Deep in debt, debate team sells pizzas


Devesh Kumar

Art teacher Shannon Blakey purchases a pizza from debate team member sophomore Matthew Vincent. The team, which is $1,300 in debt, sold pizzas last week that will be delivered May 27. Photo by Devesh Kumar.
[dropcap size=”5″]B[/dropcap]ecause of attending nine tournaments as far flung as Springfield, the debate team is $1,300 in debt, with the majority of the money indebted to the cost of transportation.
“The debate team is in debt to the Rock Bridge [Extracurricular Activity] fund primarily due to the high cost of bus transportation by First Student,” RBHS debate coach Jennifer Cone said.
Freshman Becca Wells said the cause of this debt is from attending debate tournaments. In each tournament, there is a cost associated with transportation for the students and hotel stays. The total cost of a bus is approximately $1,000 for each tournament and since the school board only provides the RBHS debate team with $5,000, the $1,000 bus cost adds up.
“Every tournament, every person has to pay $40 for room and board,” Wells said. “They also need to bring extra [money] for food and stuff. The debate tournaments usually are for two days overnight so the cost which the debate team has to pay is the cost of the bus transportation for those two days plus overnight and the price for the driver [and] their room and food.”
Because of the $1,300 debt, students also had to donate extra money.
“Families of the debate team had to pay $200-300 to help sustain the debate team,” sophomore Matthew Vincent said. “Lately, we have been trying to organize a few fundraisers and support the debate team.”
Freshman Max Schaefer said initially, team members came up with the idea of finding a business to sponsor the team as a way to earn money to pay off the debt, but this idea never took off. A majority of the debate team decided against finding a sponsor, naming the idea as an exercise in futility.
Turning to fundraisers, the debate team ran through multiple ideas, from selling candy to kitchen supplies to Avon products. Cone offered another fundraiser idea, which could potentially make a difference. Last week, team members sold frozen Shakespeare’s pizzas.
According to the Shakespeare’s Pizza Fundraiser, Shakespeare’s sold pizzas to the debate team at $7 per pizza for the first 20 pizzas. After the first 20, Shakespeare’s sold the pizzas to the debate team at $6 per pizza. The debate team is free to sell pizzas for any price, though Shakespeare’s suggested selling at a price of $12 per pizza.
“The delivery date will be May 27,” Cone said. “We have potential to make an amazing profit if we all get busy and sell.”
By: Devesh Kumar
How would you deal with the debt? Leave your comments below.