Student apathy and a lack of publicity leads to low attendance at school events

Lilly Lim, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On a recent minimum day, the school hosted Elective Preview Day, a parallel to Club Rush, where teachers and students promoted their classes and programs in the large gym.  The event was intended to expose students to electives that they might not otherwise consider.

“I think this gave things like… Ag [Agriculture Science] and things that aren’t usually seen as electives… a good venue… because kids aren’t going to go see it, but when they came in the gym to see [theater], they can see all the cool stuff that Ag had out,” Speech and Debate advisor Karen Minick, who organized the event, said.

Armed with signs and flyers, teachers and student representatives sat at their tables and waited for students to approach. However, only about 20 to 30 students showed up to the event.

“I was hoping for more — I always am,” Minick said.  “I wasn’t surprised that we got that turnout, especially because of the lunch time and because I know on minimum days, everybody wants to go home early.”

Promotion for events is a common struggle, whether it be getting students, parents or the community interested.  

“I think anything that’s a rite of passage event or something that’s just fun and there’s something to do, those are not hard to promote,” Student Government advisor Jessica Anderson said.  “When you have to promote the event to parents and the community, because there are so many other things that people can choose to do, those are harder events to get attendance at.”

Student Government has been planning Bear Creek’s annual Crab Feed for months and faces new obstacles with the merging of the Student Government and Student Activities classes from last year.  As of press time, ASB had sold about 150 tickets compared to last year’s total of 210.

“We made individual flyers, we went into the community [and] while asking for donations for the raffle, we advertised to our family and friends by mouth, by social media, any possible way we can think of,” Anderson said.  “This year, we only have Student Government, so considering the fact that we have half the number of kids promoting the event, we’ve actually sold quite a few tickets for the event.”

Link Crew also struggled to coordinate the annual Sadie Hawkins dance but made sure to promote the dance, including its annual contest.  

“This year, overall, we’ve posted on all of our social media, made sure that we do it very vocally, make sure all of our friends are going and [held] our contest that we hold every year,” Link Crew commissioner Eyan Atad, a senior, said.  “Whoever has the best proposal has the chance of getting free tickets so then people are asking people and just getting into the spirit of Sadies.”

Their efforts paid off; sales of 244 tickets this year topped last year’s 200 tickets.

Reasons for the unpredictable attendance rates for each event vary from a lack of interest to simply not hearing about the event.

“I think it’s a community issue; because so many of our parents commute, we don’t have the same parent turnout for anything — we never have,” Minick said.  “I don’t know if it’s just because we were the little bastard school of Lodi Unified for so long, but I think it really speaks to the type of people in this community versus a school that’s over 100 years old [and] has been a staple of the community.”

Atad says it is hard to motivate students to attend events, especially dances.

“There’s lack of decorations, a lack of interest and they’re just ugly,” Atad said.

Another possible reason for low attendance is the cost of events.

“I think money is an issue for some folks,” Anderson said.  “There’s all kinds of events, and you can’t attend them all — maybe because costs can be prohibitive.”