Opinion: Why Seabury Hall should have a homecoming

Veronica Winham, Staff Writer

You’ve seen this tradition in countless movies. You hear your friends from other schools talk about getting their dates. You see the sparkling dresses at the mall. Homecoming is an event that most high school students across the country look forward to every fall. So why doesn’t Seabury have one?

Typically, the homecoming dance is held in September or October after a big football game against a rival school. Homecoming court and homecoming proposals are some of the key parts to this iconic week to both students and former students alike.

Homecoming is an event many high school students across the country eagerly await, and adults still treasure the memories they carry from their high school and college years. Seabury, however, does not participate in this tradition, despite having a football team that our community arguably values more than other sports. We have Spirit Week with dress-up days and exciting assemblies that are similar to that of a homecoming week, but we don’t have a dance. Thanks to our athletic calendar, senior nights and sporting events provide opportunities during the first quarter for this dance. Other schools on Maui, such as Maui High, Lahainaluna, and even the small Kihei Charter, have recently had homecomings.

Many people do not know the difference between homecoming and prom, and think that only one of these two formal dances is needed. Some might argue that Seabury has a prom already, our only formal event of the year, as well as a couple of other small dances such as the one following Orientation Day and the Halloween dance. However, what many do not know, is that prom and homecoming are different events in many ways.

Homecoming has a deeper meaning than just a fancy dance: it is generally a week-long event, filled with games, pep rallies, welcoming alumni back “home” to school, and spirit. This week all leads up to the dance after the football game, which promotes more energy in our community and boosts school morale and support for our athletic teams.

Another appealing factor to homecoming is the opportunity to dress up. During the regular school year, I do not get the opportunity to do this often. Dressing up and seeing your friends dressed up is different; it’s fun. It’s enjoyable to see this change because everyone worked hard to make themselves look perfect and spent a lot of energy on their hair, makeup, and even shoes. Even the guys wear nice suits and tuxedos and choose their ties to match their dates’ dresses. Homecoming is less-formal, so the dresses are shorter. Prom is more fancy, as well as at the end of the year. Homecoming starts the year off in a fun way and this way students have more than one big dance to look forward to.

At Seabury, prom is only for sophomores through seniors. However, at other schools, homecoming is generally extended to accommodate all grades as well as outside dates.

Prom should not be the only major dance we have a year. With our activities going on and scheduling difficult, this is still an event we as a school need to set time aside for. Homecoming should be a priority, as it is in other states and at other schools. Seabury students, having worked hard in classes and extracurriculars, would enjoy this event as almost a break, and something to motivate them through the fall.

Homecoming would be a popular and well-attended event at Seabury, just like prom, and our student council should make this happen in collaboration through the Alumni Office. Recognition for alums is a big part to this weekend that Seabury again does not do justice to. We have a strong Alumni Association, and we should take advantage of this.

Paying for the prom venue (generally at a hotel) causes the cost of prom tickets to go way up. Many students complain about this expense, but a nice factor to homecoming is that it is typically held in the school’s gymnasium. If Seabury did end up ever having a homecoming, it could be held at a nicer location, but decorating the gym is always an easy option.

As a little kid, I looked forward to getting to high school for both homecoming and prom. Prom was a fun experience for me last year, but I had to wait over a year and a half for it. I wish I could have a formal, more organized, well-attended dance earlier in the year. This wouldn’t, to me, make prom any less special. Both events seem fun and memorable and each bring their own unique traditions to the table. I would personally rather have both then continue to just have one.

The spirit that homecoming week brings is encapsulated in our Spirit Week. I believe that if we are going to carry this part of the tradition, then we should carry all the parts. Not only is the dance the end to this week, but it’s also the best part.

We are a school capable of holding this event, and so it makes sense for us to do so. The energy, music, proposals, and getting dressed up to be with friends is an event Seabury students deserve to have more than once a year and is a crucial part of the high school experience.