When you see Josh Valentine calling to Greta Meyer on the Alumni balcony, bearing a prom sign, you know it’s the beginning of prom season. “Promposals” consume the high school’s attention as they march across the screen in assembly and are shouted on Coulter Street.
With every ask comes the impending objection from those who remain dateless. Almost everybody has an opinion regarding prom asks and all that they entail. Some members of the community believe that these prom asks are disruptive, invasive and go against the schools values, while others believe that promposals are purely an entertaining rite of passage.
Meg Rabinowitz, a member of the Upper School English Department, said: “I think they are toxic. They amp up the pressure and create this unreal sense that prom is a romantic destination,” also adding, “It’s really a performed heteronormative gendered experience that goes against many of this school’s ideals.”
Schuyler Alig ‘15, who was asked to prom in front of the whole school during a Wednesday assembly, had a different opinion, “It was so unexpected, even though we had agreed to go as friends before that. So I didn’t feel put on the spot at all!” Schuyler continued to say “[her ask] could be frustrating for people who are struggling to find a date but, I think there would be frustrations regardless.”
Some of the faculty have expressed the inclinations to demand prom asks only occur during non-school time. Mirangela Buggs, Director of Multicultural Affairs, sponsored a prom dialogue at lunch of May 12. Despite the controversies surrounding promposals, the attention of the school has shifted to the actual prom, May 31st.