Distance learning takes a toll on ASB fundraising

ASB struggles to acquire the same funds as previous year amidst COVID-19

Color Guard and band performing at an OPHS student rally.

Under normal circumstances, the Associated Student Body would hold various fundraisers that would help fund school activities such as dances and senior activities. However, due to the distance learning plan implemented since March, ASB has not been able to hold their normal fundraisers.

OPHS ASB funded school dances such as Homecoming. (Amaan Nabeel)

“Fundraising for ASB will be a challenge under the COVID-19 restrictions this year. In the past we have assigned special fundraisers for each class that we now won’t be able to do until restrictions are lifted,” ASB director Heidi Cissell wrote to the Talon. 

Despite this, ASB was recently able to hold a fundraiser involving discount cards. The cards sold had various coupons from restaurants in and around the Oak Park area and could be purchased by anyone for a low price. This fundraiser was highly advertised on various social media posts and according to Cissell, it was very successful.

Decorations for the Under the Sea Homecoming Dance. (Amaan Nabeel)

According to Oak Park High School Principal Kevin Buchanan, prior to COVID-19,  ASB gained revenue not only from event-specific fundraisers such as prom and dances, but also from school proceedings including ID cards, entrance fees for sports games and student parking passes. With distance learning in place, this source of income is gone.

For programs who rely on ASB for monetary purposes — including athletics and clubs — the burden of funding lies in the programs themselves rather than ASB.

“ASB is basically the system by which we can make sure that all this money is being spent appropriately,” Buchanan said. “Funding is being raised by the various groups who are using ASB to hold on to their money to pay their bills.”

Decorations for the Under the Sea Homecoming Dance. (Amaan Nabeel)

ASB is responsible for paying more than just school activities. The income ASB receives from school events is also used to pay a portion of the salary of certain staff members. With ASB unable to raise funds they are unable to cover these expenses this year so the OPUSD business office has stepped in to help.

“The District has taken on the two ASB salary expenses for this year, the ASB bookkeeper’s salary and the athletic administrative assistant’s salary,” Buchanan said.

OPHS band performs at the football games regularly. (Daisy Calderon)

50% of the ASB’s bookkeeper and twenty five percent of the Athletic secretary’s salary are normally paid for by ASB. These employees rely on ASB funding for their salary and without the necessary fundraising opportunities this year, ASB is unable to provide that. 

As of right now, Cissell wrote that ASB plans to “play it by ear, wait and see what might be workable in the future, but in the meantime work on what we can do right now.”

ASB currently has plans to hold a Blaze Pizza fundraiser in the near future. Likewise, once restrictions start to lift and it is safe to do so, ASB also hopes to hold a drive-in movie night and a car wash.