August 13, 2020

Senior Week canceled after 7 percent of class signs up

In an e-mail message sent late Monday evening, Senior Class President Mollie Seiferas announced “with the deepest regret and sorrow” that this year’s Senior Week would be canceled due to lack of interest.

According to the e-mail, only 7 percent of the Class of 2007 – about 100 students – signed up to participate in the festivities originally scheduled for May 15 to 18.

“It would’ve been a floor-and-a-half of people,” Gabe Alonso, senior class treasurer, said in a telephone interview Monday night.

The Senior Class Council spent a year wrangling over ticket prices, programming and policies regarding alcohol consumption in Travers and Wolfe halls. In the end, though, few seniors showed interest in Senior Week.

“It’s quite simple,” Alonso said. “The Class of 2007 canceled Senior Week.”

In the past, Alonso added, 50 to 60 percent of senior classes – about 600 to 700 students – have attended Senior Week. “We were already anticipating it to be much lower,” he said.

Plans for Senior Week were only firmed up recently after the College decided it would ban alcohol from Travers and Wolfe halls where seniors live for the three-day send-off before commencement. Matt Golden, director of Communications and Media Relations, said in a Dec. 6 Signal story that the decision to ban alcohol in the towers was due in large part to vandalism in the building and abusive behavior on the part of participants.

Alonso believes this new policy is largely to blame for the seniors’ lack of interest in participating in the event.

“Our class is very stubborn,” he said. “Once they heard there would be no alcohol, they said ‘That’s it,’ and decided they wouldn’t go.”

Amanda Roggenberg, senior communication studies major, seemed to echo Alonso’s sentiments. Roggenberg, originally unwilling to spend the money on a ticket, signed up after being encouraged to do so by a friend. She signed up last weekend, after the council extended the registration deadline after noticing a “spike” in registrations as the original deadline approached.

“I think (people didn’t sign up) because of the no-drinking policy,” she said. “I think people were upset that they were of legal drinking age but weren’t allowed to drink. I’m not that upset about (the cancellation) because of the no-drinking policy.”

The cancellation also leaves questions overfunding for The Seal, the College’s yearbook. The Seal had struck a deal with the Senior Class Council wherein ticket prices for Senior Week would be reduced to $155 with the $60 cost for a yearbook appended. Seal officials hoped this would boost the yearbook’s revenue and help cover printing costs, which are not being funded by the Student Finance Board this year.

Seal officials were unclear how Senior Week’s cancellation would affect the yearbook’s publication. “Hopefully, it won’t be a problem,” Audrey Levine, the Seal’s editor-in-chief, said in a telephone interview Monday night. She said the yearbook would rely on a more traditional publicity campaign to cover its printing costs. “We’ll just have to do other stuff to make up for it.”

Meanwhile, Roggenberg seemed to sum up the sentiments of the entire senior class after a year of complaint and compromise to get the event off the ground: “I’ve basically stopped caring.”

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