MHS solidifies COVID-safe Prom festivities for seniors

Scott Reckers | Staff Writer

Through an unprecedented year, Prom is finally on the horizon.

With last year’s Prom being canceled and this year’s homecoming meeting the same fate, students have been in a drought of high school dances. Student Activities Director Lorri Fox Allen has been working hard to devise a plan for Prom that is safe and fun for students.

On April 30, Prom will be held. Though it is traditionally held at the Roberts Center, this year Prom will be held at the Manor House in separate ballrooms to comply with state safety regulations. There will be a maximum of 600 students attending the event, and the Manor House will ensure that students are following basic safety protocols such as social distancing and mask-wearing.

One of the factors that will be different about this year’s Prom is only seniors will be allowed to go. Typically, mostly upperclassmen go to Prom but due to restrictions to keep everyone as safe as possible attendance will be limited to Mason seniors only. 

The biggest difference this year is Prom            

 activities will be limited to dinner only as the Ohio guidelines do not allow for dancing. Fox Allen must adhere to the policies put in place to ensure safety, even if they are not ideal. But with so much about the future of regulations unknown, Prom plans may be subject to change. 

“As of right now that’s the way the Governor’s policy reads– no dancing,” Fox Allen said. “If that changes, we’re working on plans B, C, and D. I understand why some kids are upset about the dancing policy but I think it’s better to have a [modified] Prom than no Prom.”

Although many factors of Prom will be changed this year, some factors will remain consistent with previous Proms. In addition to the dinner, there will be a modified After Prom as well. Fox Allen has been in communication with the Manor House to make sure all students are accommodated and COVID policies adhered to. Seating will be reserved by students, which has not been an option during past Proms.

“It’ll be a preset meal,” Fox Allen said. “We will ask students if they have special dietary needs, and we’ll take care of those. Kids will be able to select who they want to be seated with. So we’ll have a place for them to reserve who they’re sitting with. We’ve never done that in the past.”

Tickets for Prom will go on sale on April 5th. Fox Allen was able to keep ticket prices consistent with past years prices despite changing the venue from the Roberts Center to the Manor House. “Ticket prices are not likely to change, they have been $60 in the years past,” Fox Allen said  “That $60 is generally the food. Obviously, there are some decorations that go into the cost of that ticket, and we still want to keep the decorations and entertainment, whatever that entertainment looks like.”

Fox Allen faces another challenge in the effort of decorating because in previous years, the Roberts Center provided and installed Prom decorations. With the change in venue, however, the Manor House does not provide that service, so some additional help was phoned in.

“We would give the Roberts Center our theme and we have a group of kids and the Roberts Center do all the elaborate decoration for us,” Fox Allen said. “That doesn’t happen at the Manor House. So, we’re working with After Prom, some parents and [Student Government] to help us do that decorating.”

After Prom will be held at MHS, but this year it will start at 8:00 pm and end at 11:30 pm. There will be After Prom entertainment, a dodgeball tournament, a hypnotist, caricaturists, multiple decorated rooms with activities, food and raffles. The raffles will contain various prizes including televisions,  JBL brand speakers, Apple AirPods, and college gear for Ohio State University, Miami University, Xavier University, and University of Kentucky.

MHS seniors can look forward to their first and last high school Prom on April 30. The pandemic posed a threat to the event, but due to thorough planning and help from After Prom, parent volunteer, and Student Government, Fox Allen has been able to organize a safe event.. She believes students are happy to have the option to go to Prom, even though it will be a different experience compared to years past.

“The only key differences are the no dancing policy, no guest, and no juniors,” Fox Allen said. “I think kids could have fun with the masks, matching them with their outfit. But going back to the survey the students seemed to understand and they would rather have a Prom than none at all.”

Graphics by Riley Johansen