Although many staple high-school events have been derailed by COVID-19, St. John’s has made sure to host the essential prom experience this year all the same. Although many students are fully vaccinated, not enough are to hold prom without any safety restrictions. To get some insight into what students can expect the experience of this unusual prom to be like, I asked Dean of Students Mrs. Bell a few questions about the event.
Mrs. Bell was quick to assure me that prom, dubbed “Cadet Gala” for this year, will “feature all the glitz and glamour” you’d expect: “It is a special time for our seniors so we want to make sure we capture all those memorable moments.” The biggest change to the event this year will be its location, now being held at Gletner Courtyard here on campus. In what Mrs. Bell calls a “magical night,” prom will feature “a live DJ, a 360-photo booth and food trucks” instead of the usual trappings of an indoor prom.
To settle on the precautions made for prom this year, Mrs. Bell told me that “guidance was provided by the CDC, in partnership with the DC Health Department.” On the topic of how this prom will maintain the classic experience despite the changes, she told me that “all of the special elements” will be present alongside the health and safety regulations. “A ‘prom experience’ is remembered for a lifetime,” she emphasized: “Face coverings, social distancing, and proper hygiene are the key elements to make this night a success.”
Overall, students probably can’t expect to dance with their partners, but this year’s prom has some other events on offer. Music will still be a part of the show, and the food trucks could make for some more interesting concessions.