Seniors Petition for a New Class T-Shirt


Bryanna Ferreira, Staff Writer

Controversy divided the senior class as a group of seniors protested against their class T-shirts.

Seniors take their class shirts seriously. Being top of the school, the seniors automatically set high expectations and expect shirts that are better than they had in past years.

Senior class representative and vice president of student council, Sarah Stephenson, designed the class shirts.

“Sarah contacted the company and put the orders through. She took initiative so we could complete this task and satisfy the seniors, something I applaud her for,“ explained class advisor Leah Cook.

On Nov 20, Stephenson tweeted a proposal for the class shirts she designed throughout the month of November.

Stephenson created a long-sleeved black shirt, chosen based on polls on Twitter. The front displayed the phrase “Purple Reign” written in dark purple letters, while the back read “Class of 2017”  in large print.

Stephenson said the idea originated from a song written by a popular Hip Hop artist titled “Purple Reign” as a tribute to Prince’s death. “I thought it would be cool because it’s a popular song,” said Stephenson.

The “purple” was a perfect fit because that’s the senior class color, while the “reign” aspect symbolizes the seniors’s rule over the school.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm from the students, Cook said nobody offered any other ideas or made specific complaints. Therefore, all of the representatives agreed to set December 6 as the due date for orders to ensure the class received their shirts in time for Spirit Week.

A total of 120 seniors placed orders for shirts, erasing any doubt the class officers may have had about the shirts.

However, the day before they needed to send in the orders, a group of seniors, led by Busra Yanbul, approached their class officers asking for shirts more complex and creative with some kind of design along with the words. Although she did not provide an alternative idea, Yanbul said, “we are the top class in the school so we would’ve liked to see more than just a couple words on a shirt.”

“We decided since the idea was out for such a long time, it wasn’t fair to change it. If someone brought up the desire for change sooner then we could have done more about it,” said Stephenson.

The determined seniors did not give up, and they designed a new shirt and tweeted a picture of it. A yellow circle topped with a crown was added around “Purple Reign,” in addition to a second crown placed above the number 17 on the back.

A petition was sent around school, gaining many signatures. Sophomore class president Ethan Provost reports that a group of seniors entered one of his classes asking students to sign the petition.

With many signatures, the petition was brought to Cook, who had no prior opinions on the shirt design. “As advisors, we don’t want to choose the design because we want to leave it up to the students so they feel happy,” Cook said.

Being the due date for shirt orders, Cook doubted that they would be able to make the change.  “Seniors remain unaware that we can’t purchase the shirts online because we don’t have a class credit card. Instead, we need to contact central office to receive a bill.”

Luckily, the owner of the shirt company granted them an extra day to send the orders in. Stephenson says there was only a one dollar increase in price for the new shirts. Since the advisors already collected the money for the shirts, the class funds covered the extra cost.

Since Stephenson now officially ordered the shirts, the majority of the senior class feels relieved and satisfied. “I can wholeheartedly say she handled the situation very well,” said Yanbul.

Stephenson claims she just wanted to make her class happy and give them a voice. “Obviously we represent the people,” Stephenson said.

“The discussion about the class shirts was so problematic because the students waited until the last day to complain,” Cook says. She advises all classes in the future to encourage input from everyone and never wait until the last minute to provide their opinion.