Staff Ed: The cost of activities is more than equipment

BSM is known for its school pride. As you walk down the hallway, red and white sweatshirts flood your vision. The same team spirit can be seen in our activities. From matching t-shirts to matching Nikes, the team is always united.

However, what appears to be “necessary” apparel increases the cost of BSM. You have probably heard the stereotype that students who attend private schools are wealthy. Since we are getting such an expensive education, we can obviously buy whatever we want, right?

This stereotype could not be further from the truth. Although some BSM families are wealthy, a lot of us don’t fit into this mold. With the already high cost of coming to BSM, why should we, as students, be blindsided by the hidden costs of sports and activities?

BSM administrators pride themselves on having over 90% of our student body participating in sports or clubs. This involvement, however, adds more money to the cost of our education (over $13,000). If you join an activity, there are the obvious costs you have to pay: your uniform, your banquet entrance, and maintaining your equipment. These costs don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the actual cost of joining these activities.

Additional costs aren’t necessarily added on purpose. The leaders and captains of activities are responsible for keeping team members united throughout the season by producing team apparel and practicing team traditions. While trying to unify the group, however, captains increase the price for all students involved. Obviously, we’re going to have to spend money to get the mandatory equipment and apparel, but there are so many alternative ways to bond as a team that don’t involve money.

To cut the unnecessary costs of these activities, the leaders need to find different ways to create a united team. The Speech Team, for example, has found a way to create team unity while also reducing the price of the activity. To participate in speech, you need to purchase a suit to wear during the tournaments. These suits are very expensive, but Ms. Brew has found a system to reduce the cost. Whenever someone graduates and does not need their suit or if someone outgrows their suit, they have the opportunity to donate it back to the students who can’t afford one. This not only reduces the price of the activity, but also creates a united team, as everyone will look the same.

Because not every student who attends BSM can afford more than the essentials, we need to reset our standards on a cost that we can control: the extra price of school activities. If we can find other ways to bond with our teammates that do not revolve around spending money, we will be able to lower the cost of our high school experience.