Illustration by Carolina Garcia

Overpriced banquets overwhelm seniors

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It is the end of the school year and things are beginning to wrap up. Seniors are making a bucket list and checking their final grades one more time before they erase Powerschool out of their minds. Everyone is beginning to say goodbye and preparing for their end of the year club banquets.

There are countless of banquets happening among clubs this time of year and though they conjure fond memories to reminisce about in the future, they also take a toll on the wallets of those participating. The price of the dinner alone can range from $20-30 depending on what the club decides to eat. Then, if the clubs plan to consider gift exchanges, the budget to attend a banquet for one person can go all the way to $50.

This brings us to a question: why does everyone feel the need to spend so much to attend a banquet? Seniors want to cherish their last banquet but after paying for orientation, housing, and AP score reports, where in their budget can they afford to spend more? Especially for low income families, the high expectations for how much to spend on banquets can be overbearing.

Sometimes, prices for banquets are so high that a few seniors choose to not participate. It is extremely tragic when someone cannot participate in their own senior banquet because of the fact that they cannot pay for overpriced food and lavish gifts for the underclassmen. The price of banquets is indirectly creating a barrier between lower class and middle class students at San Gabriel High School.

Underclassmen saying goodbye to seniors and seniors saying goodbye to underclassmen should still keep their sentimental values; however, the high expense expectations should be eliminated. There are many alternative presents to exchange that are affordable. Cork boards, homemade cookies, and even letters can make the perfect sentimental gifts. At the end of the day, it is not about how much anyone spends on the gift–it is about the thought that they put into it.

The laughs and tears on the days of banquets should be saved in seniors’ minds as a cherished event, not of a time where they were stressing over how they were going to get the money to pay for everything. Lower priced banquets should gain more support so that all members of a club can afford to participate in them. Club leaders and cabinet members should prioritize financial needs of club members before they decide what to eat and what the price limit should be for gifts.

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