Extra Special Prom: The Event We So Badly Needed

by TAYLOR BRETHAUER, Senior Writer

This past Friday, I had the absolute honor of attending the Extra Special Prom. Think of this op-ed as sort of a review for the event– I will also let you know right off the bat that I would give it five out of five stars.

The Manhattan College (and this country in general, really) has seen some hard times: strenuous political discourse, trying to stay above the water in a very difficult and combative time in society and what feels like sometimes a lack of interest from the younger generation.

This was absolutely not the case at Extra Special Prom.

For those unfortunately unable to attend, let me tell what you missed out on: an event where every kind of MC student, whether it was a student-athlete, a super-involved person or just a friendly face you see around campus coming together to support and celebrate special needs and autistic individuals. There was so much happiness, laughter and good times spread around by everyone, it was a night spent embracing so much inclusivity and letting go of any worries.

I thought I had a highlight of the night but I think back to many throughout the prom, including when my buddy finally started getting into the groove and jumping up and down to Katy Perry’s “Firework” or when his mom and a few other moms told us that they were able to go out and enjoy a dinner together for the first time in a while or when a giant conga line started that everyone joined. I don’t think I stopped smiling once.

This was an event that reminded me how important it is to give back to the community in varying ways. Volunteering doesn’t always have to be getting your hands dirty– it can also be doing the macarena with some of the happiest people smiling and laughing along and enjoying some excellent music.

It just goes to show that if you have any sort of idea you want to see become a reality on campus, there will always be a community of Jaspers willing to help you out and make it triumph.

Extra Special Prom was an event I wish had started many years earlier, seeing as I’m in my senior year now. But I hope for nothing but absolute success in years to come. Thank you so much to Kelly and Mary Kret for your dedication and showing true Jasper spirit.