Class pride isn’t translating into money this year for RBHS Student Council (StuCo). A lack of class t-shirt sales has left StuCo low on funds, club sponsor Kelley Wittenborn said.
StuCo has made the class shirts since the beginning of the 2016 school year. An idea brought to RBHS by leading StuCo officers, Wittenborn said the shirts were a huge success last year as they raised about $3,000; however, for the 2017-2018 school year, the fundraising has yet to turn any profit.
Wittenborn sees their current financial situation as a result of a failed investment.
“This year, it was decided to order a full order for the new freshmen,” Wittenborn said. “The shirt sales were fairly dismal; even the freshmen class didn’t buy very many.”
The overspending may offer insight into future decisions. Senior Jonathan LaHue, StuCo treasurer at the time, sees the shortage of sales as a learning experience.
“We definitely overestimated the sales of class t-shirts,” LaHue said. “This has been hard on our budget, but it’s a mistake we have all learned from.”
Both Wittenborn and LaHue are unsure as to why sales were low this year. Wittenborn guesses sophomores, juniors and seniors may not be purchasing shirts because they already own one from last year, and LaHue wonders if StuCo did not advertise enough.
“Buying the shirts upfront is quite the investment, and, while last year we made a large profit, this year we haven’t broke even yet,” Wittenborn said. “While we still had enough of a budget to pull off homecoming, it limited a lot of the more ‘fun’ items we wanted to do, such as a free photo booth at the dance and homecoming themed t-shirts.”
Despite the setback, RBHS can expect to see StuCo grow from its mistakes.
“I love where StuCo is going this year,” StuCo member junior Madison Hopper said. “We just finished up homecoming and had our most successful turnout with over 1,100 people. StuCo has had a successful year so far, and we are looking forward to Powder Puff and the annual blood drive coming up in November.”
Hopper refers to RBHS partnering with Red Cross to donate blood to cancer patients and those who need it most. With a full schedule for the rest of the year, StuCo is progressing forward.
“Our main focus in StuCo is to promote school run activities that everyone will enjoy,” LaHue said. “Without much funding, it can be difficult to purchase the ideal decorations and publicity that we need. Not much of work gets noticed, but behind the scenes, StuCo takes on the hard task to make sure our school events are not only the best Columbia, but involve as many students as possible.”