What do door-to-door canvassing campaigns, YouTube videos, and balloon-studded ballrooms have in common? No, not the Democratic or Republican primaries. The correct answer is HL Central’s Tacky Prom 2008. This ageless event was born anew as tacky costumes, King and Queen campaigns and Saturday evening Pound Hall romance plots all reached new heights in the latest installment of the Winter Classic.
The décor took on a distinct Valentine’s Day theme, as the prom fell just days before the official holiday. From a giant, hand-crafted balloon arch outside the entrance to pink and red streamers coming down from the balcony, 1L Prom Chairs Britanie Hall ’10 and Jessica Nachman ’10 chose to embrace and accentuate the romantic allure of the Ropes-Gray room. Hall summed up this exquisite effect afterwards in a statement: “By the light of neon hearts, with snow falling outside and the windows fogging up, I have never seen polyester, sequins, bowties and lace look so good!” HL Central board members Michael Glick ’10 and Rachel Marx ’09 also helped plan the event.
After months of careful and secretive planning, students sought to break every rule of fashion they ever learned and then some. The 3L class for the most part chose to go out in (relative) style with antiquated but coordinated outfits. Returning to popularity this year was the “Grab Bag” or “Mix-and-Match” approach familiar to most readers who attended middle school. Stripes and spots, T-shirts and blazers (Entourage aside), and moustaches and almost anything are all prominent examples of this trend.
New to the Prom this year was the increased publicity before the event. Some students created YouTube videos of their escapades around campus to get everyone fired up for the event. Others plastered the campus with posters urging their classmates to vote for them for Prom King or Queen. The event brought out a fun-loving side of HLS students in this modern day equivalent of the medieval Feast of Fools.
All six finalists for King and Queen did an impressive job in the competition. On the men’s side, Michael Glick ’08, Steven Sorkin ’09 and Julian Thompson ’10 received the nominations during the week-long balloting before Prom. Second-year student Kayt Tiskus ’09 and first-year section-mates Jessica Nachman and Katie Miller ’10 received the most nominations on the women’s side. After highly competitive balloting, Section VII’s own Julian Thompson and Jessica Nachman were named King and Queen, prompting Nachman to proclaim “Section VII 2010 once again demonstrated its dominance!”
With Tacky Prom 2009 just fifty-one weeks away, HLS students should mark their calendars for the Charity Bash, which will be held in mid-March. Each year, the event raises thousands of dollars for charity and is attended by hundreds of students from all of Harvard’s graduate schools. Until then, simply open up Facebook and revel in the photo albums from what was a night to remember.