Paly to collaborate with Gunn for Homecoming

With autumn comes pumpkin patches, spiced latte cravings, frigid sub-70 degree weather and Palo Alto High School’s Homecoming dance, which will be held in collaboration with Henry M. Gunn High School on Oct. 22 at the Gunn gym.

The plans for the dance were announced in a surprise press release from the Paly Associated Student Body (ASB) on Sept. 23 that detailed the reasons for a combined Homecoming with Gunn.

“We decide to do a joint Homecoming [sic.] due to the fact that there were either no available venues [or] those that were available could not hold 850-plus people,” wrote Joao De Pina, Paly senior and co-Social Commissioner. “Gunn High School kindly opened up their doors and we took it [sic.]”

This arrangement will benefit both schools as it will give them more flexibility with their budgets and planning.

“The biggest benefits of collaborating with Paly are that we get more money to spend, more people to spend it on and more ideas on how to spend it,” said Crystal Guo, Gunn High School Publicity Commissioner.

The $30,000 budget originally allotted for the venue and transportation will now be used for decorations and music for the dance as well as additional prizes for the Homecoming Asking Competition.

Oct. 20 marks the deadline for submissions to the competition, which will award prizes such as Beats headphones and Chipotle gift cards to the top three Homecoming asking videos. Entries can be posted on Facebook or emailed to isabelblack@gmail.com.

“I think the prizes this year are incomparably better than previous years’ prizes and definitely more people are propelled to come up with a good asking,” junior Brian Hwang said. “Chipotle and Beats are big deals for a lot of people. I hope ASB keeps up with these prizes so participation rate increases throughout the school.”

ASB also hopes to promote greater attendance from students of all interests with the addition of supplemental activities such as ping pong, pool, photo booths and a balloon artist.

“With two gyms at Gunn, one gym will be set for dancing and the other gym will be set for games, food, lounging and other non-dance activities,” De Pina said. “We’re doing this so that Homecoming is an experience all students can enjoy.”

By combining the Homecomings, ASB also hopes to encourage people from both schools to mingle and increase unity between the two schools.

“The dancing will be so sick because you’ll be dancing with tons of people and you can get to know so many more people,” said Isabel Black, senior co-Social Commissioner. “Plus, ladies can get to know some cute new boys and boys can get to know some new cute girls!”

Gunn Student Executive Council (SEC) also looks to strengthen relations between Paly and Gunn, and looks forward to experiencing the payoff of weeks of planning.

“[Gunn wants] to work with Paly to throw one of the best Homecoming dances ever,” said Ankit Ranjan, Gunn School Board Representative. “We think it’s a great opportunity to build community.”

Although the theme for the dance has not yet been determined, ASB is open to student input and will reveal it on a later date. Additionally, the winner of Spirit Week will also be announced at Homecoming.

Students from both schools have high hopes for the combined dance, and are excited for the opportunity to meet new people and reunite with old friends.

“I think [Homecoming is] going to be a lot of fun,” senior Timothy Liu said. “The dance we had last year with Gunn at the Mitchell Park Library was a big success, and I really enjoyed catching up with some Gunn friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I’m definitely looking forward to the joint Homecoming this year, and I think it should be a fun experience.”