Published on Nov. 6, 2019
In the 2018-2019 school year, a senior who went to every dance, senior cruise, senior picnic, took two AP classes, SAT w/ essay, bought yearbook, senior poraits, and cap and gown spent...
Illustration | Samantha Wang
TOTAL COST: $834.50
This is not always feasible. As a result, some students are
Weighing the Costs
By Sara Giretto
Senior Christie Feng feels frustrated with the prices of school events here at AHS. She is being forced to make tough decisions between what to prioritize: fun school events, or her academic undertakings.
“I feel like I am missing out on potential memories,” Feng said.
Feng is an example of a problem that some students are struggling with: feeling like they are not getting the entire high school experience due to the high prices.
In recent years, school events have become something that some students are unable to afford to go to, due to expensive fees. This has created a new mentality that school activities are a waste of money and are of bad quality, overall hurting school spirit and engagement at AHS. This trend was shown recently, when senior picnic was almost cancelled, making ASB and leadership have to rally together to try to get more students to buy tickets.
The cost of student activities at AHS can be upwards of $300 when the bills for dances, yearbooks, (and for seniors) senior cruise, and senior picnic are added up. This is coupled with the costs of academic endeavors as well, such as AP tests, SATs, and graduation apparel, which can set students back over $200. Families can find it difficult to manage such high costs, and ultimately, some students are unable to partake in everything.
However, Finance Technician Angela Cirimele believes it is important to know why school events are priced the way they are. There are many factors that go into pricing events, and everything comes with a cost.
“There’s the venue, cops, DJ, decorations, food and insurance. That’s where the money goes for every event,” Cirimele said.
Director of Student Activities Jennifer Rodrigues further justifies the cost of school events, breaking down the expenses of school functions, such as prom and homecoming, that aren’t held at AHS.
“When things are off campus, prices are higher. This is because we have to pay for SRO’s (School Resource Officers), and the facility, things of that nature,” Rodrigues said.
\Nonetheless, the result of these prices is that students like Feng have to make hard choices about what events and experiences are worth the cost.
“I feel like with yearbook it’s different because for me it’s my last year and that’s better for memories, but with senior picnic it’s kind of just like whatever,” Feng said.
Thankfully, this is a problem with a variety of possible solutions. It boils down to a need for better communication between students and staff, as well as more engaged classes willing to dedicate their time to raise money to fund school events. ASB vice president Hailey Silveira was asked what misconceptions she thinks exist regarding school events.
“That they’re super expensive and that the dances are bad, but they’re only bad because students don’t participate. There’s not enough money to spend to make the dances ‘wow!’,” Silveira said.
The funding for school events is lacking, and so, ticket prices are higher than they have to be. However, Rodrigues claims a way to solve this problem would be class-wide fundraising.
“If the classes do more fundraisers as a group, then that would help alleviate some of the costs,” Rodrigues said.
Silveira emphasized the importance of resources and reaching out when you are struggling, and not letting your voice go unheard.
Cirimele remains optimistic, encouraging students to get more involved in their school events to help balance out the scale moving forward.
“You can’t just complain, you have to be involved. So go to your class meetings, if there’s a class meeting, go to the class meeting. Have ideas and think outside of the box,” Cirimele said. •
Illustration | Crystal Yeung