Prices for 3 day senior sendoff, formal draws criticism from Class of 2015

Scott Murphy, News Editor

The Class Council for the Class of 2015 – in conjunction with the College’s administration – has proposed an abridged senior week dubbed Senior Sendoff: Farewell Fifteen, which is slated to take place May 14-17 and will cost seniors $175 to participate.

Payment may be made in two sums, with the $100 being due by Friday March 20 and $75 being payable from April 13-17.

The Sendoff will be canceled if at least 200 seniors do not deliver the initial $100 deposit by the first due date. As the Crier went to print, there was no available verdict on whether or not this quota was reached.

Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Horton explained that though senior weeks have occurred at the College in the past, the extended gap between finals and commencement led a shift to a number of senior activities over the course of several months.

These activities include a casino night, snow tubing trip, formal and boat cruise, which were planned by the Class Council.

“A lot of time and energy goes into planning these events, and the Class Council and I have been working hard since last April to put everything together,” Class of 2015 President Colleen Tracy shared. “Boat Cruise is going to be aboard the Odyssey, which is the largest boat in Boston Harbor. It will be a great night of dinner and dancing while cruising Boston Harbor. Per recent tradition Senior Formal will be held in Davison Hall. It will be a great end to our college careers as we spend our final Saturday night all together in one of the most beloved places on campus.”

“Reinstating a senior week has been on the table,” Horton added regarding the impetus behind the Sendoff. “The College’s staff has had good experiences with senior weeks in the past, so we are hoping that the Sendoff comes together to create a positive experience to conclude seniors’ time here.”

The Sendoff’s slated itinerary includes hypnotist Paul Ramsey and a reflection bonfire on Thursday May 14, alumni games, a lobster bake & luau with a live band and an upscale wine tasting on Friday May 15 and a senior slideshow, address from a faculty member chosen by the Class of 2015 and a pizza event on Saturday May 17.

Baccalaureate Mass will take place on Saturday as well, with the Sendoff concluding with Commencement on Sunday May 18.

During all of these events, seniors will be allowed to stay in their apartments from the 2014-2015 academic year.

Tracy described the Sendoff as an “Extremely exciting addition to our end of the year activities. It has been years since Saint Anselm College has had some form of a Senior Week and the Class of 2015 is hoping to bring it back for many years to come. Our final four days on Campus will be filled with performers, competitions, great food, sentimental ‘lasts’ and, most importantly, time spent together.”

Reception of the Sendoff – as well as the aforementioned senior events – has been mixed among the Class of 2015, as some seniors expressed concern over their ability to afford the $175 cost of the Sendoff, $120 cost of senior formal and $100 cost of the boat cruise on top of other end of year expenses, such as spring break and their cap & gown.

“The biggest debate is the senior formal because there is so much work put into it and some could call it sentimental and worth spending the money while others refuse because they are simply going to Davison,” an anonymous senior shared. “It would be better for prices to be lowered so that more students are able to attend. I, personally, believe sentimentality is important and sometimes there is a price in creating these moments, but maybe the school can meet us in the middle somehow to benefit everyone.”

Another anonymous senior commented not only on the prices of these events, but on their quality as well.

This senior shared that “I think that the price for senior Sendoff is ridiculous, just stay in the on campus apartments for three more days with a few BBQ’s thrown in. Another college’s senior sendoff is a WEEK of activities including a boat cruise, a trip to an amusement park and transportation to a nearby casino for $250. I think this is another stunt by the school to make money off us for a final time. I think I will take my money elsewhere.”

Senior Paul Spencer stated simply that “I can’t afford these events. I wish SGA had saved more money up over four years for distribution to better alleviate the cost.”

Horton explained that the three day schedule of the Sendoff and its cost were what the College and Class Council felt struck the best balance between affordability and providing high-end events, adding that the College has already subsidized the cost and the Class Council has subsidized it further, reducing the price from its original $200 down to $175.

“Unfortunately, all of these events cost quite a bit of money,” Tracy elaborated. “Seeing as how for all four of our Senior Package events (Casino Night, Snow Tubing, Boat Cruise, and Senior Formal) we were/are planning for at least 300 people it should be expected that the costs for outside vendors, transportation, food, etc. all adds up. Additionally, for Senior Formal we are planning for 500 plus guests. Like I stated above nothing is cheap, and if we want to have nice events we have to pay for them.”

Tracy added that “It is for this reason that we put together the Senior Package – a ticket for all 4 events at a discounted rate – that was for purchase at the very beginning of the academic year. If students were to purchase a Senior Package and a ticket for Senior Sendoff: Farewell Fifteen they could have paid for every event for just $450. Although that is a still a large sum of money, that is truly a great deal. I can only hope that everyone will be able to see past the cost of events and look towards having fun and making memories at our remaining events.”