The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Prom 2024 Behind the Scenes


With Prom 2024 right around the corner on Sat. April 20, Junior Cabinet has been working all year to prepare a special night. Due to changes in schedule and venue, the night will look a little different than the proms of the past.

Junior Cabinet and Niles West administration have collectively decided to cut the application and election of Prom King and Queen, citing a lack of participation in the past, students disrespecting the tradition in the past and concerns about inclusivity.

“At its inception, crowning a prom king and queen was a tradition rooted in an exclusive gender-binary system. For a large school like Niles West that values unity and diversity, voting for two students to be crowned simply for being the most liked, rather than basing it on any contributions to our school community, doesn’t feel like what we’re about,” Student Activities Director Caitlin Lucci said. “The students who come from smaller feeder schools or transfer from other districts also don’t have the same opportunity to garner support.”

This decision also came from other schools around the area, including Niles North, that have also removed Prom King and Queen.

However, some students feel the tradition should have continued this year.

“I feel like we should bring back the Prom King and Queen because I feel like it’s a tradition that’s being taken away. A lot of schools did it, my mom had it when she was younger and my grandma had it when she was younger so stopping it kind of feels like I’m missing out on an opportunity. It definitely saves people’s feelings if they don’t win, but it just takes away a good opportunity because if you do win it’s super cool,” senior Eloise Gnat said.

Other students believed that there should have been more communication.

“I am a little disappointed that there is no Prom Court, I know that was something that people were really looking forward to and I felt like there wasn’t enough warning or notice that it wasn’t going to happen,” senior Delaney Gin said.

Student Activities believes ending this tradition will be for the better.

“Instead of interrupting the party to make what is often times an awkward and vibe-killing announcement, we will keep the good vibes flowing all night and allow for our entire pack to have a ball in the Enchanted Forest,” Lucci said.

While Prom has previously been at Joe’s Live in Rosemont for seven years, the venue was changed this year and will be held at Loews Hotel in Rosemont.

As this is Junior Cabinet sponsor and science teacher Margaret Bower’s 13th year organizing prom, she has planned many different venues including other hotels in downtown Chicago and even tents on the Niles West football field during the pandemic. While this year’s venue change hasn’t added many additional challenges, the retirement of Junior Cabinet’s helper Cindi Cronin has. Cronin owned a local decorating company, Balloons Instead, that helped local schools decorate for big events.

“Loews just renovated it, so it is really pretty and updated. However, it is a little bit more work than what we had with [last year’s] class because Cronin did retire. She used to do our backdrops and centerpieces so it was nice to be able to rent things from her. The organizing took a little while in the beginning because of the venue change, but I think it is going to be beautiful,” Bower said.

Seniors who attended Prom last year as juniors welcome this change.

“I’m happy that the Prom location was moved because Joe’s [Live] was a great place but I think it was a little claustrophobic and not the right space for a prom. So I feel like maybe this new place will be better for all of us to have a more formal prom,” Gin said.

Prom will have a slightly different layout this year, as it will be a formal plated dinner as opposed to the buffet-style featured at Joe’s Live. Students will gather in one ballroom for dinner, and transfer to another ballroom for dancing and a small seating area with desserts. In between will be a foyer with a lemonade station, appetizers and three separate photo booths.

“It’s definitely going to have a more elegant feel than it has in the past which I know a lot of people were looking to have. We are also going to have more photo booths than last year, so there’s going to be less waiting time because I know a lot of seniors didn’t like that last year,” Junior Cabinet president Giulia Patrascu said.

After many meetings planning Prom and building all the decorations, Junior Cabinet hopes everyone has a memorable night.

“It’s really about all the seniors being together one last time and commemorating their four years together. We just want them to come there and relax, not stress and be entertained. I think it’s going to be really fun,” Bower said.

Make sure to use the Spotify playlist to add any songs you want to be played on the big night, and read the Prom Packet for additional information and logistics.

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