The Prom song problem

The Prom song problem

Smitha Gundavajhala


This is the second final round of Prom song voting. A major controversy with voting has been a movement to vote for a particular “joke song” that upsets many of those that are serious about attending Prom. Screen capture by Smitha Gundavajhala.

Junior Prom: an important experience for some, a new experience for most and a one-of-a-kind experience for all. One of the defining moments of this experience is the last song to be played at Prom — the all-important “Prom song.”

Now, the main matter of controversy with this issue is the nomination and voting of a particular song that some have called a “joke song”.

It’s not particularly horrible-sounding, but the fact that it’s being pushed by people who suddenly decide to be this invested in school affairs is somewhat suspicious.

So invested are they that they immediately retaliated when an ASB officer mentioned in a School Loop discussion post (and quite fairly) that students should “PLEASE keep in mind this is the last song played at Prom. It’s supposed to be special, so don’t vote as a joke unless you’re willing to put up with a joke song.” The responses defended a particular song that was not mentioned in the first comment. This strongly smells of a movement similar to that of Sergio Flores of YouTube fame, who played the same song on his saxophone in a prank that received over 13 million hits.

What the ASB officer said was justified. It was not expressly banned to vote for that specific song. The real issue lies in the fact that most of the students voting for this song may not even attend to “put up with” it.

All they have to do is click a button to skew the prom song voting towards a song that nobody there will want.

To get a better idea of students’ opinions, ASB officers released a survey on Feb. 2 at 12:29 a.m. for students to vote on yet another final round of four songs. Yes, the “joke song” did make the list. To anticipate the ensuing complaints, officers placed a question at the bottom asking if there were any songs students specifically did not want.

Ideally, all students would vote, they would all attend Prom, the song chosen would be a fair representation of the student body’s expectations and everyone would be happy. If not happy, then they would at least deal with it. However, this does not, cannot and will not happen in reality. So I propose a simple solution to this dilemma: Prom bids.

Prom bids are serious. They’re a commitment to attending; that’s why they are so expensive. If a student buys a Prom bid, then he’s serious enough about attending that they will fork over close to a hundred dollars to have him name on the list. As a sort of vetting system, we should not allow students to vote on the Prom song unless they have committed themselves to a bid. Each bid should come with a code, much like that of a raffle ticket, that is unique to that bid and identifies the owner. Then, during song voting, the code will identify that student and allow him to vote. That way, the Prom song chosen will be representative of the preferences of those actually attending.

It could be argued that one would not attend Prom unless a certain song was chosen (note that this is a bit extreme). However, if he really wanted a song so badly, he would commit to Prom so that the song in question could receive his vote.

This is not an issue to be taken lightly. This song could define the rest of our lives, if the movies are anything to go by. If you care, please vote. Do so the right way, and for the right reasons.