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Despite Homecoming Venue Change, Students Bright for Fun Event

By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor

After selling dance tickets to a long line of eager students outside Casey’s Corner, ASB Vice President Julia Cheng (12, left) and Dance Commissioner Samuel Martinez (12, right) pose behind the counter. (Photo by Chris Wong)

The Homecoming Dance was moved to Sacramento Portuguese Hall from the Kennedy gymnasium after safety concerns prompted Kennedy administration to consider a venue change. However, students and student government still look forward to the dance, which will take place tomorrow, Saturday, October 28, from 7-11 p.m.

During the Kennedy press conference held one week ago on October 20, Kennedy principal David Van Natten explained the motivations for moving the dance off campus.

“[Kennedy was] designed in 1966. Things were different,” he began before listing the various reasons the Kennedy gym is inadequate as a dance venue. The reasons include the number of exits, number of supervisable entryways, lack of adequate lighting outside, and the need to create a small enclosed outside area to which students have access.

Van Natten elaborated on the issues with the capacity of the gym, “That is also a safety concern as more and more students attend these events, which is what we want. So, it has gotten progressively worse over the years.” Sacramento Portuguese Hall has a maximum capacity of 500 guests for dining or 999 guests standing. As of the time of publication, students have bought 760 tickets.

Dance commissioner Samuel Martinez, a senior, has planned special lighting to help illuminate the room and also give the hall an atmosphere to go with the spirit week’s cinematic theme.

“Students don’t want the lights. Administration pushes for the lights cause they are used for safety. But kids are also there for fun, and that’s where you meet that border of having fun and safety,” Martinez rationed, explaining the difficulties of lighting.

Martinez ordered the lights from Showbiz Lighting. One concern with a dimly lit hall and the presence of chairs is inappropriate dancing, in this case a sexually suggestive dance usually performed with a seat, lap dancing. Glowing cubes which double as seats were ordered to combat this.

“I’ve assigned a teacher to a cube, so if they know it’s gone, something bad’s happening on the dance floor or some inappropriate kind of dancing.

Contributing to the theme will be the food, which will be sold by the class governments. Expected available food includes popcorn, boxed candy, cotton candy, and pizza. Martinez recommended that students bring $7 for food, which hopefully means the cinematic themed dance will not be charging cinematic concession stand prices. Profits will go to the class funds.

As this is the first dance of the year, this is also many of the freshmen’s first high school dance.

“[Freshmen] are supposed to leave the dance knowing that Kennedy’s spirited and that high school is fun,” Martinez assured.

Related: A Night to Remember

Kennedy junior Wendy Rios is excited for the dance because she missed Homecoming last year. She is eager to enjoy the event with her friends but recognizes some of the flaws with previous dances.

“They feel very strict, and sometimes they don’t feel fun,” she admitted, referring to the rules and dress code. What would make a dance more fun, according to Rios would be “to let students be free but not too free.”

“It’s hard to explain,” she added, regarding safety concerns.

Venue costs totaled $2,900. Lighting and other effects totaled $1,000. The funds will be charged to the ASB account.

Tickets cost $20 at the door for students who have not bought tickets but are still interested in attending.

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