Is it time for a separate junior prom?


Prom is definitely considered one of the biggest events of the year at DePaul Prep. The magic of the night is not subject to the dance itself, but the festivities that take place before and after.

Although both juniors and seniors are allowed at prom, most juniors do not attend the dance. But why? Over time the stigma of juniors going to prom has become more powerful, and in turn more influential. While some agree with the exclusivity of prom, others think that everyone who wants to attend should be able to enjoy the dance without pushback. 

Mr. Petersen, Dean of Student Activities and one of the main organizers of this year’s prom, doesn’t understand the unwritten rule surrounding juniors attending prom. 

“Where I grew up and in my experience everyone had the chance to attend prom as a junior and senior, without any sort of stigma. The fact that there’s a stigma here is shocking to me.”

That being said, Petersen says he understands the seniors’ desire for their own event.

Jadyn Kosanic, a senior at DePaul Prep, adds onto that perspective. “I feel like although it would be nice to share a prom with the juniors, as a senior I feel like it should be a senior privilege.” 

Along with her original point of view, she understands and supports the idea that if you are a junior who has a senior date, you should be more than welcome to come.

Hannah Lefebvre, a junior at DePaul Prep, attended prom with a senior date. She agrees with Jadyn, that prom should be more of a seniority event unless you are invited by a senior. 

After speaking to both junior and senior students, the overall message as to why juniors should not go to prom is out of respect for the seniors. So why have juniors listed on the invitation at all?

Mr. Petersen speaks to that exact point. “Yes I am aware of the stigma and I don’t like it, but on that same point, we are seriously considering dropping juniors all together. I don’t want the prom season to have anything negative tied to it.”

Both Kosanic and LeFebvre saw the potential value in a separate junior prom or dance. “A lot of other schools do that. Maybe not as big as senior prom, but yes.” 

Kosanic added, “Having a separate dance for juniors is something that they can look forward to.” She acknowledged the feeling of exclusion that some juniors might feel without prom, so following in other schools’ footsteps and creating a separate dance for juniors might be a good option.

Our school is unique in the way that prom may be seen as “exclusive” to some, but sort of a right of passage that is earned to others; it just depends on the way you decide to see it. 

“I feel like the idea of a separate dance should be talked about by the student government if these rules were to change so that they have more of a student say rather than just an administrative say.”


What do YOU think? Should DePaul Prep have a separate Prom for juniors? Comment your opinions.