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Winter Formal requirements should change

March 28, 2022

Winter Formal is the second dance that Central puts on. This dance is held off of school property. For the past several years it has been held at Field Club. To be invited to Winter Formal the students must meet certain requirements: being a sophomore, junior, or senior and meeting the GPA requirements. Students who do not meet these requirements can still attend the dance if they go with a student who has met them. These requirements should change. School dances are a social event that should encourage students to attend, not turn them down because they don’t meet certain standards.  

The first thing that should change is the ability to invite freshmen to attend. If Winter Formal is labeled as a dance for sophomores, juniors and seniors, it should remain that way. Each year of high school students are rewarded a little more. Freshman year students can go to homecoming, sophomore year they can go to Winter Formal and junior year they can go to prom. Allowing freshmen to attend if invited takes away the reward they will get from sophomore year. It is also unfair for those sophomores who had to wait and freshman who could not go.  

The same problem occurs with the GPA requirement. If a friend group is made up of people who meet the requirements and those who don’t, those who don’t still can attend Winter Formal by receiving an invitation from those who did meet them. This makes people question the point of those requirements in the first place. 

Those requirements are not a strong motivator for students to attend school more often or get better grades. A dance might be fun but if a student is determined not to go to school or not try a school dance won’t change that. Other students simply might not have the opportunity to improve so those requirements are punishing them for something they may have limited control over.  

The GPA requirement for Winter Formal should not exist. Although school dances are a reward, they are also a celebration, and these requirements leave a lot of students out. Without trying, they create a divide between the students: those who are “worthy” and those who are not.  

“Statistically speaking, most of the students who can go because they meet the requirements are going to be white. Especially because we live in a country where white people usually have easier access to those resources,” senior Israel Bryant said. “It is mainly AP and honors kids and they grew up in schools where they were told they can achieve, instead of students who are people of color, who grew up in poorer neighborhoods, who are told that they are not going to be able to get to that level. So, it perpetuates the system that is inherently racist, even though it is not trying to be racist.” 

There is a solution though: Winter Formal is for sophomores and above only. Freshmen cannot attend. There is no GPA requirement. The tickets are first come first serve to control the number of students who can attend. People can still buy tickets to bring other students. This way, students may be left out because they did not get tickets fast enough, but no students should feel unworthy.  

There is so much pressure on students, from school or home, to be better and to do better. School dances should not add to that. They should be used as a celebration and a way to create happy memories from high school. Dances should be a positive to take away and share with others.  

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