Editorial: Reform needed for prom sponsor selection

Editorial board

Teachers at Akins are suckers.

Tell them to do something that eats up their free time without extra pay and they will likely do it — if it will help Akins students.

One of the prime examples of this is how the school finds senior class sponsors. It’s basically a game of “not it.” It’s understandable considering that it is a huge time suck and sponsors are uncompensated for their work.

For example, it took about ve weeks before volunteers stepped up to take on the role. There are now three volunteers who will be sharing the responsibility. All three are new to Akins.

Before official sponsors were named, a previous senior class sponsor did the work of reserving the Hyatt Regency in downtown Austin. And the traditional cookie dough fundraiser was arranged, but that’s the extent of the work that has been done so far this year.

The Eagle’s Eye editorial board appreciates the hard work of the teachers who have stepped up to take on this responsibility, but we believe that there could be some improvements to the process of selecting prom sponsors to reduce the burden on these self- fewer volunteers.

Let’s face it. Akins is not like Bowie, Austin or Anderson high schools where parents swoop in and do all the work. Instead, the work falls to teachers who want to ensure that students have a memorable prom at an affordable price.

According to previous senior class sponsor Katie Delmore, putting on prom is a huge endeavor that cannot be done for a cost under $30,000. e total cost of the venue rental alone is around $17,000 she said. When you add the additional cost of decorations, hiring a DJ, paying for refreshments and photographers, the expenses add up quickly. It’s tempting to think that students can volunteer to share more of the work burden, but that is not realistic. Much of the work can only be done by adults because it involves signing contracts and handling money. It’s also unlikely that students can do much to help with putting up decorations because the students most likely to care about prom are the seniors who will be busy getting ready earlier in the day.

So what can be done to make the job of organizing prom easier and more attractive to Akins teachers? We have a few suggestions to consider:

1. Provide senior class sponsors with a stipend to help reward teachers for the work that normally goes uncompensated.

2. Provide sponsors with substitutes a few times a year so they can take o from work when they have to count thousands of dollars and process order forms for fundraisers.

3. Start fundraising for each class as soon as their freshman year so they don’t have to raise as much money all in a single year.

The Eagle’s Eye believes that the senior sponsor should be compensated and be provided substitutes for the extra amount of work they put in for counting thousands of dollars and process order forms for fundraisers. These teachers put in the time for Akins students to have a memorable prom.