Goodbye, Disney; goodbye, New York; hello, senior week


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Losing the trip to Disney World was just the latest in a long line of things lost for current seniors.

When the AMSA administration announced to the seniors, then juniors, that the annual senior Disney trip would be canceled going forward, there was, understandably, a lot of upset young adults.

The cancellation of the Disney trip, a decision reached in early February, left the current senior class wondering for months what its end-of-the-year trip would be. In the aftermath of Covid, which wiped out more than half of our typical high school experiences — homecomings, spirit weeks, sporting events — it felt as if we were being cheated out of one last classic AMSA experience.

Despite these shared feelings, many of us were able to look past the cancellation and attempt to focus on a new senior trip, one that could bring us all together for some fun. Plus, it was hard to ignore and shrug off the reason behind the cancellation: making sure the trip was available to everyone.

The Disney trip has been notoriously expensive — nearly $2,000 according to alumni — and how would it be fair to run a trip that, realistically, only a small portion of the graduating class would be able to afford without financial aid? It would not be much of a senior trip if many seniors could not afford to go.

After the Disney trip was canceled and the New York City trip was presented to seniors as an alternative by Executive Director Ellen Linzey and Assistant Executive Director Dr. Anders Lewis, there was a feeling of hope in the senior class. Maybe our senior trip would be saved? 


The new N.Y.C. trip was a hopeful idea, but it quickly went south. Initial complaints quickly proved valid. 

Despite the promises of it being a cost alternative to Disney, the price tag ended up just shy of $1,500, according to email sent out by administration on Oct. 14. 

The trip also came with some catches — students would be staying in New Jersey despite it being a trip to New York; having to fly to New York instead of taking a bus or train; and the trip consisting mostly of educational tours.

Staying in New Jersey would have brought the cost down, yes, but the total was still high considering that I can pay $33 to get there via Amtrak leaving from Hartford, Conn.

Also, it’s … New Jersey.

When the email was sent in October, only 15 students had registered for the trip. Administrators said at least 35 were needed for it to happen. New Jersey being New Jersey was not the biggest issue here.

So why did so few sign up? The trip did not seem to really be a senior trip, and according to the seniors I’ve talked to, it was more a trip for people whose parents registered them without asking.

Was it because Mrs. Linzey and Dr. Lewis were scheduled to lead the trip, as they feared it was? 

“Maybe if [Dr. Lewis] and I weren’t leading it, people would have been more apt to go,” Mrs. Linzey said.

The idea seems silly considering the obvious dedication they had to the experience. So was it an act of silent protest by the seniors? Again, I would assume not because that protest would get us nowhere. Disney was over. No amount of protesting or petitioning would get our trip back.

The only reasonable assumption is the cost was too high and the content was too educational. If I were to go to New York, I would rather spend my time shopping or just milling about in Central Park, attempting to fulfill my “Uptown Girl” dreams, not following along on an educational walking tour. It seemed like a waste of money and time.

I am not saying that educational tours are necessarily bad, but is that really the best way to spend a trip held after school is out for seniors? We wouldn’t be going back to school the next day, so there would be no lesson tie-in for a trip. 

The new plan for a week full of day trips for seniors once we graduate seems promising. The general opinion is that these trips could genuinely work and satisfy the seniors.

Though the effort was there to attempt a thoughtful senior trip for the class of 2023, it resulted in a failure. The expensive trip and unnecessary education aspects were a big miss.

Hello, senior week.

R.I.P., N.Y.C.