Prom Commitee to Ban Freshmen, Change Date for Class of 2006

Dean’s Council recently decided to make changes to the Senior prom for the class of 2006. These changes will include a change of date, a ban on freshmen attendence, a condensed Promenade, and possibly the abandonment of the cruise ship venue. For many years, the prom has taken place on the third Sunday in May; next year, it will occur on Thursday, June 1. This alteration will eliminate the need for an additional long weekend in spring term and will also add an extra teaching day to Dean’s Week. Dean of Student Activities Cindy Efinger said, “The positive thing about this is that when you have it on a Thursday so close to graduation a lot of parents will get a chance to see this.” Starting next year, the administration will begin to gradually phase out underclassman participation in the prom. The administration will prohibit Junior attendence at next year’s prom, Lower attendence at the 2007 prom, and Upper attendence for the 2008 prom. Thus by 2008, only Seniors will be allowed to go to the Phillips Academy prom. By forbidding the presence of underclassmen and students from other schools at the prom, the number of students attending would greatly decrease. In turn, this reduction would cut prom expenses. Currently, PA spends more money on its prom than any other New England prep school. Prom Committee co-head Yurie Sekigami ’06 said, “If you told Exeter how much money PA spends on prom each year, they’d probably slap us in the face.” Even with a decrease in the number of students attending, PA’s prom will likely remain expensive in comparison to most other high school proms. The Academy’s prom is also known for its length. To shorten the prom, the Administration decided to decrease the length of the Promenade. Though some of the administration’s decisions are definite, Mrs. Efinger wants the students to be involved in the changes being made to the prom. To ensure that this year’s Uppers have a voice in the format of their Senior prom, Mrs. Efinger created a prom committee of 20 Uppers. The committee has the power to decide where the prom will take place, what the theme will be, and what food will be served. The prom committee, headed by Sekigami, Alexandre Wolf ’06, and Thereza Osias ’06, hopes to conserve money and reduce ticket prices by changing the prom’s location. Sekigami commented, “[The boat is] kind of ridiculous – it’s so expensive, and really it’s just a three story ballroom. Plus, you’re inside so you don’t even really notice that you’re moving.” The committee not only thinks that changing the prom’s location would save money, but it also hypothesizes that a different site might allow for a more elaborate theme with more decorations. The committee will visit many prospective prom sites in the Boston area during the remainder of the year. They will investigate ballrooms in hotels, country clubs, and mansions. Mrs. Efinger said, “We’ve used the boat for five years now, and I think that getting a new place for prom might be an exciting change for the kids.” The committee, however, will not make these decisions alone. Wolf, Sekigami, and Osias have created a survey for current Uppers in order to gauge the reaction of their classmates to these possible changes. Prom committee co-head Wolf said, “We hope the survey will give us new opinions on the few things we can change. Many people are attached to the boat though, so I don’t know how much we’ll end up actually doing.”