Graphic: Gina Vaynshteyn
The Student Government of the Class of 2025 has been in the midst of planning a grand event for Sophomores. Despite the plea of many underclassmen, Ridgewood High School currently only offers prom for seniors. RHS does not have a homecoming dance either, with only football games and occasional Spirit Weeks.
The Class of 2025 Representatives, however, wanted to change that. For the past few months, they have worked toward hosting a semi-formal dance at Biagio’s Ristorante in Paramus. The small committee of four Representatives plans to ensure a successful and fun event for their peers. The semi-formal committee has prepared by choosing the menu, seating arrangements, and decorations.
In order for the event to happen, there had to be a guaranteed number of 150 students attending, meaning 150 forms and payments were submitted to Mr. Bourque, the Sophomore Grade Adviser. In a display of “uncharacteristic high school dedication,” the number was reached, and the event was scheduled for Thursday, February 9th from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Mr. Bourque has played a key role in the organization of the semi-formal. He found that the last sophomore semi-formal dance was held in 2020, and wished to revive it. The event differs from prom simply because “it is more a class bonding activity. We are de-emphasizing the idea of bringing a date,” as Mr. Bourque says. The event will involve a buffet, desserts, and a DJ to provide an exciting and comfortable experience for sophomores.
With regard to how students are feeling about the upcoming semi-formal dance, there has been much excitement. Kate McCormick, a Sophomore, says she is “so excited, but [she has] heard some people who are very negative about it.” An anonymous sophomore says they feel “neutral. I’m going because everyone else is going.”
On the other hand, many students refuse to attend because it falls on a school night, despite the Enrichment Morning the following day. The Class of 2025 hopes teachers will be understanding and not assign homework or assessments on Friday after the dance. In terms of transportation, Sophomore students did not wish to take buses to the event, but the requirement was strictly enforced, as done during the last Sophomore semi-formal held in 2020.
Students from other grades expressed different opinions about the event. Elisabeth Winnert, a representative of the Class of 2026 claims she “doesn’t think many Freshmen know about the semi-formal, but the Freshman dance is currently being planned. However, it’s going to be at RHS and less formal than the Sophomore one. We are just going to have some snacks, games, and a DJ.” Julianna Carbone, a Junior, believes “Juniors feel upset that the sophomores get to have a semi-formal. Considering that we came into high school at the peak of COVID, we haven’t had a chance to have exciting school events. When we took a survey asking about events that we could do for this year, many people voted for the dance. I can easily make the assumption that most people in our grade do wish that we have some sort of dance.”
As the Sophomore semi-formal dance approaches, the Class of 2025 is looking forward to the night of food, music, and fun. Many RHS students believe that a successful semi-formal may inspire other grades to host similar events in the future.