Two Boiling Points of View: For Poland-Israel fundraising, juniors should wait their turn

Ashley Mashian, BP Staff

Rebecca Asch, Opinion Editor

Imagine a year when the senior class stays at home to watch television instead of going on the annual class trip to Poland and Israel. Because of fundraising by juniors, this could actually happen.

The trip—which takes students through the concentration camps in Poland and then flies them to more cheerful Israel—is an annual venture for the Shalhevet senior class. However, it requires superhuman—and most of the time, not superhuman enough– fundraising efforts in order to make it affordable for everyone who wants to go.

To avoid this fate, this year’s junior class decided to get a head start on fundraising to avoid the stress of having to raise a large amount of money in a short amount of time. However, by starting so early, they are unintentionally hindering the fundraising efforts of the seniors.

There are certain fundraising activities seniors do every year—namely the Chinese auction, selling donuts and occasionally a car wash. Each fundraising event raises a certain amount of money and if enough is raised to give scholarships to students who cannot afford the $4,395 cost, everyone in the senior class can go.

In order to go at all, the senior class must meet certain goals or criteria. At least 28 seniors have to commit to going even if they don’t receive a scholarship. So far, only 26 have committed.

Right now, the senior class (my class) doesn’t need any competition from the juniors. If seniors are selling donuts for a dollar, they shouldn’t have to worry that a junior down the hall is selling donuts for 75 cents. The seniors need to get as much fundraising in as possible as soon as possible in order to go on the trip.

As it is, it is very unlikely that everyone will be able to afford the trip. For every year that the trip has taken place—except for the class of ‘08, which was remarkably tiny–some seniors didn’t go on the trip because fundraising didn’t cover them.  Adding competition between the two grades makes this even more likely.

Moreover, such competition could also cause unnecessary discord between the juniors and seniors during the rest of this year. Seniors are bound to resent the juniors if they get more customers, and the juniors will get angry with the seniors for stopping their fundraising efforts. In such a small community, any sort of unfriendly feelings between grades can have big and negative impacts.

Instead, the junior class should start organizing and planning how they are going to raise their money next year. A successful fundraiser requires intense planning, not necessarily a lot of time.

If they are to learn a lesson from the mistakes of the seniors—which is what they’re trying to do by starting so early—they should consider making a concrete plan right now for how they are going to raise enough money to cover their class, and start gathering whatever materials they will need to do so.

Juniors can also use their ample time to think of creative new fundraising ideas. Maybe they could sell bouquets at this year’s graduation. Maybe they could organize a school supplies sale at the beginning of next year. They could also look at applying for grants — something that takes time and that I wish my class had done.

After all, there is only so much money you can make by selling junk-food to teenagers.

I am 100 percent behind the juniors being responsible. If we had only started so unbelievably early when we were juniors, we seniors probably wouldn’t be so stressed about the trip right now. I only suggest that the time be used to plan and organize, rather than to compete outright and cause unneeded problems.

If everything works out for the senior class, all of our hard work in fundraisers will pay off and I’ll see my whole class on a plane to Poland come May.  And a year later, the juniors will too.

Editor’s note: Replying to comments displayed below, this version of the article changes the expression “Polish concentration camps” to “concentration camps in Poland.”