The Tufts Community Union Senate will host a prom for the Class of 2024 on Friday evening at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The event was created to recreate the experience of a high school prom for sophomores who missed theirs in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Arielle Galinsky, TCU Senate Services Committee chair and a Class of 2024 senator, described the TCU Senate’s motivations behind organizing the prom.
“As prom is a unique milestone, and given our dedication to the student body, TCU Senate felt it was important to host an event to make up for what was lost,” Galinsky wrote in an email to the Daily. “The theme of the prom is ‘Prom Re-envisioned’, which is re-envisioning an event that the majority of the Class of 2024 did not get to experience in high school.”
The Tufts Community Union Senate made 1,000 event tickets available exclusively for members of the Class of 2024 on March 14, allowing sophomores two weeks of priority access before extending ticket sales to all undergraduates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only Tufts students are allowed to attend the event.
“There will be incredible entertainment and music, lots of dancing, beautiful decor, photobooths, a virtual reality bar (in line with the theme), a roving mentalist, and some delicious food stations and drinks (taco bar, ice cream bar, & more!),” Galinsky wrote.
The Boston Marriott Copley Place, situated near the Prudential Center and Back Bay Station, was chosen as the venue in part because of its location and availability.
“[The venue] is beautiful, located in downtown Boston, a short drive away from Tufts, and they were accommodating to our budget and needs,” Galinsky wrote.
TCU President Amma Agyei described the week-to-week event planning process.
“A committee consisting of mostly freshman and sophomore senators was formed. They met weekly to work on different parts of the prom such as the venue, food, decorations, marketing [and more],” Agyei wrote in an email to the Daily.
Elizabeth Hom, TCU treasurer and a Class of 2022 senator, explained how the event budget, which was approved by the TCU Senate in a meeting on January 30, would be allocated.
“The overall prom budget that was proposed, voted on, and ultimately approved by [the] TCU Senate was $137,000,” Hom wrote in an email to the Daily. “This amount will go completely towards production costs for the Prom, including the venue, food, videography/photography, promotional materials, entertainment, decorations, Boston EMS, and souvenirs for the attendees.”
Hom explained that the $137,000 event budget is funded by the $396 Student Activity Fee each undergraduate student pays. After a review of venues’ price quotes and discussions with administrators, the TCU Senate decided to allocate a portion of the unbudgeted Student Activity Fee toward the prom.
“This fee exists for the sole purpose of facilitating programming that will benefit the greater Tufts community,” Hom wrote. “Last year, following the FY22 financial planning and partly due to the higher enrollment of students than past years, a certain amount of the student activities fee was left unbudgeted … Given the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire of Senate to offer a Prom-like experience for the Class of 2024, it was proposed that this otherwise unused money be put towards the Prom.”
TCU Senate was committed to making the event accessible for all members of the Class of 2024. Measures taken to achieve this goal include charging students only $10 per ticket and providing optional bus transportation to the venue. Additionally, the TCU Senate is facilitating an attire drive.
“To ensure that attire is not a barrier to attending prom, [the] TCU Senate is hosting an attire drive this week with collection boxes in the [Mayer Campus Center], LGBTQ+ Center, Women’s Center, FIRST Center, and Africana Center,” Galinsky wrote.
Sammy Owen, a sophomore, expressed anticipation for the prom and urged fellow members of the Class of 2024 to get excited about the unique event.
“I know that it’s happening, but I don’t know too much about the event,” Owen said. “I think [prom is] definitely a good idea … but there definitely needs to be more hype around it.”
Elijah Sarvey, another sophomore, reflected on the significance of attending prom two years after the pandemic interrupted many current sophomores’ senior years of high school.
“[I’m excited] to have a little bit of closure,” Sarvey said. “I was pretty bummed that we didn’t have prom in high school, and it just feels good to celebrate.”