April 27, 2018

The Exorbitant Cost of Senior Week

Taylor Godfrey ’19/TheCowl

by Lela Biggus ’18

Opinion Staff

The chaos of planning ahead for senior week has begun. Ticket sales are now underway and the unnecessary stress of coordinating a table with exactly nine friends is setting in. One may be looking at the overall cost of the impending festivities and feeling overwhelmed, ill, or downright angry.

Providence College seniors have a reason to be offended. This is the time of year when nostalgia kicks into overdrive and brings with it an urge to take advantage of every last moment of our last month at this school.

This means that, while no one really wants to spend $75 on a ticket, which goes towards entry into the week’s events as well as refreshments and meals, no one wants to miss out on the events of senior week. It feels like we have no other choice but to fork over the money, purchase our tickets, hotel rooms, tuxes, multiple dresses, shoes, and any other accessories the week may require.

However, this is also the time of year when seniors are looking toward the future, and the future is expensive. Many are applying for jobs or graduate school, some are looking for apartments, and most have crippling student loan debt.

Because life is expensive and the transition to post-graduation life can be especially unaffordable, it is wise to consider ways to save money even while the social pressures of senior week demand otherwise.

Let us begin with this problem of hotel rooms. If you are looking at those room prices and feeling duped, you are not alone. It would seem to be entirely unfair for an event to be located at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and for seniors to be given no affordable way back to campus that same night.

There are a few known alternative, like to sleep on the roof of the casino. It is roomy, romantic, and with temperatures rising by the day, there is only a 50 percent chance of snow. Your second option is to never get off the bus in the first place. Presumably, the bus company hired to take seniors to Foxwoods is going to be somewhat local to the Providence College campus. Hitching a ride back to Rhode Island before Formal Night even begins is a surefire way to save.

Another lament of senior students is the number of dresses required for the week’s various events. What you can and should do is dig deep into your closet and resurrect that old Senior Ring Weekend dress. It may not be the norm to wear the same dress to two events in one year, but it should be. There is no reason to buy another floor-length gown just to wear it once, spill beverages on it, and never wear it ever again.

Apart from the cost, this kind of behavior can lead to environmental crisis. 14 million tons of unwanted clothing are discarded each year in the United States. Do not add to this climate disaster! You may be thinking, “I’ll just donate my old dress to a second-hand store.” Wrong! In fact, roughly 84 percent of our discarded or donated clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators. So you are not only paying an outrageous amout, but adding to environmental waste as well.

However, even if there is no need for a hotel room and your dress stress is taken care of, there unfortunately does not appear to be a way around that initial $75 ticket cost.

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