What’s Going On With WPA?

Sage Slessor, Staff Reporter

For almost a full year, every school event has been canceled or postponed. However,
sports and school activities are returning, so it is possible we may see some of the fun school occasions we are so acclimated to start to as well. Unfortunately, there was no homecoming, but this month there will be a WPA.

This year the student senate has worked hard to put together a memorable event despite
the conditions. To make this happen they have put lots of protocols in place to ensure safety in a pandemic.

Under the year’s very different circumstances there are many unfamiliar but necessary
rules to be followed. There will be a hard cap of 150 kids per session, that are going to be
allowed in the gym. Students will be assigned 2’ x 2’ boxes which they will be expected to
remain in throughout the event. These boxes will be space 6 feet apart from each other, a safe COVID distance. Because of the need for a smaller capacity, there will be 2 different dance times offered. One session, 8:30-9:30, the second one, 10:00-11. The 30-minute window in between provides a good amount of time for cleaning and sanitizing before the next wave of students arrives. Masks will be required to be worn at all times, unless you are drinking and eating food.

Any and all snacks or beverages will be pre packaged and there will be a designated area for eating and drinking. For planning purposes, tickets will not be sold after the 15th to ensure enough time to figure out the number of boxes, coat check bags, and to make sure the capacity is at an appropriate level. Although the event is not finalized and things are still up in the air, for right now these are the plans to ensure everyone's safety, and enable WPA to occur in a COVID
world.

It put into question whether or not this could’ve been a virtual event, or whether it really
was asked for by Washington students, are we risking health and safety for money purposes? A large gathering of people in somewhat of a party setting does not, on surface level, seem like a good idea, but these precautions do make it possible. And as we see sporting events start to occur more often, in ways that are preventing more spread, it is clear there are courses of action that can be taken to salvage some high school experiences that we have been losing for almost a full calendar year. As long as rule enforcement is competent and students respect each other’s needs for safety, there can be a good outcome to this event! Money will be raised, and we will have a WPA.

Plans are up in the air at the moment. But if WPA does occur, the necessary protocols
have been installed to prevent the spread of the pandemic. It’s questionable if students will
desire to attend the event, because of the personal responsibility and pressure to stop the spread,
or because the necessary precautions cause barriers to social interaction. However, as it stands,
the student senate and the Junior class officers have planned a nice event that hopefully will meet
its goal in raising money and keeping students safe.