The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


Inside the Dance

Students, staff discuss the planning and build-up to Homecoming

Themed “Stevenson Space,” Stevenson will be hosting their annual Homecoming dance in the Field House this Saturday. 

The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the dance, a lock-in event, will end at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are priced $2 higher than last year, at $27 per ticket if purchased in advance, or $40 at the door.

Although much of the manual labor for Homecoming is done in the few weeks before the dance, planning for the dance begins much sooner. Senior Class Board, including President Mark Gingiss ’24, started brainstorming ideas as early as March. Similarly, all the other Class Boards and the Student Council will develop their own themes. They present these at a Student Senate meeting, composed of the executive boards of each of these clubs.

“The Class Boards and Student Council present their Homecoming proposals, which can be fun and a little wacky,” Gingiss said. “At the end, [the full Senate] votes on what theme they like the best.”

Once the theme has been decided, the majority of planning will be suspended until the start of school. Kate Hales ’24, Student Council’s Homecoming Committee Head, is working hard to meet the student body’s expectations for this year’s dance, as last year had the highest attendance ever recorded.

“Our focus currently is dance decorations,” Hales said. “But we’ve also made a website to inform students about the dance and spirit days leading up to it.”

Varnika Maram ’25 leads members of Student Council to help set up the stadium for the Homecoming Pep Assembly. Student Council executive members plan the assembly in the months prior to ensure all details are taken care of. (Ansh Aggarwal)

The theme days had been decided and confirmed preceding Homecoming, which have a wide variety to encourage students to get excited before the weekend. Class Board Sponsor Jane Caballero said the process for Homecoming wasn’t always the same. The dance, as well as the planning behind it, has evolved massively over the years.

“We used to start in May and work through the summer,” Caballero said. “It was non-stop, so [we] didn’t have a summer break.”

The process, which used to be more time-consuming, is believed by Caballero to now be incredibly efficient. For example, Executive Board members of the Class Boards often stayed at school into the night to set up the countless streamers and colorful posters around the school.

Caleb Song ’25 and Jennifer Johnson ’25 put up name hangers on the ceiling. Each class board creates an individual name hanger for students in their grade to spotlight each person. (Ansh Aggarwal)

“We used to stay until 9 p.m. to finish decorations,” Caballero said. “Now, students leave by 6 p.m.”

The heightened efficiency is in part due to the full-day, in-school field trip for Student Council executives, dedicated to embellishing the school. Reforms in what the students do as part of their planning have also shaped the current process.

“We used to have a parade and would build floats, so we would spend all night in the maintenance barn [with] all the Class Boards building floats together,” Caballero said. “There [still] was a huge rivalry between the boards.”

Caballero noted the annual Homecoming decoration competition helped students improve their designs. Judged on categories such as Entrances, Windows, Dance Attendance, and Name Hangers, the competition fuels the Class Board rivalry.

“It motivates the Class Boards [and our general members] to think outside the box and make better decorations,” Gingiss said. “Our goal at the end of the day is to make the school look as good as possible.”

Alekhya Dharna ’25 assembles a cardboard astronaut to be placed in front of their hallway. Grades are judged on the quality of their decorations, encouraging students to elaborate designs. (Ansh Aggarwal)


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