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Men of South Tradition Cancelled Due to Lack Of Participants

Destiny Richards, Staff Writer
April 8, 2012
Filed under Campus

In years past, over a dozen senior boys came all dressed up, successful in their academics and open hearted, looking to earn scholarships for college in the annual Men of South Event.

But now, as one hopeful senior boy walked into the room for the informational meeting looking to experience the opportunity, he realized he was the only one there.

“We had two meetings to gather interest,” Student Council Sponsor Lori Dyson said. “We had a pretty good turnout in the first meeting with about 10 or 12 boys showing up but when it came to turning in forms not one of them turned them in. And then the second time we held a meeting only one gentleman showed up.”

Due to lack of interest in the program, Men of South has been cancelled this year.

“The decision was made by the Student Council Executive Board along with the administration,” Dyson said.  “It’s a scholarship program and if there are not enough boys, then there’s no money to be raised or scholarships to be handed out. The program kind of fell flat.”

The program could have helped many senior boys.

“It’s disappointing because if we had more participation it could have happened,” Student Council President Whitney Walters said. “It’s really fun and benefits senior guys because of the scholarships.”

The cancellation will have minor effects on the  board’s job.

“It does affect (us) because we have done it for 10 years; it’s a tradition,” Walters said. “Everything else is still the same and it’s just one less job we have to do.”

In the past, the officers have all had a role in Men of South.

“We are each responsible for going out and getting at least $100 dollars in donations in the community from different businesses,” Walters said. “We also get gift cards that can be a part of the $100 dollars. Tickets are sold and from that the earnings go toward how much the scholarship will be worth.”

Everything was planned out but nothing was started before it was cancelled.

“We had not started anything before the cancellation because we wanted to originally start it in February,” Walters said. “We started announcing it in meetings and had a meeting for the program before Christmas break and the money for the applications was due after.”

Despite knowledge provided, no one turned in forms for the program.

“After the break, no one turned in money, (then) only one Student Council guy turned it in,” Walters said.  “So we decided to put it off until later and had another meeting at the end of February and only two guys showed up. We had it on the announcements for a long time too.”

The one senior boy that turned in his forms, Kris Armijo, was looking forward to the experience.

“It’s a fun scholarship pageant that I’ve watched for a couple of years and I thought it would be fun to participate in my senior year,” Armijo said. “It seemed like something fun to do with friends and it’s a great opportunity to win scholarship money for college.”

Armijo was disappointed when he heard about the cancellation.

“I was upset; I guess not a lot of people wanted to participate,” he said. “It’s kind of a legacy that’s been going on for about a decade now. It’s a letdown to be a part of a senior class that didn’t keep the tradition alive.”

According to Dyson, the issue could have been conflicts with senior boys being involved in other school activities.

“We thought the problem could be conflict with extracurricular activities so early in the year,” she said.

Armijo thought the cause could be lack of motatvation for seniors.

“A lot of it probably could have something to do with senioritis,” he said. “It’s the end of the year and people probably just want to get it over with as soon as possible.”

Student Council has decided to advertise more next year.

“Putting posters up on the walls, making announcements earlier, promoting it with signs on the cafeteria tables, and talking about it in the senior meetings would help in letting them know its coming up,” Dyson said. “The issue is probably the boys not knowing what it’s about.”

Walters said she felt the officers tried to get the information out there the best that they could.

“We tried really hard and talked to a bunch of guys,” she said. “It was just a matter of getting them to show up to meetings.”

Dyson said it was difficult to cancel the program but it had to be done.

“It was really hard to let it go but it was the only decision,” she said. “We tried to make it work but our hands were tied. It’s hard to have to let go of such a great tradition.”