*This story was originally published in the first quarter issue of the Eagle Eye*
During the week of Sept. 4, Spirit Week lasted two days, due to the unexpected arrival of Hurricane Irma.
Throughout this hectic week, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students prepared for the hurricane, leaving the Homecoming dance that was scheduled for Sept. 9 a thought of the past. The event was later rescheduled to Nov. 4, altering students’ original plans and conflicting with other scheduled events.
Drama, DECA and band students who bought tickets for the original homecoming date are now unable to attend the rescheduled dance due to conflicting events. The drama program has its play, “Fiddler on the Roof,” the same evening as the rescheduled homecoming date, and the marching band is competing at the annual Park Vista competition.
DECA officers also have a leadership convention in Chicago, Illinois called Emerging Leaders Summit (ELS), which is a conference for chapter leaders to work together and develop leadership skills.
“[Homecoming is] supposed to be fun; it’s once a year,” sophomore Briana Eyzaguirre said. “It’s just sad that they didn’t know ahead of time that we had a [Marching Band] competition that day.”
Some of the affected students assumed that administration would realize the mistake and consequently change the Homecoming date a second time.
“They could have rescheduled it to any other day that would not affect not only the drama students, but also the band, DECA and newspaper [students] because we all have events that day,” senior Kali Clougherty said. “Instead of putting the event on a long weekend, they chose a weekend where everyone is busy with something. It’s a lose-lose situation.”
According to Student Government Association Adviser, Danielle Driscoll, the Nov. 4 date change was based on the Harbor Beach Marriott’s availability.
“It was a must, simply because there was a change of dates. There were clubs and organizations that had prior commitments, so it was just something that we could not control on our end and they could not control on their end, Driscoll said. “We are trying to be as agreeable as possible, but there is a very specific protocol that must be followed.”
Students with schedule conflicts were originally told that they were not receiving refunds.
“I’m really mad because I work two jobs and pay for things myself,” Clougherty said. “It’s really annoying because $80 is like two full days of working for me, and now that money is gone. I can’t even describe how upset I am.”
Some parents started getting involved as well, questioning the lack of compensation on the SGA Instagram page.
According to SGA, Homecoming is usually a non-refundable event because the school makes a commitment to the hotel based on how many tickets are sold, and those numbers cannot be altered.
“We were always going to give refunds,” SGA President Sabrina Fernandez said. “It’s a lot of logistics getting everything ironed out. Exchanging of tickets does not work as well as people think it does. Some people payed $65, while others payed $80, so students are trying to sell their tickets and are overcharging and making profits off of it, which makes us lose money.”
According to SGA, they have already begun giving refunds. Students need to see Driscoll in room 210 to receive a refund.
“Essentially what happens is they need to come to me,” Driscoll said. “We try to ask them to find somebody that wants to buy their ticket because there are so many students that are still looking to buy tickets, but it is not necessarily a requirement. They will get a refund back in the same format in which they purchased the tickets.”
All students can still participate in Spirit Week; however, the plans for the themed days have yet to be finalized. Information regarding Spirit Week theme days will be posted in the cafeteria.