The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

DV Leadership implements new payment methods for food at Homecoming

Ella Shen
The inside of the 1k building is decorated in spirit of this year’s homecoming theme, Willie goes to Las Vegas.

Dougherty Valley’s Las Vegas themed Homecoming dance takes place this Saturday, October 14, with a new change to how students will have to pay for food vendors upfront. Using Apple pay, credit or debit, and cash, students can choose from a variety of vendors, including Kona Ice, Fonsecas, Indian Street food, Waffle Rost, and Kiss my Boba. 

Seniors Ashna Patel, Saanvi Tiwari and Raghav Vats have been planning the homecoming dance since their sophomore year, as a part of Leadership’s homecoming squad, and have implemented the new system for paying for food at the dance. 

Tiwari commented on these new changes, “The reason we make it free [in past years] is so that everyone can have it, but the amount of people who couldn’t get food because of other people clogging the line was really annoying.”

Not only did the crowded mob of students pushing for free food make serving very difficult, it also resulted in large amounts of food waste.

“I remember talking to the custodians there; they had to refill the garbage to empty out the trash bags at least twice an hour. And we had like [15 to] 20 trash cans out there.” Patel said, “… Seeing it firsthand after the whole dance [was] cleared and there’s no more people there, it was crazy.”

Looking around the campus, food waste is a pretty clear problem, as unemptied trays are scattered across different parts of campus after lunch. Dougherty students’ habits are reflected during Homecoming, making it frustrating for our custodians to stay after the dance ends for up to 2 hours cleaning up the mess made by students. 

In past years, leadership students aimed to buy as much food as possible in hopes for everyone to get at least two items, most often selling out during the dance. 

“You can ask people and I don’t think everyone eats. So that means some people are having three to four servings,” Vats said. “You also have issues of people throwing the food, because they weren’t paying for it. So if it’s not their money that they’re spending to buy food, they’ll feel less responsible for it.”

Since 2017, the school has been providing free food from trucks and shops during Homecoming. After the absence of a traditional Homecoming experience in 2020, the expectations for free food have been reset from returning students. 

“It’s hard to break the tradition of free food [but] it has to be done at some point… so this year was finally the year that we had enough and … we just had to make a difference,” Patel said, having had enough with the food waste and unorganized lines. 

I hope [students] change their perspective of what they’re here for [and] will recognize that that money was going to something that was worth it.

— Vats

Since the school doesn’t have to pay the vendors in advance, ticket prices that previously accounted for the free food at homecoming, can be lowered, with ASB tickets almost half of last year’s $29. Non-ASB prices went down from $49 to $34 during the first week of sales. 

“I don’t think we’ve ever had ticket prices this low, [at] $17 for ASB,” Tiwari said, “so a lot of people bought their tickets during the first week.” 

While free food has been a hallmark of past homecoming dances, with prices of food included in a higher price for the tickets, it’s not always plausible with the increasing attendance of students to keep up with the demand from paying vendors beforehand. 

“We made [a] profit but it wasn’t as much as previous years,” Tiwari said, “But our goal is to make [homecoming] memorable, [and we can do that in other ways].”

While you are required to pay up front for food being sold at food trucks, snacks, including chips, soda and churros will remain free. 

“The experience as a whole is going to be much cooler because now that there’s no free food, we’re able to focus our money on other things. When you come to the dance, you’re gonna see something you’ve never seen before. And it’ll be a cool experience that will still make people be like ‘Wow’” Patel remarked. 

As homecoming approaches, try to reconsider the inconvenience of having to pay for your own food as an opportunity to have a better time. 

“I hope [students] change their perspective of what they’re here for [and] will recognize that that money was going to something that was worth it,” Vats said. 

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Ella Shen
Ella Shen, Editor-in-Chief
Ella joined the Tribune to improve her writing skills, but stayed for the people, the experience, and the snack cabinet. She was previously photography, multimedia, and managing editor, and is now the co-editor-in-chief. Her goal for this year is to help foster a supportive and fun environment for everyone in the class. Ella enjoys hiking, running, and camping, and wants to hopefully live in a van and go thru-hiking in the future. Her dream for 2 years has been to convert and live in a van... If Ella could be anyone else in the Tribune, she would be Abigail, because she is the most kind and hardworking person she knows.

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