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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Promposals become productions

Traditions continue to evolve over time

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Over the years, promposals have become increasingly more extravagant and planned.

Over the years, promposals have become increasingly more extravagant and planned.

Graphic Natalie Sadek

Graphic Natalie Sadek

Over the years, promposals have become increasingly more extravagant and planned.

Elyssa Rubin, Staff Writer

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A crowd of students gathers around someone holding a bouquet of flowers and a poster with a pun on it. In the following weeks, similar images will be seen around the school. The season of promposals has arrived.

Opinions vary on whether promposals are too excessive. When it comes to the huge displays and flowers, students across America put a lot of the time and thought into asking someone to prom.  A promposal is often a thoughtfully- staged request to be someone’s date to a prom.

“I like them because sometimes they are super creative and…sometimes they’re super adorable,” freshman Caroline Raps said. “Sometimes they’re really funny. They’ll have joking promposals where they [are] super overdone, and it’s fun.”

Some faculty members are indifferent about promposals. They think that asking someone can be entertaining on both parties, but at the same time they think that they can be too much.

“If they get competitive, [they can be too much],” assistant principal Michele Tontodonato said. “I mean, it’s nice to ask in a special way, but sometimes special doesn’t equate with huge and astronomical and taking all that thought and making it a huge thing because you want to be the best.”

Some believe promposals are too big and overplanned. They prefer a general question over a poster or a song.

“I think they’re very overrated and people put a lot of effort into them,” sophomore Caroline Ransden said. “ [Prom is] just one night and it’s just kind of pointless.”

Within the past 10 years, promposals have evolved from a casual question to a big public display. According to Statista, in 2015, the Northeast was ranked highest for spending an average of $431 on promposals.

It does seem like there is a number of people who expect some type of an extravagant promposal, but I also look at it as either way, you are being asked to the prom, and you can’t always think of something that’s much more creative than the last guy,” class of 2007 alumnus and resource officer Michael Bisset said.

According to junior Matt White, although promposals can be stressful, they also bring joy as people come together to make the event possible.

“Prom season brings a Christmas feeling,” White said. “It’s camaraderie, but also stressful.”

Tontodonato, having formerly taught at Algonquin, recalls when there were no promposals and students would simply ask each other during class.

“In the ‘80s, it was just asking,” Tontodonato said. “If you were dating someone, it was just assumed [that you were going to prom together] and they asked and they planned.”

Though no one knows when promposals officially started, Tontodonato believes that they began to occur in 2009, when a student asked Tontodonato to help him with one. Back then, asking someone to prom in an elaborate way was not always a common affair, and it was more common to ask in regular conversation.

“When I was here, they weren’t something that we had done,” Bisset said. “I’d seen some small ones since then. It’s seems like now they’re becoming more of an extravagant thing to the point that a kid last year wound up creating a poem and reading it during a poem contest.”

Faculty members have watched promposals evolve as students have put more thought into them throughout the years.

“I think they got more creative as they went along,” class of 1985 alumnus and secretary Charlotte Brillhart said.

According to White and class of 2008 alumnus and biology teacher Meghan Dore, these elaborate displays are part of the experience.

“I think the point of a promposal is to go over the top,” White said.

“[It’s] just another piece of making prom kind of a memorable event,” Dore said. “But again, not for everyone. I think that for the people that enjoy it… go for it. Have fun with it. There’s nothing wrong with making it a little bit special.”

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Promposals become productions