For most, Senior Week is an occasion to celebrate, filled with family, friends, and activities. In the months and weeks leading up to commencement, the Senior Week Committee plans a variety of events designed to celebrate the end of four years at BC.
While these events are open to all seniors, several of them entail a price tag that is beyond the means of some.
The Senior Week website currently lists the prices for a number of, but not all, the events, which students must pay for out of pocket. The 100 Days Dance, which occured on Feb. 23, was priced at $40, the Dance Through the Decades Event is $50 not including fees, the golf tournament held at Newton Commonwealth $46.50, and the Commencement Ball is $107.50.
“It is hard to imagine some people paying for these events when students are struggling to buy books,” said Lauren Kaufman, CSOM ’18. “People assume that BC students all come from a relatively homogenous financial background, but this isn’t the case as BC accepts people regardless of their financial situation.”
“I think that the cost of senior week is definitely a hindrance for students. Students that don’t have the ability to pay for senior week events are automatically denied even the possibility of experiencing these events with their senior class,” said Heidi Danckers MCAS ’18.
“I think making senior week events more fiscally possible for students should be a major priority because we’ve all given both our tuition and our time to BC for the past four years and all seniors deserve to have the chance to close out their BC experience celebrating with their class,” she added.
The committee does offer several free events, including Battleship water games in the Plex, a Mods Relay, a BCPD Barbeque, and a Class of 2018 Senior Toast.
“Senior week is not a University funded program, meaning the committee receives no funding from BC to put on the events,” said Julia Martelli, one of the chairs of the senior week committee and CSOM ’18. “The committee works extremely hard to put on a variety of events, and the money brought in from any ticketed event goes directly back to paying for the cost of the event with no profit on our end.”
The Montserrat Coalition raffles off tickets for some of the senior week events, similar to what they do for other on campus activities, such as Plexapalooza.
The Senior Week Committee, the planning body for the week, is composed of approximately 15 to 20 students from the junior and senior classes.
Other universities employ a similar model to BC, offering both free events and ones that require students to buy tickets. At Villanova University, for example, students pay $20 for the option of attending a Phillies game, $25 for the Senior Picnic, and $75 for the Senior Ball—for comparison, Fordham University’s Senior Ball costs $145 per ticket. Villanova also notes on its website that it does not profit from the week, but is forced to charge for the events due to financial constraints.
Harvard University also requires students to purchase tickets to some of their senior week events. Their events, including a Moonlight Cruise, Senior Soirée, and a Last Chance Dance, cost $35 each, not including processing fees per ticket. Harvard University and Boston University also used the Royale for similarly-themed events, but tickets were priced at $35 for Harvard and $20 for BU, versus $50 for the Dance Through the Decades.
Harvard also provides aid to students through the Student Events Fund (SEF), designed to allow students to participate in campus activities that may pose a financial burden to them.
“The (SEF) was created by students for students and demonstrates a commitment to removing financial barriers that might prevent a student’s participation in campus activities,” according to Harvard’s website. “The program is made possible by scholarship dollars and is in addition to the College’s very generous financial aid program.”
Students at BC wish that there were ways to get involved in the events without paying the current prices, such as Kaufman, who suggested the idea of raffling them off.
“The fact that we come from different backgrounds both socially and financially makes this campus unique, so it’s hard to see how this portion of the BC community’s needs are being overlooked at one of the most memorable portions of their undergraduate experience,” Kaufman said.
Featured Image Courtesy of bc.edu