Following Covid restrictions, Blake High School is planning to have an outdoor Homecoming, hoping it will be as successful as previous years. Staff and the SGA are hopeful Covid regulations, such as the dance being in the parking lot and ending earlier than usual, don’t take away the true essence of Homecoming.
Sophia Anderson-McMaster, the 11th grade Class Council Sponsor, affirms that SGA and the senior class are doing their best to make sure this dance will be as fun as the previous years. “To the best of our ability, we are going to offer the fun things like music, games, and just the ability to interact with each other,” she says. “Even though it’s outside, we still get the normalcy of dancing and we’re still going back on the field for pep rally and the powderpuff game.”
Since we are still dealing with a virus, we don’t know when we’ll have another school dance. For many of us, this may be our last homecoming; for the sophomores and freshmen who just entered the school, this is their first real school dance.
Jazmyn Padmore, a senior, is excited but cautious about going to Homecoming this year: “I’m split in half. I’m really glad to be back in the building and being near friends but I feel like a lot of people are going to have their masks off and [be] really close to each other. It could be really bad but I am excited though.”
Quynhan Nguyen, a junior and our SGA vice president, advises everyone to come to Homecoming. “We’re really excited about hosting events that we’re now able to do because Covid has gotten a little less serious,” they say. “Who knows how long this is going to last. Covid might get worse, it might get better, but just have fun because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
The most unattractive feature of this year’s dance is its location. Instead of bopping to a beat in the school’s brightly lit and extravagantly decorated cafeteria, Covid regulations require that students are to party in the school’s… parking lot.
However, the SGA and senior class are doing their best to make sure we get to have the same events and enjoyment we had before we were sent into a global quarantine.
Angela Wang, SGA sponsor, promotes the upcoming pep rally. She says, “We’re going to showcase some of our sports. We are going to show off our class councils and we’re definitely going to have some of those regular performances that have always been a part of the pep rally.”
Though the location isn’t ideal, students have to adhere to the guidelines or we can kiss Homecoming goodbye.
Principal Sinclair comments said guidelines. “The school systems put out a communication to everyone. They did want to continue with Homecoming because they thought that it was an important event for everyone,” he says. “The guidance they gave was that dances will not be inside [and] we could go on with things like our hallway decorations and pep rallies.”
Fear of inclimate weather also threatens our opportunity to enjoy the dance. If it does rain, there will be no rain check date.
This year, seniors are fundraising for their graduation through Homecoming. Students fear that they won’t be able to get a refund since the dance won’t be rescheduled.
“We would refund it, which is why we are trying to get people to buy tickets online because we could refund that easily,” Principal Sinclair says. “People have the option to donate money back but if this doesn’t work as a fundraiser, then we’ll find the funds.”
Lending a helping hand to our upperclassmen is something that we should do as a community, but do students feel like this event is the right time to do so?
Sara Caceres, a sophomore, isn’t against the senior class fundraising during Homecoming: “I don’t think it’s bad. I think depending on how many people actually go to Homecoming, it would be good for the seniors.”
Emily Barnabas, a senior and our SGA president, sees this as a way to support the senior class. She says, “Due to the lack of ability to host prom or multiple fundraisers last year, the senior class is depending on the profit from a successful Homecoming.”
High school students deserve to experience the best parts of high school. What we’re going through right now is different, but who’s to say this won’t become the new normal?