Luther Students Enchanted at Spring Fling – Luther College Chips
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Luther first-years and sophomores missed out on prom and other milestone events which generally accompany the end of one’s high school career. With this in mind, members of the Student Activities Council (SAC) made it one of their goals this year to host a formal dance that could be seen as a sort of replacement for these missed events. This dream came to fruition with the “Enchanted Forest” Spring Fling dance, held on Friday, April 29, in the Regents Center Main Gym.
“We saw different colleges have formals and stuff for sororities and fraternities, [but] We don’t really have that here at Luther, “said SAC Entertainment Co-Chair Hayden Cronin (’23). “So we [thought] We should definitely bring a dance, because freshman and sophomores really missed out on the opportunity for a prom because of COVID. ”
Many students who were not able to attend prom, or had their prom significantly altered by the pandemic, missed out on an event often considered quintessential to the high school experience. Although other important circumstances may far outweigh the importance of prom, it can still be considered a loss that many students did not get to experience this type of formative event while they were in high school. As such, members of the SAC felt that it was important to host a “replacement prom” to make up for this lost experience.
“[My friends and I] had a prom-like experience, because [some of us] didn’t have prom in high school, ”said attendee Sonnet Mungyeh (’25). “It was a really nice way to fulfill that dream, in a sense. It was a really good supplement. “
While some high schools in 2020 and 2021 canceled formal dances altogether, others opted for events with masks, limited attendance, social distancing, and other restrictions. Attendee Linnea Wolle (’24) expressed similar gratitude for the opportunity to attend the Spring Fling in lieu of her missed prom experience in high school.
“My family and I had a ‘pandemic prom back in 2020 the night my prom was supposed to be, but it wasn’t the senior prom I had always imagined,'” Wolle said. “The Spring Fling was so meaningful for me because it gave me an opportunity to do all the fun prom things, but with some of my closest friends.”
In an attempt to go “all out” for this dance, Cronin (’23) and Audrey Fashimpaur (’22), as well as Director of Student Activities Jenna Mockler-Gjerde (’06), put a lot of time and effort into planning, decorating, and selling tickets. They used a wide variety of resources available to them, even choosing to outsource some of the decoration set-up, and contracting local businesses to provide desserts and other amenities for students.
“We definitely went all out for decorations,” Cronin said. “CAL was nice enough to let us borrow some of their birch trees, and we got a lot of stuff from Amazon. We actually worked with an event company down in Cedar Rapids, and they hung up lights for us from the ceiling. We also got snacks, bought cake balls from Beyond the Bar bakery, got punch, a DJ, [and a] dance floor. ”
In addition to the many attractions mentioned by Cronin, there was a chocolate fountain, several arches adorned with fairylights and foliage, and several decorated wall spaces where attendees could take photos.Students spent the night dancing, talking, and doing photo ops with friends. There was also a surprise, when senior Spencer Cox (’22) went down on one knee for Laura Bailey (’22) in front of the crowd, rousing lots of excitement when she gave him a resounding “yes”.
In the long term, it is the goal of the SAC Entertainment Co-Chairs to host this type of dance again. Though it may not always be a “replacement prom”, the overwhelmingly positive response from students may prompt it to become a yearly tradition.
“It [was] A very popular event, and we are hoping that it’s so popular that it becomes an annual thing, “Cronin said. “I think a lot of people were excited, so we’re hoping that [the] Good turnout makes it worthwhile for us to bring it back again and again. ”