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Letter to The Editor: Mr. Puth Speaks Out About Grad Night

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All In Press
Dear High Life Editors and Jackrabbit Class of 2019,

Thank you for expressing your frustration regarding Grad Night (“Goodbye Disney, Hello Universal” published October 15), giving voice to you and your peers. Let me first state that Grad Night has traditionally been a parent-led event and the previous Grad Night Committee disbanded at the end of last year due to lack of parent volunteers. In my earlier loopmail to the class of 2019, I explained the financial issues involved:

“Two years ago, Disneyland offered Grad Night with a park hopper pass for $90. Last year, they raised the price to the current cost of $139 for the tickets alone. Our Senior Spirit Packs reflects the pricing that is student-friendly for ALL of our activities and has our Grad Night prices starting at $90. With 437 students buying

 senior spirit packs… the senior class would have to cover for $57,970 [more] to keep with our allotted 700 Disney Grad Night tickets.”

[700 Tickets x $139 = $97,300 /// 437 Spirit Packs x $90 = $39,330 /// $97,300 – $39,330 = $57,970]

Two areas I would like to clarify: First, students in last year’s class of 2018 did not overspend. Their Grad Night Parent Committee raised money over several years so that when the price for tickets went up last year, the committee decided to cover the missing funding for the class of 2018 to attend Grad Night at Disneyland.

The parents on that committee had students that graduated last year or earlier, so at the end of last year’s they quit the committee. At the beginning of this school year, there were no parents from the classes of 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022 left on the committee, so I realized Activities would have to do something to make it happen this year.

Disneyland revealed their offer to us with the pricing of $139 per ticket on September 17, 2018 and we had to make a commitment to cover that cost within that week.  Disneyland had the luxury to choose who and when they would offer Grad Night spots to, while we had to move forward with a plan that was best for all of our students right then. It would have been impossible to make up the $57,970 that we still needed to commit to Disneyland.

Secondly, the Senior Spirit Pack was sold based on the whole package for seniors to have an all around senior experience. Prom, extra graduation tickets, yearbook, a class ring, cap and gown, an ASB sticker, a senior shirt/sweatshirt from senior senate, and grad night. Senior year is already expensive, and making the Senior Spirit Pack more expensive would potentially mean some students wouldn’t be able to purchase it, missing out on opportunities every senior should get to have.

Third, there have been people who have asked for refunds thinking that they can go to Grad Night at Disneyland on their own. You can’t go to Grad Night at Disneyland without going with your school – they won’t let you in. You could go to Disneyland with your friends or by yourself, but it just isn’t the same: You don’t get to stay after hours when the park normally closes, there won’t be any special events for the class of 2019, and most importantly, you won’t be with all the classmates and friends that you’ve been with during your last four years at Poly.

Lastly, I thank everyone for doing what Poly is best known for, striving for an open and inclusive campus. While I understand it can be disappointing that we are not going to a more local place for Grad Night, I believe that the class of 2019 knows that it’s always better when we have more Jackrabbits celebrating together.

Respectfully,

Vincent Puth

Activities Director

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