prom. Going to the Senior Prom is a rite of passage that repeats its traditions every year. However, in the past few years prom proposals been done in a “go big or go home” attitude. This has prompted the administration to involve itself in a tradition, that had been largely noncontroversial, by banning proposals that are too disruptive to the school day.

These over the top proposals began with the Class of 2010. Zach Servino actually hung a billboard-like sign off the side of the building to ask his date, Nicole Arshravan, to Prom. Custodians helped him hang the sign up early in the morning so that Nicole would see it when she arrived in the senior parking lot before the start of her day. The seniors of 2010 made these proposals a big deal and started a trend that has been followed ever since.

But there has recently been a new rule made by the administration that has everyone talking. Many of the seniors this year have decided to go all out in the ritual of asking someone to be their date for Prom. Because of this trend, Principal Ebanks felt he needed to put a stop to the senior privilege of having these Prom proposals in school. “This all started last year when the seniors were getting out of control with the way they went about asking. It then carried over to this year and has been a disturbance to the school day,” said Mr. Ebanks. The new rule only allows seniors to ask under certain circumstances, such as in the confinement of the classroom with teacher approval. According to Mr. Ebanks, “The problem with these big proposals is that they are distracting students from what they are doing in the classroom. This rule will be enforced for all the senior classes in years to come.”

There were several over-the-top events that caught the attention of students and that may have sparked this latest action by the Hills West administration. Some of you may remember seeing a huge banner saying “Prom?”outside by the flagpole not too long ago. Well, this was the handy work of senior Matt Ranftle. He swept a fellow senior, Morgan Hughes, off her feet with his well-thought out proposal. Not only did he have his friend dress up to look like him outside, but he also made up his own class work sheet telling Morgan to look out the window. Because Hughes thought Ranftle was outside, he was able to sneak up behind Morgan and surprise her. “I was very confused with it all, until he came in the class and hugged me. Once I saw him I understood what was going on and got so excited,” said Morgan. According to Ms. Terracina, the foreign language teacher that Morgan had 9th period, “The whole thing was very thoughtful and sweet. He was very courteous and got the permission he needed before he went through with it.” It turned out that Matt Ranftle had only asked permission from Ms. Terracina.

Senior Konstantin Fotiou also had a memorable moment when he asked senior Erika Sanders to prom. His proposal took place in the senior parking lot, where he decorated her car with rose petals and balloons. “I wrote ‘Erika Prom?’ across her back windshield and told her that she dropped something in the parking lot so she would follow me outside,” said Konstantin. His plan worked perfectly because according to Erika, “I was so surprised when I saw my car covered in rose petals and balloons. I couldn’t have been more excited.” Lucky for these prom couples, they had the chance to enjoy this prom experience in school, but other seniors were not so lucky.

Senior, John Quiwa, had his sights set on asking his girlfriend, Savannah Sapodin, to Prom during the school day, but this action taken by Mr. Ebanks had stopped him in his tracks. “I heard about the new rule and still tried to get permission from administration, but was shot down,” said John. He unfortunately could not disclose any information on how he was going to ask, but had this final note, “I’m bummed that I can’t ask Savannah in school now, but I understand that it’s for good reason.”

Senior, Chris Aurrichio, was affected by this newly enforced Prom law as well. His plans were to ask senior, Kim Komara, in school, which would have been a real spectacle to see. “I was going to put a sign saying Prom? on the bus and have it parked right outside the school so she would be able to see it,” said Chris. But this new rule did not sit very well with him. According to Chris, “Students should be allowed to ask how they want. It’s not affecting anyone’s studies and people enjoy seeing it.” Maybe these wise words will be enough get the rule revoked. Many seniors, including Chris, are hoping so.

In the end, this all comes down to what Mr. Ebanks feels is necessary. As the principal of Hills West, he must do what is best for the school and look out for the best interest of the students. But it is impossible to keep everyone happy and that is just part of his job. Restricting prom proposals may seem negative to some, but it was meant as a positive move to improve the learning environment.