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Grad Night aims to give seniors last goodbye

While the class of 2020 has been robbed of many of their end of the year celebrations, the Safe and Sober Grad Night offers one last night to congratulate the seniors. Photo by Maddie Meilinger

This past school year has been affected significantly by the COVID-19 outbreak. With students doing their schooling at home, the campus being closed, access to teachers being limited, and everyone having to adjust to a new education system in such a short time, things have been hectic and rushed throughout the remainder of the school year. But despite the complications, the parents of Bear River students persisted to carry on the annual tradition of the Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night on June 12, determined to provide this year’s seniors with a shred of normality and opportunity to say their last good-byes.

In light of quarantine, social distancing in order, and school closure, students’ sense of ‘normal’ was distorted — this lack of ‘normal’ being translated into other end of the year celebrations for seniors such as graduation ceremonies. One of the reasons behind continuing with the plan of Grad Night was to provide seniors with something normal within this abnormal time period. The Grad Night committee wants to ensure a fun and safe night for the seniors to enjoy despite the threat of COVID-19.

However, with news if an event in the works doesn’t guarantee that seniors will want to attend. 

Senior Morgan Ham was moderately excited for the possibility of a Grad Night event.

“I’m totally going to be going to the revamped Grad Night,” she stated. “These parents are giving us one thing to look forward to while everything else is being ripped away. I’m so excited to actually have the chance to see my friends and get my yearbook signed.”

On the contrary, Senior Catherine Desplancke was hesitant to attend a party if there would be one in the future.

“I would maybe go,” she said. “It just really depends on timing and especially when this whole pandemic is going to end. I really wouldn’t feel safe enough to go to a party with everyone especially during this troubling time even though I would want to.”

Grad Night committee member, Julie Siegenthaler, had some advice and thoughts to give on the upcoming event.

“Many of the committee members have seniors this year and are devastated that hosting an event at the school is not possible based on county guidelines,” she said. “They appreciate that the staff and district have been empathetic and supportive throughout this pandemic crisis. The committee feels that each senior should participate in an event according to their own family’s comfort level.”

Graduation, for many seniors, was disappointing. While the hard work and dedication the Bear River staff is deeply appreciated by the seniors, many wished to celebrate with their friends. So this opportunity of a night with friends and classmates is incredibly important and special to the class of 2020.

“I mean, the whole point of graduation is ending high school with your friends, so of course I wish I could’ve watched in person as my best friends walked,” said Senior Sonora Slater. ” … It’s been almost three months since I’ve seen many of the people I got used to seeing every day, and Grad Night is going to give us an opportunity to see each other one last time, all together, sign yearbooks, and say goodbye. I had basically accepted the fact that none of the typical graduation events were going to happen, and there were people I was just never going to see again, so to have any form of a Grad Night, even a modified one, was unexpected, and I’m extremely grateful for it!”

While the end of the seniors’ last school year may not be the most conventional, there was clearly effort and care being put into it. Things are messy and events are either cancelled or heavily regulated due to the virus, but the Grad Night Committee are providing something good despite all these new challenges — a light in one of the darkest times. 

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Grad Night aims to give seniors last goodbye