Are Seniors Missing Out by not Having a Formal?

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Are Seniors Missing Out by not Having a Formal?

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Through the years there has been a tradition at Taft, that seniors have all been looking forward to… Senior Events. There are quite a few events that await the class of 2019. The Senior Picnic, Senior Movie Night, and the most traditional event, Prom. These events are all highlights that seniors really look forward to. Dances seem to have a very big impact on the school and its school spirit. This year, the class of 2019 will be breaking the tradition of having a Fall Formal, in favor of having an uplifting dance where Taft can be in unity with all grade levels, The Homecoming Dance. The Homecoming dance is a dance that will allow for all the grade levels come together in unity. It also serves as an opportunity for underclassmen to prove their maturity. I went around campus asking seniors how they felt about not being able to have a formal for their final year and this is what they said.


Tasha Hossain-  “I feel like senior formal was a tradition for the senior class. There should be more events for the senior class because it is our last year of high school and we should make it as memorable as we can. I also feel like it was unfair to us”


Akif Khaled- “Although unity is important, I personally believe the memories matter more, and fall formal is a great event to make memories from. It is a shame my class will not experience it, but hopefully, the underclassmen will have the opportunity too. “

Robin Gonzalez-  “ Although having all classes be part of an event, fall formal has always been a senior tradition. The school had the homecoming dance which allowed all classes to experience the night,  but now the seniors are deprived of memories they would have cherished forever. I hope the next year seniors are not excluded from having a fall formal.”


After interviewing seniors about how they felt about this shift, I asked our Assistant Principal, Mr. Loza, a few questions about the sudden change in tradition and this is what he said. “Something that we saw here, as administrators, was that there were really no activities that were inclusive for all grade levels. Fall formal is just for seniors and with us talking to 9th and 10th graders, a lot of times they didn’t really feel like they were a part of Taft because there were really no activities that they can participate in. All the dances were for seniors, they get the prom, so we decided that we should have something that would be inclusive of everyone. And in a lot of schools, it is a tradition to have a homecoming dance open up to everyone. We make [Homecoming] very affordable for everyone. Fall formal is done at a venue and the tickets cost pretty close to a hundred dollars and that excludes a lot of students especially senior year. This [Homecoming] we made it very affordable. We had all grade levels participate which was the goal.”

I then proceeded to ask him how taking away an event from seniors benefits the unity of all grades? He responded with “It’s not necessarily taking it away. It just, we didn’t use to have homecoming dances so it not taking it away. It’s just they used to have a winter formal and they didn’t have a homecoming dance. So they still have the same amount of dances. Last year was a transition year, cause when they have to rent a venue, they do it in advance, that’s why it couldn’t be canceled last year. It was a transition year. But in the prior years, the seniors only had two dances. With no other dances for underclassmen. 

I then asked, “ do you think by not allowing us a formal, you are diminishing a senior experience?”

He replied with “Not necessarily because there are a lot of opportunities that they get to participate in. And they get two dances a year, and if you look at other schools, that’s the norm. They have a lot of activities that are exclusive to seniors. They have movie nights, picnic and dodgeball. Just for them. It’s also a financial consideration. Homecoming is just 5 dollars and formal was close to a hundred dollars. Students begin to feel the pressure that they need to attend these dances, and that puts financial stress on the family.  

What do you think? Now that Homecoming has come and gone, do seniors feel like they missed out? Are the underclass students happy that they were included in a school dance? These decisions were made for students, but how do you all feel about the experience?