Deans allot $27K for Class Day

In a move to ease the financial burden on this year’s Senior Class Council, the Yale College Dean’s Office notified SCC officials Sunday afternoon that it has agreed to pick up all of the Council’s estimated $27,000 in expenses for Senior Class Day, which is scheduled for May 25, SCC members told the News on Monday.

The Dean’s Office had already agreed to foot roughly $250,000 of the Class Day bill, and the additional money will fund minor expenses including goodie bags, ushers and program-printing costs, SCC officials said. As it has in years past, the Dean’s Office had asked the SCC this year to outlay an expected $25,000 of its $140,000 budget for the year — raised from voluntary senior-class dues of $108 per person — for Class Day festivities, but it ultimately heeded the requests of SCC officers for more money.

“I think in years past, [the SCC] didn’t realize that this was a possibility,” Class Day chair Tiffany Pham ’08 said of the SCC’s request. “We work really well with the administration, and in response they were sympathetic to our desire to bring these funds back to [the SCC].”

After submitting the proposal in late February, Senior Class Treasurer Sabrina Howell ’08 received an e-mail from Yale College Dean Peter Salovey on Sunday afternoon confirming that the YCDO had decided to cover the costs of the SCC’s outlined Class Day expenses, “so long as they do not exceed the budget that [SCC] provided [YCDO].”

Salovey and Assistant Dean of Yale College Edgar Letriz could not be reached for comment Monday night.

“We’re really impressed that they were willing to work with us so late in the year,” Howell said. “They’ve been so great discussing this issue, and the fact that they were able to reallocate the money is really helpful.”

Traditionally, the SCC paid a substantial portion of Class Day expenses, Howell said, because originally the event featured lighter fare — “horsing around,” as Howell described it — compared to the University’s sober Commencement exercises.

But Howell said the event today — which features the only guest speaker who appears during graduation — bears little resemblance to Class Day in its early years and therefore deserves complete University support.

“We believe that in light of this evolution and the fact that not all seniors pay senior dues, it is no longer appropriate to use the senior class’ budget to pay for Class Day expenses,” reads the SCC’s letter requesting YCDO funding for this year’s Class Day, co-authored by Howell and Senior Class Secretary Haven Reininger ’08.

The report used the 2007 SCC’s itemized expenses for Class Day as a rough estimate for this year’s budget. Included in the 2007 expense list was $1,743 for handkerchiefs for each student, $1,800 to pay student ushers and $1,710 for the Class Day lunch. All told, the goodie bags alone cost some $12,830 of the 2007 SCC’s budget — roughly $10 for each member of the senior class.

The SCC’s money will instead go to enhancing this year’s Senior Week activities, like the “Last Chance Dance,” and to finance future class reunions and projects, Howell and Pham said.

After increasing the outlay for events over the next two months, the dance and other events included in Senior Week, SCC officials said they plan to allocate the remainder of the budget to the Class of 2008’s Association of Yale Alumni account, from which the class can later draw to finance alumni newsletters, reunions and events. At present, the account holds $25,000 in seed money given by the SCC earlier this year.

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