ASB hosts Senior Sunrise, plans for senior events

Byron Tran, Staff Writer

From left to right: Tarrega Sarmiento-Louttit (12), Dani Macahilig (12), and Emily Narvaez (12) attend Senior Sunrise, April 9. Photo courtesy of Brian Chander.

As the chilly morning breeze blew through the stadium, the dark sky illuminated only by beaming stadium lights and the surrounding street lamps, the cement slowly began to fill. Megan Estanol (12) settled down, wrapped in warm clothing and a blanket, to enjoy the company of her friends that she hadn’t seen in over a year.
ASB hosted a socially distanced senior sunrise breakfast in the stadium, allowing the class of 2021 to enjoy the company of other seniors in groups of five of their choosing in the early morning, April 9.
“Since we haven’t been on campus for most of the year, I haven’t been able to see [certain friends], so it was nice to finally reconnect,” Estanol said.
Originally planned to be a drive-thru event, ASB Adviser Shannon Parker worked with the ASB staff to organize an event that would allow the seniors to enter the stadium upon first word of loosened COVID-19 restrictions.
“As soon as I knew we could host our Senior Sunrise Event in a safe manner that followed guidelines, [ASB] put it out there,” Parker said.
With regards to future events, ASB currently has a lineup of senior activities being organized in accordance to the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions. According to Senior Co-President Brooke Gorman (12), ASB is looking forward to hosting a senior picnic, a senior chalk walk, and an exclusively senior dodgeball tournament in the final month of the school year.
“[These events] are able to take place as a result of the current or future state guidelines and practices we will implement at each event,” Gorman said.
The senior picnic, set to happen on campus in June, is planned in a similar fashion to the senior sunrise breakfast, where students would divide into pods of four to five to prevent mixing of students.
On the days leading up to the senior picnic, ASB is planning for a chalk walk that would allow the seniors to decorate a square of Westview’s plaza, so seniors could view each others’ chalk squares the day of the picnic. Masks and social distancing will be enforced for these two events.
For dodgeball, the plan is to host it outside, and enforce wearing masks and social distancing. ASB is currently in discussion with administration in the hopes of hosting the tournament this month.
Gorman said she was excited to provide an opportunity for seniors to bond with their classmates.
“Some of us haven’t seen our classmates for over a year,” Gorman said. “I’d hope events like the dodgeball tournament and picnic would provide some normalcy and simply joy to my classmates’ lives.”
According to Gorman, events like dodgeball and the senior picnic have historically had a manageably low number of students in attendance. In contrast to other traditional senior activities, such as Prom and the senior harbor cruise, the low attendance rate makes events such as these feasible amidst the loosened state guidelines.
Although attendance rates prove to be a large complication preventing Prom and harbor cruise from happening, there are more restrictions that ASB has run into while discussing the feasibility of bringing these events to fruition this year.
According to Parker, CDPH guidelines will not allow for dancing. Should ASB try to host some event in place of Prom for seniors to dress up, dancing will not be a part of the event. Field trips are also currently not allowed, meaning if ASB were to host a harbor cruise or other off-campus event, they would have to wait for the CDPH field trip restriction to be uplifted.
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, Parker said she worries that the senior class will walk away feeling as if they were not thought about.
“I think there is a sentiment out there that we haven’t really tried to do anything for this senior class,” Parker said. “I want every senior on this campus to know that the minute I am able to do something for this group, you bet I’m going to do it.”
Estanol, while disheartened due to the circumstances of her senior year, praises ASB for their work to bring some sense of celebration.
“Although it is a little frustrating that we have missed out on a lot of senior events due to the current situation of COVID-19, I think most of us have come to terms with it. It is really nice to see that ASB is continuing to plan events for the class of 2021 to keep spirits up, even if some of the events planned aren’t the traditional ones that seniors normally get every year,” Estanol said. “I know how much work and how difficult it is to continue to plan events during a time like this, when energy is already low, so I am glad that ASB is continuing to host these events.”
With several activities to host, anticipate and discuss, Gorman looks past the hard work she and ASB Senior Co-President Brian Chander (12) poured into these events to see the lasting impression of their work.
“Having been classmates for the past four years, some since elementary school, it’s not necessarily hard to figure out logistics for these events, but to know that these are some of the last moments we will see people we’ve grown up with,” Gorman said. “Brian and I really hope the events we plan are meaningful and make the most of our time left together. With graduation in almost a month, I hope that my class will be able to look back on not only their senior year, but their entire time at Westview and have positive memories.”