Saturday night Binghamton University hosted its first Second Chance Prom, a Pride Week event designed for students desiring another shot at the prom experience.
Rainbow Pride Union, the Equality Project and SHADES designed the event to accommodate students who did not have the opportunity to attend their own high school proms or those who just wanted a chance to relive their previous prom experiences.
Those who attended received gift bags and were treated to Italian food catered by Grande’s along with desserts, a photo booth and a dance floor.
Attendees competed for awards including Best Dancer, Best Dressed Couple and Prom Royalty in order to win gift card prizes to local businesses such as Thai Time, Tranquil, Old World Deli and Cyber Cafe West. All prizes were donated by local businesses and all money raised from the event went to benefit the Southern Tier AIDS program.
Nearly 60 students attended the event and spent the evening hanging out, dancing and experiencing everything Second Chance Prom had to offer. The organizers of the event wanted to make everyone who attended feel welcome regardless of sexual identity or any other distinguishing factors, allowing students to showcase their uniqueness.
Kelly Vest, a freshman majoring in biology, said she felt comfortable being herself at the prom.
“I wouldn’t have to be afraid of anybody judging me,” Vest said. “I’m also a part of the Rainbow Pride Union so I knew that it would be totally cool to be here and not have anybody judge me at all. And also, the great food.”
Morgan Appel, program coordinator of the Dean of Students office, said her office got involved to help Pride Week begin with a big event.
“We knew that Pride Week was happening and we knew that typically there was never one big event for it,” Appel said. “The Dean of Students office has never been involved before and we really want to make sure people know that we support this community and every community on campus.”
Appel said that the Dean of Students office met with student groups to plan the event.
“We got together the presidents of Rainbow Pride Union, the Equality Project and SHADES because we wanted this to be very student-oriented,” she said.
According to Appel, the event was a late addition to Pride Week and the event organizers worked hard until the last minute to make it a success.
“This is probably the quickest planned event ever, [it only took] about a week and a half,” Appel said. “We really wanted the student input which is why we really waited to hear from the presidents. We didn’t know if we had the go ahead until a few weeks ago, so it was really just getting all hands on deck.”
Anlly Palacios, a freshman majoring in integrative neuroscience, said the prom was a success.
“I think they should do it every year . . . it’s a good vibe,” Palacios said.