Grammy-themed junior prom wins praise

April 28, 2019 — by Allison Hartley and Manasi Garg

Dressed in their fancy best and feeling like celebrities, 223 students waited in anticipation for the Grammy-themed junior prom to begin on April 20. They walked down the red carpet, paused for a photo in front of a white step and banner decorated with 2020 junior prom decals and entered La Rinconada Country Club, where they later picked up pineapple and lime “mocktails” at the bar.

Many students flowed into the buffet room, where they were impressed by the quantity and variety of food like burgers, salad and tri-tip steak, which were all catered by the club and made up the largest portion of the price. Others headed excitedly into side rooms where they could play games such as Jenga and Cards Against Humanity.

Junior Natalie Tarbox said the variety of activities made her prom experience enjoyable.

“I actually had more fun than I expected to,” she said. “I think the venue was a really big part of that. It was fun to have it off campus and there was more than one room that we could go into, which was really cool.”

The ticket cost for the event was $170 with ASB and $180 without, a small uptick in price from last year’s $175. The total cost of the prom was $32,000, yielding a $5,000 to $7,000 profit for the Class of 2020, 2020 class adviser Kristen Hamilton said.

Despite this seemingly hefty price, the class booked the venue at a discounted price because of junior Mia Gunderson’s family’s membership at La Rinconada Country Club, according to Hamilton. Much of the event was funded through donations, with parents providing decorations like centerpieces, flower arrangements, the photobooth and step and repeat backdrops.

“The venue matched the vibe of prom really well and the class office did a really good job of decorating it,” sophomore Celine Chien said.

Even the bathrooms were something students said made the experience memorable

“The bathrooms were really nice since they had stuff like breath mints, Gucci perfume and toothbrushes,” junior Tyler Ouchida said.

Since juniors are often quite busy during this time of year, Hamilton said she and the class officers enlisted a group of parents to provide major help in planning, including Candice Gunderson, who headed a donations committee for the event.

“If you communicate with people and you have contacts and connections, then people are willing to help,” Hamilton said.

Despite her initial nervousness, Chien said she ended up having a good time.

“As a sophomore going, I was a little scared that it would be a bunch of intimidating juniors, but everyone was pretty nice,” Chien said.  

Hsu said that the prom went well, and despite many students doubts about the choice of DJ, one named DJ Delicious, he turned out to be “better than normal.”

“I think people had a good time in general,” Hsu said. “Maybe I’m biased because I planned it, but I definitely liked it.”

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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