By Sarah A.
Gradnite is an annual event hosted the day of graduation for newly commenced seniors. It will be hosted at the high school, and it is meant to be a time for students to be together one last time before leaving for college.
Students will be required to blow into a breathalyzer at the door this year, which has never occurred in years prior. Gradnite committee co-president Laura Neprud said, “Whether or not someone gets sent home will be determined jointly by the police officer on duty (there has always been a police detail at Gradnite), the nurse on duty, and myself as co-president of Gradnite.”
Senior Bridget D. said, “I guess probably more kids will get sent home than should be since our town is too strict; the whole point of Gradnite is to keep people safe since they’re going to be drinking that night regardless, finishing high school is a huge milestone and people want to celebrate that.”
Gradnite organizers have high hopes for this year. Neprud said, “I expect that Gradnite will be a fantastic, fun-filled night for the graduated seniors. We are very much hoping for a great turnout! There have been many misconceptions and, for a lack of a better word, mis-truths floating around about Gradnite and we would like to help dispel any and all of those.”
Former co-president Lisa Divasta said, “I know this is a great event and anyone who attends will have a memorable night. [Past graduates] couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had.”
Class attendance is normally constant over each respective year. “The records we have are the numbers of tickets sold, which is typically to 80% of the graduating class,” said Neprud. However, there are no records that show the amount of students that get sent home each year.
The location of Gradnite this year will be another change. Laura Neprud said, “It’s not being held at the old middle school for obvious reasons but at the new co-located school.” Senior Chloe B. thinks that people are over reacting to the changes being made this year. “A lot of people are making a huge fuss over it. Everyone should just go, it will be fun no matter what,” said Chloe B.
Over the last five to 10 years, the budget for Gradnite has remained the same. Divasta said that the budget is between $25,000-$30,000 per year. The money will be put towards activities such as inflatable bumper cars, sumo wrestling, glow-in-the-dark ping pong, laser tag, an all-in-one inflatable sports arena, inflatable twister, a robo surfer, coffee house performances (with performers from the senior class), a possible concert by DHS senior Jon Bartley, and possible movie screenings in the Presentation Hall.
Seniors have their own expectations for Gradnite. Chloe B. said, “I’m hoping it will go well! I don’t really know what to expect because I haven’t heard that much about it, game and activity wise, but I think it will be a good time if people cooperate.” Senior Olivia A. said, “I really hope lots of people come because I think it would be fun to be together as a class one last time!”