Homecoming ends early in disappointment

Griffin Muckley

If students were there, they saw; if they weren’t, they heard about it first thing Monday morning: the BSM homecoming dance ended prematurely Saturday, September 27 in a disaster due to a number of unexpected difficulties and miscommunication.

The first issue that arose probably came as no surprise to students or chaperones, and that was contention over the school’s crackdown on grinding at school dances, which the faculty and staff have labeled overly sexual behavior. “Part of the issue was that they weren’t allowed to dance the way they wanted,” said Ms. Koshiol, one of the two junior class advisers who helped plan and oversee the Homecoming dance. Ms. Koshiol was confronted early in the night by students upset with the strict no grinding policy being implemented.

What actually caused major problems that night was not the policy itself, but how it was communicated to the students. “There was a lack of info; they [the students] thought they were being kicked out,” when in reality they were being warned, then escorted off of the dance floor for a brief period of time, said senior student council member Greta Wiessner. The idea of the immediate dismissal of themselves and their friends upset students, many of whom later left the dance floor early, but returned after discussing the grinding issue with Sophomore dean Mr. Jones.

Ideally, the procedure should have consisted of “a progression that consists of a warning from a chaperone, a conversation with the dean , and eventually removal from the dance floor,” said Dr. Sue Skinner in a memo to the teachers and faculty.

What finally pushed the dance over the edge, however, were the technical problems with the sound system used for the dance. “We know that during the course of the dance, one speaker quit working and then around 10:20, the other speaker quit working. When the equipment was totally non-functional, the administration ended the dance and the students were allowed to leave,” said Dr. Skinner in her memo. The cause of the malfunctions were wires that became disconnected throughout the course of the night, although the cause of the disconnections in unknown. Despite attempts by the DJ and BSM teacher Mr. Scott Effertz, the music could not be played through the Great Hall sound system, as the equipment was incompatible.

For those who didn’t witness the odd phenomena, the night ended with nearly the entire student body sitting on the dance floor and chanting “this dance sucks” and “worst dance ever” in unison after the second speaker had blown out. This was followed by the mass exodus of students leaving the building. The cause of this behavior was not purely due to the actual events of the night, but it was mainly due to the fact that “there were a lot of rumors that weren’t true at all,” which upset the students, said Mary Cashman, a senior member of the student council. There were rumors of kick-outs that didn’t occur, rumors that the speaker malfunctions were student induced, rumors that the speaker malfunctions were the DJ’s fault, and rumors that chaperones had asked to turn the music down.

None of these rumors were true; however, they did rile up the students, specifically the seniors who are generally being blamed for instigating the behavior. Many freshmen are blaming the incident on the upperclassmen and condemning their behavior. “I think it was really immature – they ruined their own dance,” said freshman Juliet Beckstrand.

Many students are aware that “the student body’s attitude was really negative,” said Cashman. Unfortunately, this negative attitude has had a major impact on underclassman, specifically freshmen, as this was their first dance.

Many freshmen ended up truly disappointed in their first high school dance: “It was terrible and I want my money back. The junior high parties were better,” said freshman Daniel Kretsch.

Student council, as well as the faculty and staff, all obviously distressed with the poor outcome of the night’s festivities, are already planning on how to make up for the lack-luster dance and how to ensure that this does not happen again. “The administration will continue to be in conversation with our student leadership regarding how a group dynamic can play out in a positive way, or in some cases, a negative way,” said Dr. Skinner in her memo.

Student council is also in the midst of working on a new informal dance that will hopefully convince underclassmen that this year’s homecoming dance shouldn’t be used as an example of BSM dances. Said Greta Wiessner, “We’re going to redeem ourselves. Plans are in the making for a dance called Knightmare. We don’t want Homecoming to be a precedent. It can only get better from here.”