Senior Trip Controversy

Written by Sophia Muce and James Saturno |
Photos by Sophia Muce and James Saturno |

There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the location of the senior trip. On November 14th, 2017, Senior Class President Wyatt Reu sent out an email to the entire class to gauge interest in various trip options. The choices were Six Flags, Brownstone, and an overnight Trampoline Park. In a later class meeting, the officers announced that the class trip would be held at Brownstone. Senior Aedan Mahoney took the issue to social media to voice his grievances about the decision, which sparked a divide within the class.

This entire conflict seems to have stemmed from one key misunderstanding. According to Aedan, our class officers had a “private meeting” with senior class advisor and library media specialist Shannon Robinson where it was decided, without the consent of the class, that we’d spend our senior trip at Brownstone. Though this narrative has some basis in fact, it’s peppered with misguided assumptions and misleading rhetoric.

The key falsehood in Aedan’s narrative is the notion that the class officers held some sort of exclusive meeting. According to Class Vice President Andie Carse, the meetings in question are “never secret and anyone from the senior class is welcome to attend.” The class officers did hold a meeting to make an independent decision on where the senior class would be heading come June 1st.

Class President Wyatt Reu explained to us that Mrs. Robinson, Principal Hagness and the class officers “looked at the polls, looked at the different costs, about how many people wanted which option and how much each option cost, and the feasibility of [the trip]” while making their decision. Eventually it was decided, as Andie stated in her interview, that “Brownstone was the best choice because it was the cheapest, the most accessible (due to resources that the school provides us with), and just at the time the best decision because there were a lot of people who did really want to go there.”

As far as the controversial second poll is concerned, the class officers definitely felt pressured by the student body to have some sort of referendum. When asked, Wyatt remarked that “in order to clear [the controversy] up, we released a referendum so the class could vote directly on which class trip would be chosen.” In addition, Andie told us that the class officers were “getting a lot of negative feedback for no apparent reason and [they] wanted to prove to the senior class that [they were] not acting selfishly.”

A few students in Mr. Bergman’s English Class were eager to answer our questions. When asked if she felt the referendum was necessary, Senior Jordan McMillan said, “I feel like the second poll was unnecessary and caused more drama than the first one”. She also admitted that she is unhappy with the results of the final poll because “everyone has been to Six Flags”.

Senior Matt Newfield gave his opinion as well. He also felt that the referendum was “unnecessary” and that “it turned into a political thing”. He supports the original decision to go to Brownstone because “we’re going to Six Flags already for physics.” Matt is referring to the trip that the senior physics classes will be going on later in the school year.

It seemed that only Brownstone-supporters were speaking on the issues, so students were prompted to speak in favor of Six Flags. None were willing to do so.

In order to see how the entire class felt about the referendum, an opinion poll was sent out. 50 students responded. Again, the class was very split. 60% of respondents felt that the second poll was unnecessary, while the other 40% supported it. 42% of the class is content with the final results, while the other 58% is not.

In addition, Mrs, Robinson and Mrs. Hagness both offered the Class of 2018 advice on how to make the decision. Mrs. Robinson told us, “you’re never going to make everyone happy.” She even spoke about a possible third option that she thinks the class should consider. It is an indoor sportsplex that includes activities such as bowling, ice skating, and laser tag. Mrs. Hagness advised the class to, “stop with the craziness. It’s not a big deal. Pick a location and go have fun.” They both agree that the location needs to be accessible and cost-efficient.

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