Grad night committee strives for a greener celebration

December 3, 2010 — by Grishma Athavale

As second semester approaches, many seniors begin to anticipate graduation, and, often more importantly, the fun-filled Grad Night after-party.

Grad Night was created in 1984, as parents wanted a safe and sober way for their kids to celebrate their graduation. According to Grad Night co-chair Shinku Sharma, SHS was one of the first in the area to offer this fun-filled event, establishing a precedent for other high schools.

“It is a chance for seniors to spend one last night together on campus before parting,” Sharma said.

Like previous years, parents will transform the cafeteria, quad and gym into an arcade-like area with games, prizes and food. The actual setup of the games and other forms of entertainment, including decorations, are done in secrecy, so the seniors are surprised when they enter the quad.

This year, however, seniors will expect to see many of the same decorations from previous years as the Grad Night committee wants to make this and future grad nights greener by reusing old decorations and games.

“Senior year is already expensive enough for families, as college applications run from $40-$60 each,” said Sharma. “In order to cut the cost [of Grad Night] we decided to take away souvenirs, which traditionally included the senior year DVD, and re-use old structures.”

Some students, however, are not happy about not getting souvenirs, even though it means a drop in the price.

“Senior DVD’s are a nice memento to look back upon our high school years,” said senior Jackie Bae. “I wouldn’t mind paying a little more, if it meant receiving them.”

According to Sharma, the only major difference this year in Grad Night is the price, as it has been much higher in the past. This year, Grad Night’s starting cost was $155 up to Oct. 28, $185 up to Feb. 28, and $205 after, compared to last year’s staring price of $180. The increase in price is due to the deposits needed for various contacts to make Grad Night successful and also is an indicator on how much money the committee will have to use to prepare for it.

Grad Night co-chairs Patty Buchanan, Kat Mandell, Donna Paisley and Sharma have been planning the event from May of last year and working over summer to make the night spectacular; decoration planning will start in January. According to Sharma, the focus of this year’s Grad Night, which will take place on June 16-17, is “fun and friends with food and lots of activities.”

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