by Sanjana Deshpande, Features Editor, Mia Dror, Features Reporter
photos by Maureen Caulfield, Mia D’Souza
Homecoming, though a staple in many high schools across the country, hasn’t been a reality for South until this year. After a long history of hosting a semi-formal for juniors and a senior prom in the spring, what broke the tradition was COVID-19’s effect on the semi-formal for the class of 2022. To make up for last year’s cancellation, this year’s senior class office planned an Oct. 16 homecoming dance.
The process of planning the dance was spearheaded at the beginning of the school year. Senior class officer and organizer Caroline Hoban said that she felt personal disappointment after the semi-formal was canceled and wanted to make up for it with another dance before prom.
“It was a perfect opportunity to start a tradition this fall by having a fall dance. A lot of other schools in the U.S. have a homecoming, and even though ours didn’t necessarily surround a football game, include alumni and [have] all of the normal traditions, it was still really fun,” Hoban said.
The event was a large undertaking with preparations beginning during the summer, senior class officer Sydney Finkelstein said.
“[The principal and vice principal] were on board with everything because they understood that COVID-19 last year took away a lot, so it was nice that they helped us and were on our side,” she said.
Senior Jocelyn Canton, an attendee of homecoming, said that the dance made up for the lost semi-formal and gave her a chance to reconnect with friends.
“Missing semi meant that our grade hadn’t had a grade-wide event since the freshman cruise. That was freshman year and now we’re seniors,” she said. “It was a good way to bring us together.”
For others, the dance was not all that they had hoped for it to be. Many seniors came to homecoming expecting to have fun with their friends, but other factors of the dance led to a feeling of disappointment.
“The bad parts wouldn’t have mattered as much if the music was better and there were more food options,” senior Annie Ganem said. “There honestly just wasn’t a lot that was going on.”
Ganem said that she was also upset that some of her classmates brought dates from other grades and schools, disobeying the no outsiders rule.
“Kids were sneaking in outsiders anyway, so there was no reason to not let seniors bring them,” she said. “It would have been more fun because I know a lot of people had friends or significant others that were outsiders that they weren’t allowed to bring, which was really disappointing.”
Finkelstein said that while she understands the concerns and letdowns of the dance, she hopes that students recognize the class office’s efforts.
“It didn’t feel like kids were understanding how much we’ve put into this,” she said. “We’ve worked on it for two months, since before school started. It just kind of sucked to see people trashing on it when we put so much work into it.”
At the end of the day, though, Canton said that she believed the majority of the people who attended had a good time despite the backlash.
“It was just a fun way to bring the whole grade together for the first time in a while and to take a little break from school and college applications,” she said. “It definitely was a fun night.”