A 2017 startup event has returned, allowing seniors to have a week to themselves before the commencement ceremony in May. Because this time for soon-to-be graduates can be a stressful one, with job hunting and upper-level class work, this is a fun way to end a four-year journey.
The week includes events like the presentation of the senior class gift — which, this year, is a portrait of AJ the Bronc to be placed in an undecided location — a pub celebration, a barbeque at President Gregory Dell’Omo’s house, Senior Ball, after-parties and a Senior Week excursion to an unannounced destination. The week ends with the commencement ceremony, during which seniors will receive their diploma.
Entrepreneurial studies major Raven Moreno is excited for the week, as she is from Texas and it will be one of her last chances to spend time with her college friends.
“After college, many of us will part ways, so it is a great opportunity to have a fun week with all of the people you’ve met throughout your college years,” she said.
The price for the entire week is $125, which includes all of the events and the cost of living on campus those days. Some argued that the price was too much and that they couldn’t afford to attend while being on a student budget.
Rider offered students another option; if they don’t want to attend all of the events or do not have the money to do so, they can just purchase a Senior Ball ticket. The $50 fee for this includes food and five drinks. Students may also buy an additional $50 ticket for a date.
I commend Rider for giving students this option because it gives them the opportunity to spend one night wrapping senior year with their classmates without being obligated to pay for the whole week.
While the price and the options Rider selected are reasonable, I think something that would have generated greater student participation would be having more exciting events. The “senior excursion,” which lacks detail on the events schedule, should have been clarified to attract more attention.
Some have expressed that the events, such as the farewell brunch and final lecture, were not enticing enough to pay the extra money and stay on campus. An off-campus trip to Six Flags, a concert or festival of some kind could have swayed seniors to stay. However, the number of students participating in Senior Week is slightly higher than last year.
According to Assistant Director of Campus Life Nick Barbati, 300 people bought tickets for Senior Ball this year, while 272 students attended in 2017. Senior Week numbers were lower, but still growing, with 162 students signing up this year compared to 149 last year.
Through a Rider News Facebook poll, 27 percent of 94 voters said they were interested in attending Senior Week, while 73 percent said they will not be attending.
“I’m not going because what they’re offering isn’t worth it,” digital media major Caroline Sasser said. “The only thing I was remotely interested in was Senior Ball, but I didn’t have the money to pay for it.”
Money seems to be a recurring issue for students who chose not to participate in Senior Week. This could be because seniors already had to pay the $85 graduation fee in order to finish school. While the full-week price seems reasonable at $125 alone, students would ultimately have to come up with $210 total to graduate and participate in Senior Week. It is a demanding amount to spend as they part with the university.
Rider is still establishing a solid Senior Week that entices the majority of students to stay on campus and enjoy one last hoorah with their classmates, but hopefully within years to come, the university will see what students want and plan accordingly.
The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the opinion editor, Hayley Fahey.
Printed in the 4/11/18 issue.