Junior “Lunction”

Junior+%22Lunction%22

On March 12th, the Friday before Spring Break, the Junior Class of 2022 spent their lunch period on Middle Field, sitting on tablecloths to protect their clothes from the rain soaked grass. However, the sun shone overhead to welcome the students to their Junior Lunction, a COVID safe event planned in place of the Junior Function. 

It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of every student, faculty, and family member in the Punahou community. This year, students and administration have had to reimagine memorable traditions that are usually enjoyed by every person who attends Punahou School. 

One of these traditions is the Junior Function, which is normally a dance held at Turtle Bay Resort. However, this year, the student government planned a COVID safe luncheon for the Junior Class and their advisors. In addition to a free bento, each student also received a beach towel and a memorable experience. 

Malia Dickhens ‘22, the secretary and treasurer of the Class of 2022 led the planning of the event with the help of the Student Council members. In regards to the planning process, she said, “in the early planning stages for Junior Function, we knew that a typical dinner and dance would be out of the question in terms of safety.” In the typical Punahou fashion, Dickhens did not give up. “We wanted to plan an event that would align with school and government restrictions to ensure safety in our community. One of our classes’ themes is food and stories, so we saw Junior Lunction as a safe and fitting way to incorporate our theme into our function,” she said. At the beginning of Freshman year, the Class of 2022 student government decided on themes that would be integrated into the class’s activities for the duration of the Academy. 

Kassidy Chun ‘22 is the president of the Class of 2022, and said that she hoped that students appreciated their time together as a class. “I think our grade got really close last year at Sophomore Luau, but ever since then, due to the circumstances, we haven’t been able to get our whole grade together. Before, we would have assemblies roughly once a week where our whole class would be together. It seems like such a small thing, but now getting everyone together is almost impossible. I hope our grade [saw] it as an opportunity to physically be together again,” she added. 

The creative planning by the Student Government and Deans led to an event that all of the Juniors enjoyed on Friday afternoon. Kawena Kekauoha ‘22 attended the Junior Lunction. She noted that, “the most memorable thing about Lunction was being able to be with my advisory as I haven’t seen them [in person] in a year, so I thought that was really nice. That and talking to my friends after we ate were my favorite parts.” Many students shared these sentiments as they were able to catch up with friends who had been attending school online. Indy Chun ‘22 commented that, “it was nice to be able to catch up with my friends who I haven’t seen in a while!”

Dickhens added that, “another benefit to Junior Lunction is that it [was] free to all students. So, while it may not be the glamorous function we have all been anticipating, it is something we can all enjoy together as a class without having to pay for an expensive ticket.” This meant that students who would have normally hesitated to go to Junior Function because of the high ticket prices were still able to spend time with their friends and join in on a class activity. 

Chun also added, “I think students [were] excited for Lunction because it’s a chance to do something as the Class of 2022. We’ve missed out on a lot this year, but the Lunction is such a great opportunity for our class and I’m really glad that we could make it happen.”