R/W Week 2017: What are the costs?


Simona Sofronova (10) is working on a poster for steering committee on September 8, 2017. Photo by Mia Breitenstein.

Annie Zhang

As the 125th anniversary of the annual Red/White Week closes in, the cost of the week is one matter both faculty and students are preparing for.

Tyler Morris, a math teacher at Manual who plans and executes events for Red/White Week with Laura Spiegelhalter and the Executive Council officers, said that most of the cost comes from ordering roughly 15,000 balloons. To get a significant discount, they order them wholesale.

Other costs include paint and paper for all of the posters, and the actual amount of money spent varies depending on the year.

Executive Council pays these expenses using money from school dance admissions.

“Since the dances have grown in popularity, we have been able to plan more for the week, especially the carnival on Wednesday,” Morris said.

The students, however, pay their own price.

Some students, such as Netra Rastogi (12, MST) are concerned about incurring high expenses for their spirit week outfits.

“I’ve definitely been concerned about the costs of outfits, mainly because I want my outfit to look good and I want to feel good,” Rastogi said.

Students will often put in several hours of preparation into carefully planning and designing what they want to wear. Adding a unique style can be difficult for students who do not want to spend a large amount of money.

“It’s often hard to make a realistic mermaid costume, for example, with five dollars versus 20 dollars,” Rastogi explained.

Because of these concerns, it is not uncommon for students to decide to forego the expenses of Red/White Week and use clothes and accessories they already own.

Aliza Brown (12, HSU) said that she is “not concerned” about spending money on costumes.

“I’m just going to make do with what I have,” Brown said. “I’ve always worn a handmade costume or a Halloween costume that I already had.”

Rastogi also usually spends very little money on costumes.

“For any costume-requiring event, I usually make my own costumes, and I’ll buy simple materials. I never buy a full costume because that’s just way too expensive. But for the whole week, I hopefully will spend less than 30 dollars,” Rastogi said.

Brown says that she chooses to not buy anything because she does not believe that Red/White Week is something that should be expensive.

“It’s more about the creativity rather than how much money you spend,” Brown said.