The Senior Committee, est. 2023
by Hala Salem
Coming back to Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) after a year and a half of pajamas being students’ outfits of the day, beds becoming desks, and seeing friends and classmates through screens, students can now say that FSSA has gone back to a ‘normal’ existence.
As Sinatra returned to a sense of normalcy after the pandemic, seniors looked ahead as a chance to make their last year at Sinatra its strongest. With that goal in mind, one of their post-pandemic ideas was the creation of the Senior Committee.
The Senior Committee was an idea that took a long time coming. During the 2021-2022 school year as students were stepping foot into the building for the first time since the pandemic, Jordyn Benda, a senior film major, wrote a letter pitching the “Senior Committee” to FSSA’s principal, Mr. Frankel. She explained that having a dedicated committee for the senior class would help them become stronger and increase communication amongst one another, and would help to share ideas.
“The pandemic played a big role with me wanting to create a senior committee,” said Jordyn.
The idea of having a committee for just the seniors was something that Jordyn emphasized as being her top priority.
Mr. Frankel shared his support of Jordyn’s idea and encouraged her to continue developing her vision for the committee and to begin planning during the spring and summer of 2022. From this, Jordyn took the opportunity to begin forming a team of students that would make up the committee, as advised by the school’s assistant Principal of Guidance, College and Career, Ms. Pridgen.
Jordyn said that when thinking of members she wanted people who were close with staff and were good representatives of their major and would get the job done. These students became the nine members of the Senior Committee: Jordyn Benda (founder and volunteer organizer), Devin Chung (president), Skyla Monroe (vice president), Maya Held (secretary), Emily Copeland and Jahna Taylor (treasurers), Mekaeli Cox, Andrea Morelos, and Jolina Jimenez (floater); making up Frank Sinatra High school’s first Senior committee.
The committee conducts bi-weekly Zoom meetings to discuss things like upcoming events to plan after school such as the recent Holiday Movie Night, projects to create for the senior class such as the senior photos, and plans for the rest of the school year and the spring season. The members are always in communication with each other.
Andrea Morelos, a senior art major and yearbook representative, mentioned the sense of miscommunication, and disagreement that students amongst the past graduating classes of FSSA had felt.
“Last year, almost every senior was pretty upset with the yearbook. Things were missing, misspelled and duplicated,” Andrea said. “Reaching out and planning meetings to communicate what we need and what we want is very important, even if it is something that we weren’t obligated to do. It’s everybody’s yearbook.”
Andrea added that past senior classes didn’t have the opportunity to fully enjoy their year with the pandemic and an emergence of miscommunication. She said the committee’s goal is for seniors to feel that they are represented in their class and that they have a say.
Jana Mohamed, a senior art major shared her thoughts and knowledge on the committee as a senior of the class of 2023:
“I heard about the senior committee earlier in the school year but I didn’t really know what exactly it was. But I’m really glad that it was formed, because we’ve already had so many fun events thanks to them, especially after our previous school years. It felt like we missed out on events, but thanks to them, we are able to enjoy this school year to the fullest. I hope this continues even after we graduate,” Jana said.
Cait Foster, senior film major also shared her knowledge of what the senior committee is doing.
“I am aware of the senior committee, but don’t have a major idea as to how they have impacted us, except for the fact that I know they reduce our senior dues through their fundraisers. The activities they plan are always really fun and great events for the whole school to enjoy,” Cait said.
One of the largest goals that the Senior Committee has in mind for all seniors is to not worry about their senior dues and to lower the expenses of the future senior trip, even if they can be lowered by just $20 for each student.
The Senior Committee created the school’s first ever flea market and helped raise money for the school’s Six Flags Fright Fest trip in October.
Current events in the works by the committee are to have a second flea market, to possibly create more TikToks documenting what the senior committee is doing in FSSA, to continue taking pictures of seniors for senior pictures/videos, to create senior vision boards, and to design senior hoodies.
The committee also mentioned more ideas for seniors in the spring that will include spending more time outside of the school for seniors to make more memories with their friends.
Jordyn hopes that the Senior Committee is something that future classes strive to take up in the coming years.
“Creating something great that will last, like a legacy,” said senior vocal major and volunteer organizer, Mekaeli.
To receive updates of what’s to come for the senior committee, students are encouraged to follow the committee’s Instagram, @fssaseniorcommittee.