Student Executive Council details prom planning process


Gunn’s annual junior and senior prom will be hosted at the Exploratorium on April 22. The Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology and art located in San Francisco, with exhibits centered around guest participation.

Student Activities Director Lisa Hall expects this year’s prom to be more popular due to the interactive activities  which include creating giant bubbles, playing with sand on a rotating table and walking on a footbridge covered in fog—that the venue offers. “A lot of (students) are interested in more of the kinds of scientific or explorative exhibits that the Exploratorium has,” she said. “Students who might not otherwise attend prom if it was just a dinner (are) more likely to go because there are other activities that they can participate in.”

Hall also noted changes regarding COVID-19 guidelines. “Last year, we required (participants) to have copies of vaccines and boosters before being able to go to prom,” she said.“This year, that isn’t a requirement.” With these changes in mind, Dance Commissioner senior Adele Davis still expects the prom experience to be similar to that of previous years. “People expect the same things from prom every year, so as long as we stick to tradition, they’re going to be pretty happy about it,” she said. “Besides the location, everyone still goes on buses (and) there will be the same kind of food, so not many things have changed.”

“Students who might not otherwise attend prom if it was just a dinner (are) more likely to go because there’s other activities that they can participate in.”

— Student Activities Director Lisa Hall

The process that goes into selecting prom locations begins long before the start of the school year. “About two years in advance, we start looking at venues,” Hall said. “We work with an event planner who helps us choose some locations, and we try to rotate them just because the large majority of our juniors and our seniors attend prom both years.”

After that, Student Executive Council members narrow down the selections. “We bring in the dance commissioner and all of our current juniors and sophomores—maybe freshmen if it’s way far out—to choose which of these locations fit our needs,” Hall said. Davis elaborated upon the venue booking process. “The reason that the venues are considered and booked so far in advance is because of how competitive the bookings can become,” she said. “There are a bunch of schools in the same area all trying to get the same venues. The sooner you choose which one you would like to be at, then it’s more likely that they are actually available on the weekend and time you want.

Junior Angeline Hu is looking forward to this year’s prom. “I plan to just hang out with my friends,” she said. “That’s what I do at most dances—run around and talk to a lot of people. I think that’ll be pretty fun.”