Homecoming dance faces changes during middle school renovation

Henri Robbins | Staff Writer

Until recently, the student body has been left in the dark about the many changes to Homecoming.

Due to construction, the most prominent change is the move from the middle school to the high school. Senior Taylor Kiss, a Student Government (StuGo) Homecoming Chair, said she was wary of the location change, but she believes it will be for the best. 

“There’s really nothing else we can do but have it here,” Kiss said. “I think, for me personally, it gives me more to work with decorations-wise. The space might be better since it’s more open, more airflow – I don’t think it’s going to sweat rain. We don’t have to have railings that separate sections, we won’t have to rent tables and chairs, and we don’t have to put a tarp down.” 

Another addition to Homecoming will be live music performances throughout. Live Music Club was one of the first groups to agree to perform during Homecoming, and will take the first half hour of the dance. Another member of the club, junior Erin Urbanowicz, said she is excited to perform and spread publicity. 

 “I think it’s going to bring more awareness to our club,” Urbanowicz said. “They’re going to be like ‘Oh, live music club’s performing today!’ or ‘Oh, they’re gonna perform next Friday, I’ll be there!’”

In regards to the location change, the amount of students allowed to attend Homecoming has decreased. Betsy Carras, a teacher and adviser of StuGo, said what is restricting the number of attendees is the safety limits imposed by the fire department. 

“Last year, we were told we had one of the largest Homecomings at Mason,” Carras said. “Because of that we had to open up more space at the middle school. We had more than one room, and we had some overflow area, too, so we were able to accommodate big numbers. Since we’ve moved it to the high school, we don’t have the space to accommodate the large numbers.”

Carras said the school entertained many ideas, such as hosting outside, but too many issues arose. The only solution they had, she said, was to divide the dance between multiple areas in the high school.

“What we were able to do was work with our Fire Marshal and work with our security people,” Carras said. “A big concern for it was whether there would be enough space, so when the Fire Marshal came and did the walkthrough, he was able to open up the area and give us some suggestions that we didn’t think about before. For the most part, it looks like we’re going to have three of our spaces that are big: the large commons, the small commons, and the learning commons.”

Administration initially announced that outside guests would not be permitted. Senior Dawson Flake, who planned on bringing a date from Kings High School, started a petition to allow outside guests. Since then, after many other students voiced their opinion, a new announcement stated that 125 guest spots were now available.

“They had just changed it and didn’t give any warning,” Flake said. “Homecoming is meant to be a night for fun and relationships, and they had just kind of took that away, at least for some people. I know people who have relationships outside of school and they (couldn’t) even bring their girlfriend.”

Flake’s petition on Change.org received over 100 online signatures within the first hour of posting. He said he was surprised by the amount of support that it received, and is glad that administration made the change. 

“I feel like it definitely got enough awareness, due to the fact that I had multiple people come up to me, ask me what I was going to do with it, and they told me to send it to the office,” Flake said. “ It got what it was intended to do done and fixed, and people all helped with it and got something finished.”