Spend smarter to save formal

Everyone knows that in L.A., it’s all about location. And with semiformal, it’s no different.
Some argue that holding semiformal in Taper Gymnasium would lower ticket prices and cut costs without sacrificing any of the good times that have come with moving it to the Sheraton Universal these past three years.

Not only is moving semiformal to Taper a legal and logistical nightmare, but with more responsible spending by students, moving the event to cut costs and lower ticket prices wouldn’t even be necessary.

Their argument is rooted in the belief that the success of recent semiformals has been the product of lockdowns, not location.

But, in my experience, it has been the atmosphere at the Sheraton that made the past three semiformals as successful as they were.

But even if it were true that lockdowns are responsible for recent improvements at semiformal, a lockdown logistically and legally wouldn’t be successful at a semiformal held at the Upper School.
Fire code restrictions for Taper aside, there would assuredly be no room for seating 900 people with room for a dance floor to accommodate them all. While it makes sense to lower ticket prices if people cannot afford them, it just so happens that most of those people who cannot afford tickets are already provided for: a semiformal ticket is included in Harvard-Westlake’s financial aid policy.

That being said, most everyone else buying a semiformal ticket has no excuse to complain about the pricing when students spend, in many cases, upwards of $400 on clothes, shoes, hair and makeup (see above). 

So really, what is an extra $33 when you are already spending enough to support an entire Kenyan family for a year through WorldVision.org? If costs are really an issue, try wearing an old dress or a previously worn pair of shoes.

The money saved by cutting these unnecessary expenses would easily account for more than the meager $33. A $33 that goes to Student Government to: a) pay for holding the event at the Sheraton, and b) fund student groups, including clubs and Ad-Hoc committees, if there is anything left over. 
It’s an investment that will pay dividends to students the night of semiformal, and long after, in a way that a pair of shoes, or French tips, simply cannot. 

So if money is really an issue in the first place, it’s only because of the exorbitant and, dare I say irresponsible, spending that many students engage in.

Offering non-meal tickets would help lower costs, but it won’t solve the problem. Through smarter spending, students can afford to have their semiformal at the Sheraton next year—and eat at it too.