Fundraising for senior events should be more spread out and effective

March 31, 2020 — by Selena Liu
bowardwalk
Photo by calstate.aaa.com

The Santa Cruz Beach Bowardwalk, annual destination for the senior class's Beach Day, announced temprorary closure on March 17. In an official statement on its website, the Boardwalk outlined its decision to keep in mind "the best long-term interest of [the] employees and guests."

For seniors, events like Senior Beach Day, prom and Grad Night are a celebration of four years of hard work. But recently, prices for these events have grown absurdly high. Senior prom last year was nearly $150, and this year, all seniors were advised to pay $72 in donations to attend Senior Beach Day at the end of May. 

Leadership and senior class officers should find ways to lower the cost of these events because these high donation requests may deter many seniors from attending. Even though the coronavirus has put the possibility of these events at risk, senior class officers still have not canceled these events and are still collecting donations in the hopes that these events can be held. 

In the best-case scenario, even if the coronavirus situation becomes resolved by late May, attendance could be so low that the events get canceled anyway. In this case, the responsibility of refunding donations to all seniors would pose a huge difficulty.

One way to prevent this situation in future years would be to intersperse more senior events throughout the second semester, rather than simply compiling these events in the last week of school. A good time for these events would be in the weeks immediately after AP exams, where AP classes have little to no homework and seniors begin to experience true senioritis. Events like these could include trips to different local destinations, such as a class picnic day in Montalvo.

Raising substantial donations for less costly events throughout the second semester would even out the high prices of events like Senior Beach Day at the end of the year. Moreover, if Leadership could charge a consistent donation rate for multiple events throughout the second semester, accumulating excess revenue from each event, then they could have more of a profit cushion to lean on when bigger events like Senior Beach Day need money. This way, seniors could collectively have more days of fun events and not have to pay large amounts for just one or two events at the end of the semester.

Another way to fundraise for these events would be in a more traditional manner: selling boba on top of the quad steps. Senior class office has taken many unique approaches to fundraising this year, such as selling exclusive senior jerseys or McFlurries. Still, without popular boba fundraisers that attract most students from every grade level, class officers will not be able to raise enough money to lower the costs of events like Senior Beach Day.

Senior Beach Day has long been a reward for seniors after a long high school career, but $72 poses too high of a donation request. A lack of money may cause next year’s senior class to have to charge even higher prices, which would have even more disastrous effects for future years.

If the escalating coronavirus situation does cancel senior week, it may even be a blessing for future class offices in terms of funding other events like prom. However, regardless of how the coronavirus will affect future funding, effective fundraising and more frequent senior events are ideas to be considered in order to reduce attendance costs for any event coordinated by Leadership in the future.