The return of prom

On+the+night+of+April+30+from+8-11+p.m.%2C+Lincoln+juniors%2C+seniors+and+guests+will+gather+at+the+Oregon+Zoo+for+%E2%80%9CA+Night+in+Hollywood.%E2%80%9D%0A

Bailey Armstrong

On the night of April 30 from 8-11 p.m., Lincoln juniors, seniors and guests will gather at the Oregon Zoo for “A Night in Hollywood.”

Skylar DeBose

After two years of prom cancellations due to COVID-19, the highly-anticipated high school dance is back. On the night of April 30 from 8-11 p.m., Lincoln juniors, seniors and guests will gather at the Oregon Zoo for “A Night in Hollywood.” 

Since the official announcement of prom, which was posted on Trivory and Lincoln High School’s class of 2022 and 2023 Instagram accounts in March, many students have been eager to make plans for the big night. 

This event wouldn’t be possible without the prom committee, members of leadership and select teachers and administrators. 

Bailey Armstrong is junior class vice president and decided to take a leading position on the prom committee. She teamed up with Lena Fraser, junior class representative of spirit. The prom committee has been meeting every Friday since late February to organize the event. 

“Me and Lena were the people [in leadership] with kind of the most amount of room on our plate, and the most willingness to take on problems, so she and I partnered up,” Armstrong said. 

Other members of leadership also contributed to the planning of prom. 

Seniors and Associated Student Body (ASB) Co-Presidents Claire Reynolds and Samantha Coltman have helped with the event. 

“I was involved in the planning, [but] it was mostly Claire… we split up duties in our class and she chose to be more ahead of prom,” said Coltman. 

Administrative staff, such as Business Manager Jill Ross have also been at the forefront of prom planning. 

Ross mainly focuses on managing the financial aspects of prom. Some of her roles have been signing contracts and setting ticket prices. 

“Bailey [Armstrong] and Lena [Fraser] are really kind of the leaders, and they’ve negotiated and talked to all the people they wanted to hire. They’ll do what… they want to do, and I just kind of make sure we have the money and budget,” she said. 

Among the many decisions of the prom committee is the choice of venue. In typical years, the choice of venue is made a year in advance by the elected junior class officers. In the spring of 2019, current sophomores elected to be the next junior representatives contracted the Oregon Zoo for the 2020 prom. Due to COVID-19, that prom was canceled, and the contract was carried over to the 2021 prom, which was canceled as well. Remarkably, the original 2019 contract for the Oregon Zoo has been extended to 2022’s prom. 

“This venue was literally picked in the spring of 2019, and this time we actually get to hop on it,” said Ross. 

Prior to the pandemic, prom committees had the privilege to build off of the ideas of prior years. However, seeing as this is the first prom since 2019, the 2022 committee finds themselves starting fresh.

“It’s our first dance [in] well over two years, and so there’s not really kind of an outline for us to follow. What we’ve done in the past is not gonna work now,” said Armstrong. 

Another significant change is the process of distributing tickets. The Oregon Zoo has limited capacity and requires proof of vaccination or a negative test for entrance. 

“[I am] really watching my count to make sure that we don’t go over [capacity] so that the zoo doesn’t kick us out,” said Ross. “It’s 100 people fewer [than usual and] I think there’s more of a demand this year… because it’s pent up demand from not having a [prom] day.”

Another major concern for Ross is safety. According to Law for Kids, “in 2013, 27% of fatal teen motor vehicle accidents occurred in April, May, and June, the peak of prom season, accounting for the deaths of 676 teenagers.”

As a way to mitigate these risks, Lincoln has established a set of terms and conditions which includes the prohibition of alcohol and drugs. 

“I bring [breathalyzers],” said Ross. “Campus security agents will be there with us.”

Although the process hasn’t been easy, students are excited about “A Night in Hollywood.” 

“It’ll be a fun night, just in general. I can’t wait to dance and let all the stress come off,” said Armstrong.

Coltman agrees.

“I’m excited to see everyone dressed up and having a good time and getting to enjoy the moment,” she said.

The return of prom signifies a sense of normalcy that many of us have yearned for. 

“You don’t realize how much you appreciate the traditions until they’re gone,” said Ross.