By Max Niles '18
A year ago, the St. Albans community was in an uproar; tradition had been broken. Thanks to a cross-administration agreement between STA and NCS, it was revealed that all NCS upper school students would be allowed to attend STA homecoming, with or without a date. The news was also revealed first to NCS and not to St. Albans at the same time. Due to the lack of an announcement, the St. Albans community had some polarized reactions. All three STA publications posted articles about the new homecoming rule and its possible effects on the dance. Exchanged’s article on Facebook received thirty-five reactions, about half of them being an "angry" react. People really felt that the culture of the dance would devolve into a glorified mixer where people wore fancy clothes and didn’t ask dates. Students were also angry because they felt that there was no equivalent rule from NCS. What they didn’t know, however, was that Winfo was actually open for all STA students. Once STA students found this out, they still argued that no one would go to Winfo without a date. All of these were valid concerns until the dance itself came up. Thanks to strong efforts from the upperclassmen, the majority of people—including the fearful freshmen— still asked in the traditional manner. Consequently, the dance was still regarded as something more than just a mixer because the dance basically stayed the same.
A year later, Homecoming still exists. People still ask dates from across the close using dumb signs. They still take their dates to fancy dinners and introduce them at the greeting line. Despite the new rule, the past two Homecomings have remained essentially the same as they’ve always been. In these past two dances, however, girls from NCS who have not been invited have had the chance to go. They got to enjoy the dance even if, for some reason, they didn’t get asked. Also, thanks to the overwhelming majority of people who stuck to the tried and true rituals, the culture of the dance has remained the same. For those reasons, I, an initial objector to the new rule, am now a supporter; a year later, it has made the dance a more accepting place for all without changing the culture.