Prom Is Hard to Afford, But Could Be Worse
Let’s just go ahead and say it like it is: Prom is expensive. From tickets to photos to limos and taxis and tuxes and dresses and corsages and boutonnieres, six–inch stilettos, hotel rooms, dinner, and whatever else you may have thought you needed, it’s easy to see where the cash fell out of your pocket and why you may now be broke.
Still, we have to realize that while a $65 ticket to Prom is nowhere near cheap, it’s about what most students around the Bay are forced to pay. Now, if you’re confused or in outrage because your ticket cost $85, not $65, sorry, but that’s on you. Tickets began selling at $65 a piece and rose in price by $5 a week, so if you’d listened to morning announcements — I know most classes talk through them but a gentle hushing might be well–received and avoid provoking any profane remarks — you could have saved up to $20 just because you bought your ticket a little earlier. Plus you could save money on face cream because you would avoid stress zits when it’s two days before prom and you still don’t have a ticket. Score.
So yes, people complain about ticket prices, but if you look at all of the expenses Berkeley High School actually has to cover, a $65 ticket to Prom may actually start to seem pretty reasonable. For BHS to rent out the Exploratorium, buy food, get G–Eazy to perform, hire photographers, and find a decent DJ, an average of $70 per student is the only way our school can have prom without having to cut the funding on half of its programs. So maybe it’s actually a good thing some people waited until the last minute to get tickets.
Still, whether your ticket cost $65 or $85, just attending Prom does require a lot of money, and not everyone can afford it. Prom is definitely one of the few high school events that everyone should get the chance to experience. And while BHS students don’t all wear elegant floor-length dresses and are not shunned for going without a date, unlike at some other schools, it’s still a pretty big deal and every senior should be able to go if they want to.
While the Senior Class Leadership sought to help those unable to afford Prom, their generosity didn’t go far enough. For example, students on the free or reduced lunch program got a feeble $5 discount on their prom tickets. Wow, thanks guys. That last $5 was really what was keeping students from going to prom. Now all of their financial worries have gone away.
But in all seriousness, though the discounts for students in need fell short, they’re a great idea and definitely essential to the success of Prom as a school–wide event. They just need to be bigger so that we can truly eliminate the pressure of Prom expenses for those who can’t handle them on their own. Fundraisers are a good way to tackle this problem, and since it seems like there’s a bakesale every day at BHS, I don’t see why we can’t throw in a few more throughout the year, the proceeds of which could go to helping fund Prom.
Also, the more money Prom brings in this year, the more money we’ll have to use for Prom next year. One of the major reasons that tickets were so pricey this year was that last year the venue for Prom was overbooked and not enough tickets were sold, which actually put BHS in debt. Since the extra money raised by Prom is put toward the next year’s Prom, this year’s Senior Class Leadership had no extra money to use, all thanks to the lovely Class of 2011 . I know we all have a lot of class pride, but let’s work together and all try to contribute to the cost of Prom so that we can actually start making a decent profit for next year’s use.
In the end, it seems that we should be grateful for our $65 Prom tickets. After talking to people from all across the nation, it seems that Prom in urban areas is a great deal more expensive than those in suburbs and small towns. Most Prom tickets in New York City cost over $200 a piece, excluding dinner. Students in Los Angeles and San Diego drop to around $150 or more for each ticket, and other big cities like Miami and Chicago follow suit. For having Prom in San Francisco, one of the largest and most famous cities in the nation, we should consider ourselves lucky.