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The Growing Violets program is in need of reform

Written by Senior Editorial Board

Although the Senior Class reached 100% participation for the annual Senior Class Fund and generally had positive experiences with their Growing Violets representatives, there were isolated issues and incidents that made girls uncomfortable giving money back to the School (see page five). While achieving 100% participation is a positive goal and aspect of the fund, the emphasis on 100% participation made some girls feel like they were being forced to give. In order to create a more inclusive community, the School should rethink its approach for collecting money from Seniors for such a wonderful cause.

We understand the thought of having peers in charge of approaching Seniors for money as well-intentioned in order to made the gift-giving more casual and meaningful; however, this came at the expense of some girls’ comfort. Growing Violets representatives often approached seniors, who had not given yet, in public, which became an uncomfortable encounter for both parties. Publicly asking people for money is inconsiderate of the fact that not everyone feels comfortable discussing their personal or family funds. And for someone who does not come from a place of privilege, the experience can be humiliating. In order to continue the awareness encouraged by the Privilege ASM (see page one), the School should instead collect money in a more confidential manner.

Confidentiality is important in order to make girls feel comfortable giving back to the School. With the assurance that no one ever will know how much they gave, girls can reflect upon their holistic experience at Marlborough and then decide what amount is meaningful to them.

Additionally, stressing 100% participation as a main goal makes girls feel like they are being required to give, which undermines the sentiment of the gift.

Going forward, the School needs to be careful about how money is talked about on campus. In this particular situation, we suggest Growing Violets leaders should still have a role in the process, but their role should be in emphasizing the importance and worthiness of the cause to the class rather than collecting money from the class. Growing Violets leaders could also continue to take on the responsibility of sending polite and, most importantly, private reminders to girls. Girls could then be given envelopes with their names and at their will could drop their sealed donation in a bin in the Development offices. This eliminates awkwardness between class members as well as improves the sentiment all around.