Dedicated PromCom plans passionately


Andrew Burke-Stevenson

Senior Ashley Hannah asks Dean of Students Ana Campos a question about fundraising during a prom committee meeting at lunch on March 3. The committee meets every Thursday to plan this year’s prom, which will be the first one since 2019 to take place off campus.

Téa Tamburo, Deputy Managing Editor

Walking through the U-High lobby and Café Lab, senior Ariana Vazquez remembers being an underclassman and seeing members of the prom committee selling Dippin’ Dots and sweatshirts with “UH” in large white letters. A few years ago, she didn’t know much about prom, let alone that soon she would be one of the prom committee members fundraising for her own class’ big night. 

With the first full-scale prom since the pandemic just three months away, the Class of 2022’s prom committee is dedicated to creating a memorable night through fundraising, generating ideas and team collaboration.

“There’s so many different aspects to Prom Com as a whole that go just beyond planning a school dance,” committee member Tarini Mutreja said. “You’re really planning an experience more so than a dance.” 

It was hearing about this planning experience from her older sister, a Lab alumna, that motivated Ashley Hannah to join the Prom Committee. 

You’re really planning an experience more so than a dance.

— Tarini Mutreja

“When she was doing it I was like, ‘When I’m a senior, junior or whenever, I wanna be a part of that, too,’” Ashley said. “I like to plan things a lot. I like to organize things, so that drew me to the position of being on the board, too.” 

This first full prom since 2019 will take place June 4 at the Zhou B Art Center in the Bridgeport neighborhood. According to Ariana, being affected by the pandemic throughout high school makes her and the committee grateful to experience an in-person prom.

“Everyone’s goal is to make this one great,” Ariana said. “I think we all know that we deserve this after coming from the pandemic and everything, and we’re just incredibly lucky to like actually have this.”

Ashley recognizes that prom is unlike other U-High dances, and this recognition drives her excitement and passion for planning.

“I think it makes it more special not having our homecoming dance as like this huge thing,” Ashley said. “We aren’t like a lot of other schools where you ask someone to be your date, you get dressed up and you have a corsage. That’s, like, not really a thing, except for prom.”

Seeing prom as a quintessential high school event, Ariana commits herself to planning with the ultimate goal of creating a fun and memorable night for herself and her peers.

“I want it to be like the movies,” she said. “If I know what’s happening and know what to expect, I can put my all into it to have everybody else have fun.”

With making memories and creating an enjoyable night as the committee’s central goal, members meet weekly to originate ideas and plan fundraisers.

“It’s nice to know that people can come to us with ideas and questions and we can present them to the whole group,” Ashley said. “Everyone’s really open to new ideas and open to listening to each other. It’s nice to have all those ideas ricocheted off of each other and just working together.”

Everyone’s really open to new ideas and open to listening to each other. It’s nice to have all those ideas ricocheted off of each other and just working together.

— Ashley Hannah

One of the fundraisers the prom committee facilitated was for the Class of 2022’s Scholarship Fund, where the goal was to receive donations from 50% of the class. Those who donated received a “Class of 2022” baseball hat.

“We had a couple of days of the week where we would all wear our hats together, and so that kind of solidarity among Prom Com is what really allowed us to get our fundraisers to where we’re at because just having everyone on the same page, everyone having the same spirit and enthusiasm, has been really great,” Tarini said. 

Along with fundraising for the class scholarship fund, the committee also held a Dippin’ Dots fundraiser to help offset some prom expenses.  

“We’re all so dedicated to fundraising, and we’re all kind of supporting each other throughout fundraisers,” Tarini said. “If one person makes an announcement, the other person jumps in.” 

While she’s looking forward to prom night itself, for Ariana, this type of team collaboration is one of the most rewarding aspects of being on the prom committee.

“I enjoy planning it because I know that night’s gonna be great,” Ariana said. “But I know that once it happens and it’s over, the thing I’m going to miss most is the planning process and meeting with these people every week.”