“Better than ever”: ETHS preserves Homecoming during COVID-10

With an in-person school year underway, one of the many events that has recently returned is the Homecoming dance. The pep rally and football game took place on Friday, Sept. 24, and the dance took place on the night of Saturday, Sept. 25. This year’s theme was “A Formal Affair.”

Multiple COVID-19 precautionary measures were put into place to ensure that the dance was a safe environment for any students who decided to attend. The dance featured an outdoor venue, physical distancing and contact tracing measures.

“This year, the dance will be outdoors. It will be hosted in the senior courtyard under tents, so that’s a big change,” Nichole Boyd, Director of Student Activities and a main Homecoming organizer, said prior to the dance. 

Even though there were many big changes for Homecoming, it was better than ever. 

“The biggest change is that it will be outdoors. … We get to really go out and have a great time with decor. But it’s not going to look like the courtyard that students eat lunch in, so I’m excited about that,” Boyd explained. 

In past years, the Homecoming dance has been held in Beardsley Gym, so moving the dance outside was a significant change.

Hannah McKay, a student council event planner who helped to advertise the dance, discussed changes that took place this year due to COVID-19. 

“All of the school COVID safety guidelines will still take place at the dance; anybody who has symptoms or has been in contact with someone with COVID won’t be able to attend,” McKay said. “People have to maintain a distance of at least three feet from each other at all times.”

Although precautionary measures were put into place at Homecoming, many students did not follow the expectations. Senior Caroline Castellino spoke about her experience going to the dance. 

“Everybody in the DJ tent was very tightly packed together with no masks, and it seemed as though staff weren’t enforcing social distancing. Honestly, I think it would be very difficult for people to actually maintain a three-feet distance at all times given that the senior courtyard is only so big,” Castellino said.

Every major change made to the Homecoming dance this year was put in place as a response to the pandemic. ETHS has been trying its best to keep the school community as safe as possible while still being able to host events like Homecoming. 

“Generally, I thought it was fun,” Castellino said. “I think a lot more people came this year, because the dance was formal. … ETHS should consider keeping a formal element to Homecoming in future years because many students were excited about the theme; there were probably more people there than ever.”