Shortage of prom tickets leaves handful of Fort Dorchester Seniors excluded

VIDEO: Shortage of prom tickets leaves handful of Fort Dorchester Seniors excluded
Updated: Apr. 27, 2017 at 5:08 PM EDT
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School release giving explanation to ticket shortage (Source: Fort Dorchester High School)
School release giving explanation to ticket shortage (Source: Fort Dorchester High School)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A handful of seniors at Fort Dorchester High School will miss out on a major event this weekend because tickets sold out.

Monday school administrators notified students they had sold out of tickets to the prom at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Charleston.

Camille Crummey, a Senior, was looking forward to her final prom, but now is unable to go.

"They already have dresses suits, and everything all planned out, but they won't be able to go," Crummey said.

"My heart breaks for them that they weren't able to purchase a ticket this year," said Principal Bert Postell. "I spoke with several students in the hallway who were asking me why, can't you do anything? I wish I could because I know it's their Senior year, it's a culminating event."

At this time Postell estimates 30-60 students weren't able to purchase tickets to the prom.

Tickets went on sale February 10 for $35. The hope was for more students to buy tickets ahead of time since the price continued to increase over the next few months; March 1-April 6 were $45 each, April 17-26 were to be sold at $65 each.

Crummey said when tickets first went on sale, she had more important things on her mind.

"I was really just focusing on college and everything," she said. "Prom really just snuck up on me."

Postell said over the last few years the demand for prom tickets was never more than 450.

"I was surprised, because initially we weren't sure if we were going to sell enough tickets to cover the cost of the venue," Postell said. "We went to a more elegant, more expensive, larger venue this year."

On Monday the 500th ticket was sold for prom. As a way to try and accommodate more guests, Postell said the prom committee contacted the venue and were able to release 75 more tickets to be sold Wednesday; the dance was then capped at 575 students.

"Three days before prom actually takes place, it's just impossible to move to a larger room, larger venue, to add more food, more security, more chaperons," Postell said.

"I'm just kind of over all the drama," Crummey said. "I was upset, but I realize I can't really do anything about it."

While Crummey may miss out on this major event in her Senior year, she still has graduation to look forward to.

However, she does have some advice for the prom committee to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

"I would try to see, or do a survey [at the end of the year] of who plans to go to prom," she said. "So when the time comes up next year, they'll know what venue to pick, and tell people to get their ticket early, because you never know what can happen."

"That's a great idea," Postell said. "One of the things we thought about doing, even before the tickets sold out, was to get more student involved in the prom committee… If students want to make a policy and rule that only juniors and seniors can go, I'd love the prom committee propose that."

Postell added of the tickets sold, a majority were purchased by/for seniors.

Less than 5% of the tickets sold were purchased for underclassmen who are dates of juniors and seniors.

Only upperclassmen who are in good academic and behavioral standing were allowed to purchase tickets for themselves or their dates.

"There's no blame to go around," Postell said. "The committee who planned it did the best they could. They tried to put on the most elegant and safe prom they could."

Posted on the high school's website included more information about the prom.

Part of the release reads:

"Again, we do regret that students were not able to purchase tickets Wednesday of this week due to selling out the allotted amount and the extra allotment. It is our wish that seniors who did not get to purchase a ticket would have done so in the 45 school days prior to the sale of the final ticket on the 46th day of ticket sales. We are delighted though, that so many more students wish to attend prom this year and look forward to a safe and beautiful Fort Dorchester High School 2017 Prom."

According to the school, the venue was book a year in advance, contracts were signed for the venue, food, and security for 500 guests.

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