by Maria-Isabel Cardona Maguigad
It was a business that started freshman year.
In past years, students sold snacks here and there. They started out as small trades.
A small Snickers packet for 50 cents. A bag of hot chips for a dollar. Students who sold made money.
“It’s a nice feeling to feed people,” a student who formerly sold snacks, but asked to remain anonymous, said.
During the second half of the school year there was a surge in the number of students buying snacks from unknown sellers.
These students started making around $20 a day — in some cases, students have reported making up to $40.
A lot of the students used this money to buy homecoming tickets or prom tickets, some reported using the money to help their families financially.
The selling and buying of these goods became popular during the first half of 2016, and reached its peak during the second half of the year.
“There was a lack of food at this school, there was no vending machines, they took away the food trucks. There was no way for people to eat,” said senior Nick Joy, who used to buy snacks from students.
Sellers became popular among the school. This prompted them to let go of their secrecy, and start selling out in the open.
As 2017 began, several students reported that there were about five to seven kids selling from the junior class. They sold to students from all grades.
But as the selling rose in popularity, authority figures at ChiArts took notice.
At first, teachers started pulling students aside, telling them not to sell in their classrooms. The issue quickly escalated; soon, security guards looked around the hallway, specifically trying to find a seller.
“They picked and chose who they cracked down on. It was getting shady on the school’s part,” Joy said.
It wasn’t until the spring 2018 semester when the crackdown began. Security guards and the heads of the conservatory departments went hard on everyone.
“It’s against school policy to sell items for consumption,” said one of the security guards that monitors the first floor.
The school doesn’t allow this because of liability issues.
But when things finally cooled down, only a number of sellers continued to sell for the last half of the 2017-2018 school year, but things seemed to have completed ceased this year.
Good observations, Maria. I never know how much money students had made.