Free for All: Students to Get in For Free to Dominion Events

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Free for All: Students to Get in For Free to Dominion Events

ATLAS hopes that attendance will increase due to this new program. This low attendance is shown in D-Block during a game last season.

ATLAS hopes that attendance will increase due to this new program. This low attendance is shown in D-Block during a game last season.

DHS Press Staff Photo

ATLAS hopes that attendance will increase due to this new program. This low attendance is shown in D-Block during a game last season.

DHS Press Staff Photo

DHS Press Staff Photo

ATLAS hopes that attendance will increase due to this new program. This low attendance is shown in D-Block during a game last season.

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In the fall season of the 2019-2020 school year, ATLAS is making it so events and activities, such as athletic competition and the programs the theatre program puts on, such as the fall play and Blankslate, will be free for all Dominion students to attend. 

“Not just one person came up with the idea. We talked at length in our meeting in June how we wanted to engage all Titans so they can support one another,” said Amy Curran, the president of ATLAS.  

The goals of the program centers around the idea of allowing more students to attend for financial reasons and also increasing attendance and school spirit at events that Dominion holds. 

ATLAS is beginning to put together a plan to support these programs despite the lack of ticket sales. “Based on our estimates, we set a goal to put together a committee and raise $50,000 to offset the cost of not charging admission to students for the year [which would be split between athletics and theatre],” Dr. Brewer said. 

This committee is not currently formed, but ATLAS is looking to put together that group. As Dr. Brewer explained, “This is only going to work if we can put together that committee of 10 or 12 people who roll up their sleeves and say, we want this to happen.” If the program does not succeed the free events will not continue past the pilot program in the fall and will not continue to the rest of the year. 

This committee would be responsible in finding ways to find the funds to make up for the lost costs. Curran explained, “We’re trying to get volunteers who are passionate about this project as we are, and to see if we can reach out to businesses in our community who can help support this.”

Curran said, “I think there’s a lot of kids that would love to attend events that don’t always have $6 on them to go.” Dr. Brewer also expressed how the change would allow more students to attend events, “Especially [students who] can’t afford $6 to come to a game and they ought to be involved in school activities. It makes a lot of sense to me that we would try to find a way for students to be able to attend school events here at Dominion High School for free.” Instead of paying 6 dollars to attend events, students would just show their student ID or show their ID through StudentVUE in order to get into games. 

Low school spirit and a shrinking D-Block is an issue that Dominion has been struggling with for a couple years now, and ATLAS hopes that this change will reinvigorate that spirit. Curran said, “I really have noticed that D-Block has shrunk a lot in the past couple years. And I really want to see if we can bring the community back together and build a school spirit up, it needs it.” 

Dr. Brewer expressed the importance of increasing school spirit, he said, “We think when the Titans are performing the rest of the school should show up and be their fans. And then secondly, it’s healthy for us to show up to school events, and to enjoy our four years of high school together.”

Theatre is an expensive program to fund, as theatre teacher and sponsor Dr. Worth, known as Doc, explained, “The rights just to do You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is $2,000. Then it’s another $350 for the music and then costumes, usually around between $300 and $500, and makeup for each student [which is] $20 per student. The program costs to run 500 programs cost about $500.” Not to mention, there are other costs, such as lighting, curtains, and speaker systems that may need to be replaced. “Our biggest fundraisers are productions and 40% of your house is going to be a huge hit,” Doc said. 

Dr. Brewer echoed that concern, “They’re [the theatre program] deeply affected by this, if they don’t charge admission, they won’t be able to exist, unless a generous donor stands in the gap, and gives them the money that they would otherwise get by charging admission. And that’s where ATLAS intends to step into the gap.”

Allowing students to come to events for free will be a large financial burden on the theatre and athletic programs. Still, this change is supposed to be a big booster of attendance at events, especially athletics. Mr. Peters, the athletic director, said, “Hopefully it will increase our D-Block section at all home events, and provide school spirit.” 

Theatre teacher and sponsor Dr. Worth, known as Doc, expressed her excitement for the change, “I’m super excited that we’re doing this for students, I hope it does build our school spirit, I hope it changes the dynamic of the school.” This change will be a large hit for the theatre program, “However, it’s 40% of my main stage income, and it’s probably 90% of my Blankslate income.” 

Curran also expressed how any amount of money going toward this goal will help. She said, “We’d love it if families also understood that there’s a big impact. And that every $25, or every $50, [or] even every hundred dollars will help to get us closer to our goal.” 

As of now, the program is just a pilot program to see how it works for the fall season (August, September, and October). Dr. Brewer said, “If the experiment is not successful, we can’t raise the money, or kids don’t come up to activities, then we might just go back to the way. We’re going to try an experiment.” 

While ATLAS would love the program to last all year and into the future, they are also discussing other options. Curran said, “We’ve also thought about how do we offer alternatives to this idea of maybe there’s another way to offer some games [free] or let students pick and choose the games they want to go to [for free].”

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