Fundraisers more prevalent on school campus


Andrea Schlitt

Co-authored by Elizabeth Han

Students gather at the rally court to purchase pearl milk tea after school. Class of 2018 held a fundraiser to help pay for Junior Prom. Photos by Andrea Schlitt.

The clock strikes the three o’clock mark. Students rush out to the Academic Court, only to be greeted by the Cupertino confection — black milk tea with honey boba or a red velvet vanilla ice cream sandwich. A select few students stand behind the table full of these delights, shoving the influx of dollar bills into the black money box. Some stroll past the crowd, but many of their classmates thrust their money forward for a taste of their favorites.

Pearl milk tea comes in boxes for easier distribution. Many student organizations choose to sell Tpumps because of its popularity.

The sight of these food stands has become increasingly common after school at MVHS. In just the first month of the school year, more than 10 stands have come and emptied according to Calvin Wong, the ASB Financial Tech. Held by student organizations, including classes and clubs, these fundraisers intend to raise money for the student body, yet the whereabouts of that money remain a subject in the dark

Rules and regulations

The primary purpose of any fundraiser held at MVHS is to benefit the student body, or the consumers. However, many students only consider the food.

“A lot of people are lazy to go to the actual store and buy it,” said junior Simran Gidwani who purchased food during club food day.

Though this advantage may fulfill the student needs, students can overlook the long-term benefits of fundraisers. According to school policies, students are prohibited from selling products on school campus for personal profits. This rule is inscribed in every student’s planner, yet the connection between the rules and fundraisers remains a fuzzy subject.

Simply put, increments of money students spend on fundraisers can build up to over thousands of dollars for student organizations at MVHS. For most cases, if the intent isn’t to give back to the student body, ASB or Student Life Commission will not approve the motion for fundraisers.

“Every school year you really want to focus on that year’s group of students,” Wong said. “If [fundraisers] ask for a donation, but that money never gets spent back on those members, then no one’s benefiting from it.”

Reality of fundraisers

At MVHS, most student organizations repay their profits from fundraisers to the corresponding student consumers throughout the school year, according to Wong. The money drives clubs and classes to yield more opportunities for students in their organizations when spent accordingly.

 Posters promoting club food day hang on the wall of the A building. Club food day was a convenient way for students to purchase outside food on campus.
Posters from Club food day hang against the A building. Fundraisers are a convenient way for students to purchase outside food on campus.

Class of 2018 president Juliane Tsai confirms that the class office holds fundraisers to organize and prepare for the numerous upcoming events. Materials used for rallies and quad decs make up the immediate spendings.

“For events like rallies and quad decs, it’s always go big,” Tsai said. “We always want our class to win, so you always have to ask that questions like ‘is [the plan] realistic [in regards to money]’, but we want to make those things work.”

The remainder of the money builds up for the distant future — in order to relieve the high costs of Junior Prom and Senior Prom, the 2018 class office plans to cover a portion of its costs through money collected from fundraisers with pearl milk tea and club food day.

The necessity of fundraisers varies for others, however. MV Andaaz holds the record of six Tpumps fundraisers from the beginning of the school year along with their participation in club food day. They made numerous transfers for the club including costume payments, speaker replacements and workshops.

Similarly, honor societies and clubs like FBLA must pay the national organization in order to remain a club on campus. Some may also face setbacks that entail the need for fundraisers. According to FBLA president senior May Liew, the club experienced problems with an airline company two years ago. Their flight was dropped, and they were set back by several thousand dollars. Fundraisers are how they can recover this money.

“We’re trying to make up for the loss,” Liew said. “That’s where our fundraising money is going to right now.”

Though not necessary, some clubs with sufficient money still participate in fundraising. Unlike others, they look to fundraisers for non-monetary benefits that follow. MV Octagon mirrors this trend, currently holding the most money of over $20,000 among all student organizations. Regardless of their account balance, Octagon still pursues fundraisers to promote the club — the profits plan to return to the student body through their annual events and donations.

Although fundraisers have become increasingly popular on campus, their purposes vary. From recovering lost money to giving back to members, it all starts with that cup of pearl milk tea or ice cream sandwich that is seen in the hands of students at three o’clock after school.