ND seniors revel in last week on campus
Courtney Becker | Friday, May 13, 2016
During the days leading up to graduation, Senior Week offered members of the class of 2016 one more chance to celebrate and come together through several different events.
Senior Week committee head Sarah Price said her experience working Senior Week as a junior last year equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary to plan this year’s agenda.
“I know that a lot of different people were talking to the senior class officers and I was, I think, one of the few people who had gone through it last year, so it gave me a lot of good insight into what I wanted to improve, change upon or even keep the same,” she said.
While Senior Class Council (SCC) was included throughout the planning process, SCC vice president Shannon Montague said she gives full credit to Price and her committee for organizing a fun week of events.
“Sarah has done an absolutely incredible job with Senior Week — we couldn’t have asked for a better person,” Montague said. “We pretty much trusted her with everything, and she always kept us in the loop.”
Online ticket sales were a new change to the week this year, Senior Week committee member senior Ted Cogan said, and allowed more students the opportunity to secure tickets to popular events. In past years, seniors had to purchase tickets in person, but this year all ticket sales were coordinated through Student Shop ND, an online platform for student group sales and donations.
Another new addition to Senior Week was Domerfest 2.0, a recreation of the class of 2016’s freshman year Domerfest, Price said.
“Basically, we are doing exactly what you think it is. It is Domerfest all over again in Stepan Center, just like we had it when I was a freshman,” Price said in an interview before Senior Week started. “That’s one thing that I’m really actually proud of, and I think it’s going to be a ton of fun. It’s really ridiculous now, what we have going on for it, but there’s going to be just basically unlimited ice cream, donuts and coffee, Chick-fil-A, pizza, six-foot beach balls and glow sticks, so it’s just going to be crazy — it’s going to be a fun night.”
Price said Domerfest 2.0 garnered a surprisingly strong response from the senior class, with about 1,300 people attendees. Additionally, the service project was a popular event, Cogan said, and came as a pleasant surprise to the committee.
“We sold out of the service event really quickly,” he said. “It’s kind of cool that people made it their mission to say they want to do service on this week that’s really supposed to be about us. … We’ve been urging people to find other ways to do that because, even though the Senior Week committee can’t provide it, anyone can reach out to all those different organizations.”
Price said each senior class has its own vision of Senior Week, which this year’s committee has taken into account while preparing for the week.
“We put a lot of time and a lot of hard work into all of [the events], so I’m just looking forward to seeing all the seniors show up to all of them and just enjoy,” she said in an interview before the events. “It’s supposed to be a fun week — each event we’ve taken a lot of time and care with, so we’re really making sure that the day of, everyone is getting what they want.”
The senior class’s engagement in Senior Week is indicative of the spirit of the class of 2016, Cogan said.
“I think we’ve been very pleased at how well our class has engaged in it,” he said. “On certain events we were worried about numbers. … But I think we’re kind of one of those classes that just says, ‘Everyone’s going to Finni’s on Monday night to see standup,’ or ‘Everyone’s going to Corby’s for this one thing,’ and I think that very much shows in our Senior Week attendance.”
Price said one of the highlights of Senior Week will be the annual Commencement Ball on Wednesday night.
“I think I’m probably most excited for the Commencement Ball, to experience that with my own friends as a senior,” Price said. “Last year, I was there as a junior and I had a blast working it, so I’m excited to actually attend it in my own right.”
Cogan said in an interview before the week that he thinks the class Grotto trip, the final event of Senior Week, will be a fitting end to the week.
“[I’m excited for] the Grotto, actually,” he said. “It’s the last event of the whole thing, and I think … after all this hectic craziness of Senior Week and the fun exhausting stuff, that’ll be really nice for everyone to come together and just kind of be with each other for one last sentimental, reverent time.”
Aside from the events she and the committee planned, Price said Senior Week serves as an opportunity for members of the class of 2016 to connect one last time without any distractions.
“I think it’s a culmination of our four years, and at this point I think a lot of us are just really excited to have that last week on campus without any class, without any tests or papers due and just really be able to enjoy everyone around you and catch up with people that you may not have seen even for a couple of years,” she said. “I think there’s definitely going to be a lot of tears shed, but happy tears.”
Montague said she appreciates members of the senior class having a chance to celebrate with each other one last time before graduating.
“Yes, I’m going to miss everyone, but the fact that we get to celebrate this entire week with the campus all to ourselves is such an incredible opportunity,” Montague said. “I wouldn’t want to spend my last days on campus with anyone else.”