When the year began in August most seniors were already focused on their but few were thinking about the G8 Summit occurring in Chicago at the same time.
Shortly after the first of the year the event bringing not only President Barack Obama but the heads of state of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom to Chicago started to change student plans.
As Student Activity Director Brian Verisario learned about potential safety concerns because of possible protests and other activity in the city surrounding the G8, he took a closer look and Prom is now April 21.
“After Jan. 1 I started hearing about protesting in Chicago,” Verisario said. “Security personnel at the Sheraton no longer felt it was safe for Deerfield High School students to come downtown. That was all I needed to hear.”
Verisario and the students learned there would be snipers on the roofs of downtown buildings to protect the President and other world leaders in the event of possible threats. “When we learned about snipers on roof tops we had to change the weekend,” he said.
Moving a major event with a few months notice was no easy task and students have some strong feelings as well. They wanted Prom to be a conclusion to four years at Deerfield High School and did not want it to interfere with advanced placement (AP) exams and sports events.
“There will be a lot of stress,” senior Sami Blumenthal said. “Usually it is later. We have to come back to school and take AP exams. Usually seniors feel relief when Prom is here.”
Verisario did his best to keep the May 19 date but finding a venue outside downtown Chicago was no easy task with weddings and other events already planned well in advance. “We looked at Milwaukee and the suburbs,” he said.”You can’t expect a bride to change her date.”
Some students shared the school’s safety concerns and others had little fear. Raquel Boton would rather head into the city May 19. “Personally, no, I would not be afraid to go downtown,” Boton said. “I was disappointed because Prom is a celebration of the end of senior year like graduation.”
For Megan Buranosky, a member of the Warrior softball squad, and Deerfield badminton player Erica Joseph, their team obligations are colliding with Prom. “We have a tournament (at Hinsdale South) and we’re trying to figure it out,” Joseph said. “We still don’t know.”
The softball team has home games that day against Glenbrook South and Grayslake North. “Hopefully we’ll be able to make it work so it is not much of a problem,” Buranosky said. Both athletes want enough time to compete and be ready for Prom.
All the students interviewed by Patch expressed concerns about studying for the AP tests scheduled after prom. The school offers 20 advanced placement courses with 737 students taking them, according to Township High School District 113 communications director Natalie Kaplan.
Kaplan said a student taking four AP courses would be counted four times. There are 394 students in the senior class.
The weather in late April could be colder than May 19 which is also a concern for girls who have purchased a dress. “It will probably be colder,” Boton said of the new date. “The dress selection will be less.”