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Struggling programs need to advocate own fundraising efforts

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Struggling programs need to advocate own fundraising efforts

(FILE PHOTO/ZACHARY CHEEK)

(FILE PHOTO/ZACHARY CHEEK)

(FILE PHOTO/ZACHARY CHEEK)

(FILE PHOTO/ZACHARY CHEEK)

ALLISON CLARK

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It seems like a lot of schools struggle to find a balance between channeling money to facilities, arts, and sports – which is where booster committees and fundraisers come in to help. I understand the struggle, considering a lot of schools in general don’t receive the funds they need – so funding a program or developing an athletic team falls mainly on those programs and teams’ initiatives. Of course, supplies and improvements like desks, computers and renovations deserve priority in school funds allocation because those are things that directly affect many students at school.
It’s sad to watch arts programs’ progression, and some sports halted by insufficient funding compared to other programs. Indeed our team plays well, and the games get a sizeable turnout from students and parents alike. But the disproportionate funding isn’t due to a popularity contest in the funding process, it’s largely the programs’ individual fundraising efforts that bring in more money.
I’m currently enrolled in photography, a class which needs computers, cameras, enlargers, film and photo paper. It has the chemicals and darkroom necessary to make film photography happen. However, there are only eleven enlargers for a class of almost thirty. This isn’t a tremendous crutch, as students use them at different times.
Yet, some necessities in the course aren’t fully satisfied either. Some of the enlargers have broken and need to be replaced, and the lights have gone bad on some others. Some of the film cans, that are needed to develop negatives, have cracks in them. There are limited stations for people to develop the negatives and their pictures, which sometimes results in crowding. We have run out of sleeves to put the negatives in, and film has to be rationed since we ran out a little too quickly. The computers in the class are some of the most outdated in the school, experiencing technical difficulties and a lack of keyboards.
According to a friend of mine who has taken some of the art classes at this school, the students have to bring their own canvases.
The class provides pencils and pastels, however they are reportedly messy and the paint runs out quickly. It’s disappointing to watch multiple arts deteriorate from lack of funding and participation while others’ fundraising buys them brand new equipment and school funds buy them facility renovations.
Another friend of mine told me that the girls soccer team had poor uniforms and equipment, which was one of the reasons that she didn’t want to continue playing while at Roseville High School.
Overall, with or without school funding, with the right attention and fundraising, arts programs and some athletic teams could improve their own circumstances.
Arts are a really worthwhile investment that gets students to get in touch with their own creativity, and they could even pursue a career in that field. But it’s hard to do so when the arts classes lack funds and it turns students away. There’s no such thing as a “starving artist” here – it’s “starving arts.” My friends have even started a petition to fix the problem, asking administration to channel more money towards the art programs and other extracurriculars.
There should be more fundraisers rather than just having to rely on unsolicited donations from the people who want to take the art class.
The donations have proven to not be enough, and this could be a really inconvenient source of fund for people who don’t have a lot of money.
In the end, this school could use a lot more outside help than it gets. Many students love this school for the people and sense of community in their classes and their teams, and we won’t get that feeling from art classes or sports if they no longer have the proper supplies and can’t continue in the future.

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