Students are able to register for an in-person prom with a 150 person capacity.
The Activities Programming Board will be holding a prom for students that missed their high-school proms because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prom is at 8 p.m. March 12th on the second floor of the University Center East.
Prom is open for all students to register. The reservation form is available to students on Eagle Sync and APB’s Instagram account.
Conner Perry, a sophomore studio art major, communications minor and special events chair for APB, said prom was one of his events to organize and was his idea.
“I hope that the students who are freshmen this year, and were seniors last year, and who did not get a prom will get that experience,” Perry said. “That’s the main reason behind this.”
Perry said only 50 students could attend the event originally, but said they increased the maximum number of students because the COVID-19 numbers have improved for the county.
The prom reservation form was closed on Feb. 26, with 100 students registered, and reopened on March 3 for 50 additional students. The Vanderburgh County Health Department approved the attendance of 150 students, she said.
Perry said if the maximum capacity were to return to a lower number because of COVID-19 social distancing practices, the first students that signed up will keep their reservations.
APB asked students to register in groups, Perry said. Each room in the University Center East will host a group that registered together and a few groups will share the rooms with greater capacities.
The APB will consider opening Carter Hall for overflow, Perry said.
There is no dress code for prom and students can wear traditional prom attire, or what they feel comfortable in. He said masks are required and students are to wear them at all times, including while dancing.
Perry said the current plan is to serve chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling grape juice.
Mackenzie Hupp, the president of Alpha Sigma Alpha and a junior elementary education major, said she was glad ABP is able to host a dance during this time.
“I think it would be safe to have prom now, especially at a university where the guidelines are so strict,” Hupp said. “I think if they did have a prom, they would be really good about following all the guidelines and making sure everybody was safe.”
Hupp said Alpha Sigma Alpha decided not to have their formal in the spring. She said COVID-19 restrictions would not allow for dates, which defeated the purpose of the event.
“I think having activities and events, like this, in place gives people a lot more normal feedback,” Hupp said. “Since COVID has obviously taken away a lot of things that are important to people, I think it’s a great opportunity for people to have a good time.”
Sydney Parsons, a freshman pre-dental hygiene major, said eventually things have to return to normal.
“I think it could be a lot of fun for a lot of people,” Parsons said. “I have a prom dress still hanging up in the closet, so I’d love to use it.”
Parsons said everyone is educated on COVID-19 and its symptoms.
“It’s safe to have prom now because, one, most people have already had COVID,” Parsons said.
According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, from March of 2020 to Feb. 20, 2021, 696 students tested positive for COVID-19. 10,204 students were enrolled at the university at the beginning of the pandemic.
Jaiden Scott, a senior public relations and advertising major and marketing minor, said the idea of an in-person prom was shocking at first and raised a lot of questions.
“Are they going to be able to regulate it? Are they going to be able to keep us safe? Will there be social distancing? How do you do that at a prom?” Scott said.
He said he thinks the COVID-19 regulations will get more relaxed as the semester continues.
“I feel like this virus is coming under control with more vaccines and vaccinations across the country and state,” Scott said.