Mavericks get a second chance at prom night

Asian American Affairs gave the class of 2020 something that had almost seemed forgotten: a second chance at prom.  

Cenying Yang helped plan the prom which was themed as an enchanted garden. Yang explained the thought behind the dance. 

“We wanted to give everybody the opportunity, especially with COVID and everything, to have that second chance at prom,” said Yang. “A lot of us didn’t get to experience that and we thought it was important that we include everybody.” 

Minnesota State University, Mankato student Mikayla Wascul was one of those unlucky few who were unable to have a senior prom. She said her second chance at prom was a really nice event to experience. 

“I missed my senior prom in high school. It’s kind of my chance to have that experience that I missed out on,” said Wascul. 

Although prom is often a busy day, MSU sophomore Hannah Penttili said that this prom was less stress. 

“I know that my high school proms were a very, very big deal, so this is more of a like casual fun,” shared Penttili.

Wascul echoed this sentiment. Even thought the event was last minute, Wascul was prepared.

“I had this dress in my closet for two years, so that was easy. It was just getting the shoes and getting the makeup down,” said Wascul.

In order to plan this enchanting night, Yang explained that Asian American Affairs split into four committees. 

“We had the Entertainment Committee and they’re focusing more on the activities and DJ. And then we had decorating committee,” said Yang. “We [also] had an outreach and a marketing committee and that worked out pretty well.” 

Opposed to a traditional prom queen and king, the second chance at prom gave out best dressed awards to students who attended. 

“We’re gonna be doing best dressed since this campus is so large and not everybody knows each other’s names,” shared Yang.

MSU Junior Anna Symmens pointed this out as one of the major differences between her second chance at prom and what her high school prom looked like. Although this second chance surrounded students with their new college peers, Symmens explained that the event was great for meeting new people.

 “There’s a lot of people you don’t know here. They’re not from your high school. You get to meet a lot of people at these kinds of events,” said Symmens. “You just get to hang out with your friends and let go. This is a good time to have it – right before finals, and everybody needs to relax.” 

In addition to this friendly atmosphere, Penttili had a great time dressing up and dancing, something Penttili encouraged to students who should attend next year.

“You get the opportunity to dress up and be excited about that, and then just go and dance and hang out with people, which is pretty much what people are excited about when it comes to prom,” shared Penttili. “I feel like there’s so few opportunities to dance as you get older aside from wedding stuff, so it’s just fun to get to go and dance and hang out with people.”

Header Photo: Last Saturday, Asian American Affairs hosted a prom for students who didn’t have the chance to attend due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Students seized the opportunity to dress up and dance the night away. (Ajay Kasaudhan/The Reporter)

Write to: Lilly Schmidt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

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