Laker gala gives students another chance

Students dance with one another at the Sheldon Ballroom on the SUNY Oswego campus. Photo by: Kaley Richmond.

OSWEGO N.Y. – SUNY Oswego students got the opportunity this week to dance the night away at “A Laker Gala: A Post-Pandemic Prom,” put on by the Oswego African Student Organization and Student Association.

Students gathered Thursday evening in the Sheldon Ballroom to experience or relive their high school years, a time that was cut short for many due to the COVID pandemic. The event also served as a way for students to reflect on how far they have come since then. 

Favoured-Joy Oghenekome, the event coordinator for the gala, said she has been working to put this event into reality for the past two semesters, after her original prom experience was not what she imagined.

“I did have a little bit of a prom but it wasn’t the ‘under the stars’ experience that I had imagined,” said Oghenekome. “It was a little different because of COVID but I know that a lot of other people didn’t even get that opportunity at all.”

The gala’s intent was to give back to the students who might have missed out on prom, but was open to all students who wanted to attend.

Chyna Wah, a student event worker who was able to attend her high school prom, said she was happy this event could give back to others who missed out.

“I think it’s really nice that they’re coming together and throwing one for them and they get to live out and have some remembrance of their high school years,” said Wah.

The gala provided students with food and refreshments by Auxiliary Services, music, and a photo booth from the company, Photo Booth with Us. 

Co-owner of Photo Booth with Us Stephen Perpertain said he was happy to help out with the gala, as the company has come for multiple campus events before.

“So we come to Oswego State a lot, we love working with the students and because of that we bring two photo booths with us at any of the gigs that we’re able to,” said Perpertain. “It’s exciting for us to get that phone call that we could help them for the ones that missed it because of COVID.”

The gala ended after 10 p.m., but was well received from students, according to the event committee, and allowed many upperclassmen to get one more chance to attend a special night such as prom.