Free Homecoming shirt opportunity on Oct. 15

Students begin to feel the financial pressure of college as Homecoming week, football season and Halloween take tolls on their wallets. With tuition at an average of $10,435 per year, students are less likely to pay for both education and a closet filled with school merchandise or opportunities to participate in certain school events.

“I feel like we contribute a lot to this school, so we should definitely have homecoming shirts for free,” Jhalen Sheffield, physical therapy junior, said.

According to Sheffield, he typically spends more than $100 on school merchandise a semester for him and his family.

Sheffield said, “Stuff that is put on by the school should be free for the students, since we attend here and we’re helping fund whatever you guys are putting on.”

Several sororities on campus receive special benefits such as T-shirts after paying their dues each semester just as students do with their tuition.

“We usually get one or two PR [public relations] shirts per semester and receive a discount on future shirts if our dues of $520 per semester are paid in full,” Brenna Rhodes, Gamma Phi Beta member, said.

While not receiving free shirts, students hope to see the funds being spread across the campus.

Rhodes said she hopes to see funding for the shirts being used for the dining options.

“Opening up a different restaurant and giving students more options, or paying to keep the ones we already have on campus open during the weekend,” Rhodes said.

Sheffield would like to see the funding be put toward the students and what we need.

“We are throwing on Homecoming for ourselves so we might as well benefit from it,” Sheffield said.

Although campus might be unaware of it, the Homecoming T-shirt funds are benefitting students.

“It funds Homecoming. A lot of the activities that we have for the students going on for Homecoming comes out of the Homecoming budget,” Ruby Arriaga, coordinator of student activities, said. “And that money [for T-shirts] just goes back into the Homecoming budget, paying for the activities for the students, staff, faculty and community to enjoy.”

Arriaga said the set price of $10 per shirt is fair and has been buying them ever since she was a student at the school.

“It’s the only long sleeve shirt that is $10. It has a theme to it and is something you will always remember,” Arriaga said.

Any extra Homecoming shirts are typically given away later in the year or donated.

For students who are interested in a Homecoming shirt but cannot produce the funds, there is an opportunity on Oct. 15 to volunteer and help decorate the campus for Homecoming week, and volunteers will receive a free shirt.

There will be more volunteer opportunities for a free shirt throughout Homecoming week.

With more opportunities to receive free shirts, it will “definitely spread school spirit for Homecoming, and heighten everyone’s spirits,” according to Sheffield.

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