Prom is officially back for 2022

Prom is officially back for 2022

Photo by Field Museum

Student Council announced in February that Prom will be held at the Field Museum in Chicago on Friday, April 22.

Student Council members and their three sponsors, Candace Fikis, Christopher Lukas, and Nicolas Kempski, held their most recent meeting at 7:30 am on February 22 in room 2612 as they planned for Prom, which is scheduled for April 22. The event will be located at the Field Museum, and the theme will be that of an enchanted forest. 

Fikis said, “It kinda fits the theme with the Field Museum and dinosaur(s).” 

This will be the first time West Chicago Community High School has returned to the Field Museum since the pandemic started; it was previously booked back in 2020 when shutdowns led to prom being canceled that year. In previous years, students attending the prom have been able to go to the Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, and Navy Pier, so the venue often changes.

Fikis said, “It’s going to be a great venue. It’s a beautiful place. Awesome food and as you pull upright on the Field Museum right there on the lakeshore, [there’s a] beautiful view of the city, great music to be with one last kind of event with your senior class.”

The Field Museum as pictured on March 8, without the venue pieces and lights. (Photo by Marc Wolfe)

After the shutdown of the Homecoming dance, some students questioned whether Prom would be permitted. In a series of meetings with junior and senior students, principal Dr. Will Dwyer expressed that the upperclassmen at WEGO needed to act appropriately and demonstrate they could be trusted in order for Prom to go forward as planned

Junior Anna Lesny said, “We didn’t really have a lot of fun from Homecoming, it kinda ended after an hour.”

The administration is now taking steps to ensure Prom is safe and successful. Activity Director Marc Wolfe said, “All students attending Prom must attend a pre-prom meeting on Monday, April 18. Administrators will outline expectations for behavior and conduct at Prom. Like any school event, any misbehavior can result in consequences from the school, including being withheld from graduation for seniors.” 

As it is a formal event, Wolfe noted that a sensible dress code would be enforced. “Females usually wear formal dresses, and males typically wear suits or tuxedos,” said Wolfe.

An email was sent to students on February 23 at around 3:10 p.m. explaining the price of Prom tickets will be $125 per person. Tickets go on sale in early April. The price includes transportation to and from the Field Museum, dinner, prom favors, and dancing. All students must ride to Prom on the coach buses provided, and need to return to the school via the coach buses. Students must remain at Prom for the duration of the evening, and cannot leave the Field Museum.

The agenda that staff has planned for April 22 includes:

         5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. students arriving at WCCHs and board the coach buses that are   provided

         5:45 p.m. – Depart WCCHS

         7:15 p.m. – Arrive at the Field Museum in Chicago 

         7:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Have dinner

         8:30 – 11:30 p.m. – Dancing

The dinosaur close-up at the museum where Prom will be held; students attending will be able to see other exhibits at the Field Museum as well. (Photo by Marc Wolf)

Currently, Student Council members are planning the favors they want to provide students before and during the event; it seems likely attendees will receive a combination of mementos when they purchase their ticket, including a tumbler of some sort. The night of the Prom, they will get a plastic photo booth frame and a few other items that are still being looked into.

On March 8, Student Council advisors took a trip to the South Loop to finalize plans for Prom. Some of the decisions made included the menu for dinner:

  • Italian beef
  • Chicken breast
  • Pasta dish
  • Salad
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dessert table (cookies and brownies)

Because this is the first Prom since 2019, many staff members understand that students who graduated over the last two years would have appreciated the opportunity to finish out their high school years with a formal event.

Wolfe said, “You only go to high school once, and we’ve learned through the pandemic, you shouldn’t pass up opportunities when they are available.”

Senior Marianna Alfaro said she was looking forward to “a prom experience, because we didn’t get that last year. Just going out with my friends and stuff.”

As juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in this rite of passage for the first time in several years, many students have expressed excitement for the event. 

Senior Olivia Muci expressed excitement for the Field Museum and “being in the city.”

Senior Joana Trejo looks forward to “the pictures because we’re in the city. And the bus ride, because we can be with friends and record the moments.”

Senior Carmen Ruiz emphasized how important it is for Prom to return. Ruiz said, “We can spend more time with everyone since we haven’t had that time in a while.”

Students are also encouraged to buy tickets as soon as they go on sale because they are not sold at the event itself.

As the excitement for Prom builds, West Chicago Community High School hopes that juniors and seniors embrace the opportunity, but also remember the expectations of attendees, which is why Student Council is requiring students to attend the meeting scheduled for April 18. If all students comply with the guidelines, the organizers believe Prom will be an experience, offering seniors one more milestone with their graduating class.