Support unfashionable action

Harvard-Westlake is so supportive of student endeavors. It wants us to succeed to the best of our abilities. It wants us to make a difference in our community. It is so committed to supporting us, it is willing to subsidize a charity fashion show run by teenagers.

Maybe it’ll fund an imported car expo next year, too. But don’t worry. All of the proceeds (less the cost of setting up the show, providing electricity to the exhibits and cleaning up the trash) will go to charity. No brainer, right? Not so much.

Fashion for Action had a table at the clubs fair, as did tens of other clubs. But are those tens of other clubs reaping the same benefits as Fashion for Action?

Maybe none of the other clubs have asked. Maybe none of the other clubs would take advantage of those benefits. But, maybe, just maybe, some of the other clubs would like to.

We have nothing (NOTHING) against raising money for charity. Absolutely nothing. But when Harvard-Westlake subsidizes countless overtime hours worth of set-up, countless kilowatts worth of electricity, and countless hours worth of lost opportunity (such as the volleyball practices or physical education classes that would otherwise take place in Taper), a high level of scrutiny ought to be applied.

Why is Harvard-Westlake is willing to put on Fashion for Action, a student-run fashion show, at significant cost to the school yet will not shell out enough to enable other student-run charitable organizations to raise money via ID charges at bake sales in the quad? While the offices and processes involved in setting up for Fashion for Action and in processing ID card charges are undeniably different, it is odd.

Shouldn’t the school fully support all student efforts to be charitable? Fundamentally, the Genocide Awareness and Activism bake sale wants to accomplish the same thing that Fashion for Action wants to accomplish: supporting charity (or at least, their proceeds go to the same ends).

While it is inevitable that selling expensive donated duds will rake in more money than homemade cookies, a high school should not support fashionable charity by providing a gymnasium while it supports epicurious charity by providing a folding table.

By providing the venue, manpower, parking, security and electricity to a fashion show, Harvard-Westlake has unnecessarily lent a stamp of approval in an era when ritzy events have been frowned upon as excessive. This is a school, not a national NGO. Let’s not leap for flash when substance can be achieved elsewhere.

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