Prom tickets free for students

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Prom tickets free for students

Amelia Feiner, Staff Writer

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The school has finalized the decision to make tickets to prom free of charge for all students attending.

Student Activities Director Caroline Bartels and Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly had been talking about making this change for several years, and both agreed that it was unnecessary to make students to pay for the event, Bartels said.

“I’d prefer not to have students focused on whether or not they can afford the prom, when the prom is one of the final rites of passage for every senior at HM. Charging for tickets no longer felt appropriate, and hasn’t for quite some time,” Kelly said.

Students in past years had to pay $125 per person to attend prom, which will be held at Chelsea Piers this year, Bartels said. Some students that brought dates from other schools had to pay twice that, leaving the students to deal with a $250 price tag just to attend, she said.

The change occurred when Bartels emailed Kelly to check in about the pricing of prom before sending out an email about the event to the senior class, and he instructed her to make the event free, she said.

Originally, the money from ticket sales amounted to approximately $10,000. The Student Activities budget already covered this sum, so there were no changes to the financing of the event, Bartels said.

In past years, students who needed support in paying for the tickets applied for funds from the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), Bartels said. However, many students who had used up all of their SAF money were still paying full price of their prom tickets, she said.

Allison Li (12) planned on paying for her ticket because she had already used all of her SAF money on the school orchestra’s trip to Hawaii this summer, she said.

Now that prom has been made free, the night will only cost her the $100 she spent on her dress.

“I heard a few of my friends say that they were worried about the cost of prom and they weren’t even sure they wanted to go just because of the high ticket price, so it’s great that they can just enjoy prom without being concerned about that,” Li said.

Gibby Thomas (11) attended prom last year, and still feels that the price of the night was stressful even though her date paid for her ticket, she said.

Brian Song (12) was planning on paying for both himself and his date and is happy that prom is now free, as “not having to pay makes the event less stressful,” he said.

Bartels hopes that the change will make the night more fun for the senior class, and has “heard back from a lot of grateful kids,” she said.