Disputes rise on prom venues

Space+is+the+current+venue+for+this+year%27s+senior+prom%2C+but+students+now+have+the+opportunity+to+vote+if+they+prefer+a+more+formal+location.

Photo Credit: Zoe Kay

Space is the current venue for this year’s senior prom, but students now have the opportunity to vote if they prefer a more formal location.

by Kate Casey, Managing Editor

This year’s choice of prom venue has caused unrest among some of the senior class and parents.

The senior class officers began planning their prom in June of 2017. Together, they drafted a list of possible venues. Senior class advisers Mrs. Kathleen Walter and Mr. Tom Lyon, invited students to visit the locations, but without a response, they were forced to make a decision. They chose to put a $2,000 deposit down at Space, a private party venue in Englewood to secure the senior prom. Students were also asked to visit other venues over the November break, but no one had volunteered.

“I believe some of the people involved were distracted,” Walter said. “I was worried that the venues were going to book up because April 27 is prime wedding season.”

Many seniors felt like their opinions were not taken into consideration before the advisers put the deposit down.

“All the sudden we found out there was a deposit down,” one senior said. “But no one really wanted to go there.”

Space is not a typical prom locale. It has a permanent dance floor surrounded by screens and LED lights with an arcade, “paint-less paintball,” and laser tag.

Although it may seem untraditional, Space is also a wedding venue. The arcade section may  be closed off and arrangements can be made for more formal decor. Because many of the class officers did not express their opinions, Walter thought students would be satisfied.

“I’ve been here for ten years, and I’ve been at another school for ten years and I’ve watched a lot of prom issues,” Walter said.

In previous years, disputes in seating arrangements caused issues among students. Last year, parents, teachers, and the administration were forced to get involved, and some students decided not to come at all.

“At Space we could set up half tables and half lounge area. It’s a nice solution to the social problem that the tables caused last year,” Walter said.

Still, many students are opposed to what they say is an unconventional venue. The informal arrangements and games are not appealing to students who were looking forward to a traditional prom.

In hopes to ease student disagreements, Walter and Lyon opened the issue to voting. On the Class of 2018 Facebook and Google Classroom page, seniors can vote to stay with Space or move the venue to another location. As of now, the Valley Regency in Montclair holds the lead.

If the venue were to change, ticket prices would increase to cover the $2,000 loss from the deposit. Tickets are expected to cost around $160 for Space and $195 for the Regency.

Some students are planning to visit Space and ask for the deposit back, even though it was non-refundable. Others are organizing fundraisers.

“I don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t care where they are going to prom. I felt I was acting responsibly in trying to secure a venue,” Walter said. “We just want people to have a nice prom and get involved.”