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Banquet officially begins senior season

By Katie Ly

Senior Banquet is the first senior event of every school year at Alameda High and on Nov. 5, seniors took off on the water for a night of eating, reminiscing, and dancing.

Seniors kicked off their last high school year on a four-decker boat, which was filled with positive energy on the dance floor and people in awe of the senior slideshow. The aroma of Italian food was another factor of the event.

The annual event is hosted by the entire leadership class, who were in charge of ordering the food, booking the boat, assembling the type of music for the D.J., and creating the senior slideshow–all for a night of entertainment and remembrance.

Senior banquet “goes through an event planner and so, I have to communicate with the main guy,” senior class president Jenny Tan said. “It’s not that hard to plan because all I have to do is talk to him and tell him what I want.”

However, it was not smooth sailing for the entire planning process. The first dilemma the leadership class encountered was the size of the boat, as they were unsure of how many people were going to attend the event. “We were supposed to go with the smaller boat, which fits like 350 people, but last year, it was really crowded,” Tan said.

“If we decided to switch to the big boat, it would be $7,000 more,” Tan  said. “We ended up taking [the big boat] and it was fine.”  

The bigger boat most definitely paid off, as there was a large student turnout of approximately 350-400 seniors.

Some students thought the deck was the most special part of the night since the boat set sails across the bay, underneath the San Francisco bridge. “One of my favorite parts [of Senior Banquet] was taking pictures with everyone, just on the deck,” senior Kyle Alves said, “because it is truly like a beautiful sight in the bay. That’s probably one of the unique things you can get at Senior Banquet.”

“You will never get a picture with your friends on a boat ever again,” Alves smiled.

Not only did some of the seniors find the boat to be a wonderful factor of the event, but also the food played a part.

“I enjoyed the food. Considering the fact I’m a vegetarian, I was scared of the food options. But, it ended up being fine,” senior Lauren Balino said.

Alves also agreed with Balino that the “food was good.” He also mentioned that “everything leading up to the event was good. But then when we got into the event and the dancing and the ambience of the entire event. It was just like, this was your family of seniors, and [senior banquet] exemplified the family aspect.”

As the first senior event of the school year, many seniors believe that the night turned out just right. However, there are some people who believed there were flaws in the senior slideshow.

“A lot of the people were complaining about the pictures at the senior slideshow and how it was pictures of the same people,” senior Kenny Mai said. “I do agree with it. It should be more inclusive. This is Senior Banquet. Not a Senior Banquet for 20 or so people.”

Although others also said they felt the slideshow featured fewer seniors than it should have, Balino acknowledged that  she “can’t say or criticize [the slideshow] because I, myself, didn’t submit any photos of me and my friends.”

However, many students still felt a feeling of reminiscence  when watching the slideshow. “I thought the slideshow made me feel really nostalgic. It’s really nice to see how everyone had grown up,” Mai said. “I almost lowkey teared up because there was so many nice memories that came up even though I’ve only been here for four years.”

Senior Banquet was a night to remember for many students. Although there were some flaws at the event, Balino says she has “no regrets from the night.”

“It was pretty fun. Everyone looked really nice. Everyone was so beautiful. I am very happy with the way everything turned out,” Balino said. “I feel like every senior should implement their mentality on Senior Banquet into their daily lives as seniors. How fun it was.”

“Just because senior banquet is over doesn’t mean the fun has to be over,” Balino said.

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The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.