Effective next year, Grinnell College students will be required to attend the Grinnell High School Prom in order to graduate on time. The announcement came via a campus wide e-mail from the registrar which read: “Starting with the class of 2017, all students must be asked to prom by a Grinnell Tiger and attend both the Prom and the sub-free After Prom.” The e-mail goes on to detail specific requirements, such as requiring academic advisors to approve your pre-prom schedule on WebAdvisor, a minimum of 50 prom photos of which only a maximum of 20 can be selfies, and receipts that prove everything you bought / rented came from Grinnell businesses.
“This is the latest in the College’s attempt to interact and involve itself in the town of Grinnell,” explained Registrar of the College, Maylene Greene. “Now that the high school senior prom is mandatory for Grinnell students, well, they’ll have to be more involved in town life. We’re particularly strict on requirement that our students must be asked to prom.”
Administration is also enthusiastic about the new graduation requirements. “We’re already moving the book store into town, and there are plans in the works to move Burling 3rd and the South Loggia as well,” said administrator Olivia Chan. “But the prom requirement will really seal the deal. Grinnell is going to get into Grinnell whether they like it or not! Well I mean preferably they’d like it though.”
Student opinion has, for the most part, been fairly mixed. “See, at first I thought this would be no big deal. Just go to prom, spend one night taking photos, boom, done!” responded Jeremiah Smith ’18. “But now I’m realizing that like, if I want them to ask me, I’m gonna have to be in town all the time? And go to the high school plays and make friends with the high schoolers and like…what do high schoolers even do? Is MGMT still cool?”
Many other students have already begun fervently making plans. “Look, I’m not going to be in town to make friends, I’m there to win,” said Jessica Stanford ’17. “My girlfriend and I have been poring over the GHS yearbook and sending messages out to ask if anyone wants to hang. We’ve already been invited to Trixie’s Sweet Sixteen. I’ve been mapping out relationships and the social climate at GHS to position us in the ideal position to be asked to prom. We’re going to graduate, even if that means breaking apart every GHS senior couple to make it happen.” Indeed, many students are already flooding into Grinnell and making their presence known by town residents.
Residents of Grinnell are happy that down-town spots are becoming more popular, but there are some reservations. “I sort of don’t really want these college kids in town though,” said local business owner Denise McCready. “I mean the Grinnellians I’ve encountered are nice enough but they’re also sort of weird. Also they don’t tip well, what the heck are they even learning at that school?” Students have also expressed concern at being in town all the time. “I don’t get why we have to be in town when some people don’t feel too comfortable there,” said Smith. “The Registrar just told me to expand my comfort zone when I said that so..?”
If students have not attended GHS prom by commencement, they will not receive their diploma. “It constitutes a failure on the students’ part if they aren’t able to secure an invite.We expect our students to do whatever it takes to succeed,” said Chan. “If they can pull all-nighters to get essays done, they can pull allnighters to hang out with high schoolers.”