After what has been a particularly tense year of heated debate at Oak Park and River Forest High School over the institution’s venerable graduation tradition of white dresses and dark suits, OPRF seniors took their frustrations to the polls. 

In a graduation-attire survey, in which 442 out of 805 seniors, or 55 percent of the graduating class, participated, students chose one of three options: caps and gowns, white formal dresses/skirts or suits and dark formal dresses/skirts or suits, and traditional white or dark attire. 

The cap and gown option earned 184 votes, nearly 42 percent of those polled. The second option polled second-highest, with around 30 percent of the vote. The traditional option was least popular, with only 28 percent of the vote.

“Students are clearly expressing a desire for change,” noted OPRF Principal Nate Rouse in a statement. “However, while we had hoped to use the survey input to make a final decision this week, the administration is concerned that none of the options garnered at least 50 percent of the votes.”

Rouse announced that a runoff vote between the top two options be held between March 21 and March 23, with the final decision to be announced on March 24.

— Michael Romain

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