Luther Students Enchanted at Spring Fling – Luther College Chips
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Luther’s freshmen and sophomores missed prom and other milestone events that typically accompany the end of his high school career. With this in mind, the members of the Student Activities Council (SAC) have set a goal this year to organize a formal dance that could be seen as a kind of replacement for these missed events. That dream came true with the “Enchanted Forest” Spring Fling Dance, held on Friday, April 29 at Regents Center Main Gym.
“We’ve seen different colleges set up formalities and stuff for sororities and fraternities, [but] we don’t really have that here at Luther,” said SAC Entertainment co-chairman Hayden Cronin (’23). “So we [thought] we should definitely bring a dance, because freshmen and sophomores have really missed the chance for a prom due to COVID.
Many students who were unable to attend prom, or whose prom was significantly altered by the pandemic, missed an event often considered the epitome of the high school experience. Although other significant circumstances may far outweigh the significance of the prom, it can still be considered a loss that many students were not able to experience this type of formative event while they were in high school. As such, SAC members felt it was important to organize a “replacement ball” to make up for this lost experience.
“[My friends and I] had a prom-like experience, because [some of us] didn’t have a prom in high school,” said Sonnet Mungyeh (25). “It was a really nice way to fulfill that dream, in a way. It was a really good complement.”
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 instead of her failed high school prom experience.
“My family and I had a ‘pandemic prom in 2020 the night my prom was supposed to be, but it wasn’t the prom I always imagined,'” Wolle said. “The Spring Fling was so meaningful to me because he gave me the opportunity to do all the fun stuff at prom, but with some of my closest friends.”
In an attempt to go all out for this dance, Cronin (’23) and Audrey Fashimpaur (’22), along with Director of Student Activities Jenna Mockler-Gjerde (’06), put in a lot of time and effort planning, decorating and selling tickets. They used a wide variety of resources at their disposal, even opting to outsource some of the decorating and hire local businesses to provide desserts and other student amenities.
“We definitely went all out for the decorations,” Cronin said. “CAL was kind enough to let us borrow some of their birch trees, and we got a lot from Amazon. We actually worked with an event company in Cedar Rapids, and they hung lights from the ceiling for us. We also had snacks, bought balls of cake from Beyond the Bar Bakery, punch, a DJ, [and a] dancefloor.”
In addition to the many attractions mentioned by Cronin, there was a chocolate fountain, several arches adorned with garlands and foliage, and several decorated wall spaces where attendees could take photos. The students spent the night dancing, talking and doing photo ops with friends. There was also a surprise, when elder Spencer Cox (’22) took a knee for Laura Bailey (’22) in front of the crowd, sparking a lot of excitement when she gave him a ‘yes’ resounding.
In the long term, it is the goal of the co-presidents of SAC Entertainment to host this type of dance again. Although not always a “replacement ball”, the overwhelmingly positive response from students may spur it to become an annual tradition.
“This [was] a very popular event, and we hope it’s so popular that it becomes an annual thing,” Cronin said. “I think a lot of people were excited, so hopefully [the] a good turnout is worth it for us to bring it back again and again.