Senior offers alternative to prom

Fancy dresses, tuxedos and bowties, stretch limousines, dancing and food with friends: the tradition of prom has been an important part of the high school experience for decades. For many seniors, it is the crowning glory of their final year in school. At Jones, however, some students are looking to change it up this year.

Prom this year is scheduled for May 27 at the Shedd Aquarium. Acquiring the Shedd has been an arduous journey for the senior class Student Government Association and their sponsors. Months of correspondence with aquarium officials, Chicago Public Schools legal department, DJs and photographers have eventually come together to create a unique prom experience for the senior class.

I know that SGA has spent countless hours working on this year’s prom,” said senior class Vice President Alyssa Hilko ‘17. “We knew that our class really wanted to have prom at the Shedd, and we wanted to make that dream a reality.”

Maia Feruzi ‘17 wanted to have a big event her senior year, but wasn’t interested in the prom that was already planned.

“I’m organizing my own version of prom that’s mostly just a senior party,” said Feruzi. “It’s for those who don’t like the idea of the Shedd or can’t afford [to pay for the] JCP prom.”

With the increase in class size comes the increase in the price of prom tickets.  This year’s event will be $125, compared to the average price of $100 over the past five years. For many students, this price may turn them away from participating in the prom experience. A ticket to the  “alternative” prom is $55 and would act as a substitute party for those who want a classic prom experience, but don’t want the classic prom price tag.

“I’m not trying to boycott prom,” said Feruzi. “I just know some people like myself really don’t like the idea of the Shedd. In my head, prom is really regal and formal, but the Shedd brings it down. I don’t want to pay that much for an aquarium, so this is just to see if anyone would be into an alternative.”

SGA understands that cost may turn students away, and is working on a solution to include more students in prom.

We fully understand that the main concern students have is the price of Jones’ prom which is why we are working tirelessly to put in place some fundraisers to lower the cost of prom,” said Hilko. “Of course, this goal will only be met if the entire class works together to support fundraising.

Another concern from SGA is that this other party will take away from the importance of prom.

“My concerns with this alternative prom is that we will lose student participation to this event,” said senior class Secretary Cyan Simmons ‘17. “SGA has worked very hard to make sure that prom this year is beyond amazing, and I hope that everyone attends.”

Feruzi wants to make it clear that it is not her attention to take away from prom, just to offer an alternative option to students and their friends from other schools that want an upscale-style party event.  

“It’s majority people not from Jones,” said Feruzi. “It’s not really a prom, it’s just a party.”