Pride Alliance is giving LGBTQ students and Tucson community members a second chance at prom on Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Second Chance Prom is not a unique event created at the UA; it has become an annual event across the nation.
“The concept of Second Chance Prom is to offer students, especially LGBTQ students or non-students, a chance to have a really positive prom experience,” said Mary Knudson, co-director of LGBTQ Affairs. “There were a lot of people who were denied entrance into their prom because of who they wanted to go with or they couldn’t get tickets or some people may have wanted to dress a certain way, but knew it wouldn’t have been a good idea to do at their prom, and some people just don’t like to dance.”
Knudson said Second Chance Prom is Pride Alliance’s biggest event to plan throughout the academic year. She said last year’s event had over 200 people in attendance and this year is expected to have more based on the Facebook event page’s success so far.
The UA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Affairs has an intern team of about nine to 12 people every year. The interns brainstorm themes for the prom and then narrow their ideas to a top five or less than top five list. The interns add the top chosen ideas to their listserv to give students an opportunity to choose the event they would like to attend most.
The top two choices were a masquerade ball or a 1920s theme, according to their listserv poll. This year's winning choice was the 1920s Great Gatsby theme. Interns create the decorations by hand and handle the performance list and catering menu.
Kimberly Chong, Pride Alliance’s prom planning committee intern, said they will have catering from Dynamic Cuisine and will have special performances by drag performer Jenna May, members from Fluxx Studio & Gallery, Boys R Us and potentially the Arizona Swing Cats to reinforce the 1920s theme.
“We offer prom photos as a regular part of prom; we will have one of Fluxx’s DJs, DJ Ladyfingers, who will hopefully play some electro-swing and current music that people like,” Knudson said. “We’ll have a mocktail station to go along with the prohibition theme with a ‘pin an Oscar on Leo’ game and also easy poker and blackjack games.”
Knudson said the prom planning committee created a Facebook page for the event on April 11 and within a few hours about 80 people have said they are going.
The event will take place on the Multi-Activity Court at the Student Recreation Center on campus. Knudson said the event normally takes place in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center, but has been relocated to give students and the community a more prom-feeling experience in the gym.
“High school is definitely a different setting for a lot of us. I didn’t like dancing with the other kids at my high school, but it’s different on a college campus,” Knudson said. “So it’s a chance for you to have prom the way you want it to be.”
People attending the event are suggested to dress semi-formal; however, it is up to the individuals as to whether they would like to dress up or dress down.
“All the interns got assigned to be on the prom planning committee, but we got to choose out of a list our three preferences for working on events and Second Chance Prom was my first choice so I’m very excited,” Chong said.
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