Shriya Penmetsa | Staff Editor
Photo by Shriya Penmetsa.
This Valentine’s Day won’t be filled with roses and cards.
Problems that arose from Student Council’s Annual Valentine’s Day Rose Sale caused it to be booted this year.
For the past several years, Mason Middle School’s Student Council has been having a Valentine’s-Day-Themed Sale. According to Student Council Advisor Martin Fish, this is the first year that Student Council is not doing it. When students don’t get roses, it makes them feel left out Fish said.
“The rose sale is great if you are a student who receives roses on the day of rose distribution,” Fish said. “After 14 years in the classroom, though, my observation is that only a handful of students in each class actually receive any roses at all. About half the class gets nothing. You can literally see the hurt feelings in some students as you pass them again and again with roses for others but nothing for them.”
According to Student Council President Sowmya Yaddanapudi, the sale was becoming a contest.
“We have decided not to have a rose sale this year because it was said that it was getting to be too much like a popularity contest,” Yaddanapudi said. “When some people get roses and other kids didn’t, it made some people feel bad.”
In past years Student Council has tried to solve this problem by making sure that every student gets a rose, Fish said. According to Fish, doing this didn’t achieve the intended goal.
“This required hours of work, as student council identified those students who had not received any roses and then produced hand-written notes for every single one of them,” Fish said. “It seemed like a good idea at the time, but these roses quickly became known as the ‘pity roses,’ which actually ended up being counter to our goals.”
Another problem that came from this sale was the issue with bullying, Fish said. According to him some students would use this as an opportunity to send mean notes to each other anonymously in efforts to not be caught.
“I remember a note that one student wrote to another that said, ‘You’re so FAT! Love ya!’ As if saying ‘Love ya’ at the end made the insult OK?” said Fish. “In order to combat this, Mrs. Fish (co-advisor of Student Council) and I would read every single rose note that was purchased. Usually several thousand. This was a tremendous time burden and every year dozens of roses were not delivered because of inappropriate, insulting, or bullying content.”
For these reasons administration has decided to shut down this fundraiser, Fish said.
“I think that the rose sale, although nice for some students, did more harm than good,” said Fish. “I stand by this decision made by me and Mrs. Fish, in consultation with our Principal, Mrs. Mccall and our Student Activities Director, Mrs. Hyatt.”
Yaddanapudi said this was a good decision because it would keep kids from being left out, but at the same time doesn’t agree with this decision, Yaddanapudi said.
“This was basically the fund raiser that made the most money for our school and student council,” Yaddanapudi said. “I felt it was a huge project that basically every student really looked forward to and not having it this year is kind of a bummer.”
According to Fish, Student Council is planning a project for this Spring.
“Student Council is hard at work on a brand new Spring project that we are very excited about,” Fish said. “There are a few more details that we need to get in place before we are ready to announce, but we are really looking forward to letting the student body know what we’re up to in a few weeks.”