SGA will now pay for Senior Week, students rejoice

The Student Government Association (SGA) will fully cover all costs associated with Senior Week for all participating seniors beginning this year. The decision came after concerns about the accessibility of Senior Week for students from low-income backgrounds were posted in the College’s Civil Discourse forum last spring.

Senior Week takes place between the end of the final exam period in the spring semester and graduation. In years past, all seniors were allowed to be on campus for Senior Week, but only those who paid a fee were able to participate in the events and programming that took place throughout the week. The cost of Senior Week was determined by the Senior Class Council within SGA and varied from year to year. Last year, seniors were asked to pay $175 (the price rose to $225 for students who did not pay before a March 23 deadline). That money was used to fund the events that were planned for the week.

According to SGA President Matthew Garza `20, the budget for Senior Week is typically between $50 and $60 thousand. When the weekend shuttle that runs between Walmart and campus was moved from SGA’s budget to the Department of Security’s, SGA decided to put its newly available funds toward Senior Week.

“We actually just have an extra $50 – $60 thousand in our budget that we’re just putting towards this,” Garza said in an interview with the Echo. “So we’re not taking away ‘x’ program and giving it to Senior Week or anything like that, we just had a sudden surplus and we were trying to evaluate which would be the best program to give this to.”

Because the costs of the weekend shuttle and Senior Week are similar, SGA is now able to make Senior Week free for all participating students without reducing the budget for the

week’s programs.

“It’s not going to be like, ‘Oh, Senior Week’s going to be much cheaper now,’” Garza explained. “This is the money we would have made from just asking all the seniors to pay. But instead of asking all the seniors to pay, it’s just going to be coming from SGA’s budget.”

According to Garza, SGA decided to put the extra money toward senior week in order to ensure that students leave Colby with a positive experience.

“It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of people who can’t afford [the cost of Senior Week], because it’s like: right before I’m supposed to leave Colby this is the experience I’m walking away with where people feel as if, ‘this place isn’t actually for me,’” he said.

Carter Garfield `19, who explained his difficulties getting assistance for the cost of Senior Week in a Civil Discourse post last spring, was excited to hear that students are no longer responsible for the cost of the week.

“Took ‘em long enough,” Garfield told the Echo.

Kirsten Johnston `20 and Matt Jones `20 were also happy to hear that SGA will pay for Senior Week.

“Thank God,” Johnston said. “It’s about damn time.”

“I feel very excited about that.” Jones said. “That’s huge.”

Leave a Reply