Friday in the Life of a Senior: More like Fri-yay!


Carmen Pastrana

Senior parents Grace Banks, Myra Ruttenberg, Sarah Pearsall, and Radha Parekh (left to right) hosting their senior treat.

“What’s up, freaks!
Firecakes doughnuts and tasty, seasonally appropriate apple cider await you!
Mr. Baer, Dean of 11th and 12th graders”

You walk into the Pit. Indeed, Firecakes donuts and apple cider do await you. Orange and blue balloons, orange and blue confetti, and even orange and blue napkins fill you with excitement. But wait, it’s Friday. And you’re not a senior. Which means … these Friday senior treats are not for you.

What can you do? You want the glazed doughnut with orange and blue sprinkles. Can you bribe a senior to swipe one for you? Can you plead with a senior parent to sneak you one? Can you pace back and forth in front of the table, hoping a parent takes pity on you?

“I love the idea of senior treats, and I think it’s something all the underclassmen look forward to,” junior Ava Cole said.

The perks of being a senior, as I’ve discovered this year, are infinite. Yes, we get the senior tables in the Learning Commons. Yes, we get the incredible college counseling free period. But most importantly, we get senior treats.

Senior Emily Mendelson said, “During stressful times with applications, senior treats are always something to look forward to.”

This tradition, run by senior parents, is deeply beloved by the graduating class and deeply coveted by everyone else.

“I think senior treats are great and something that [seniors] definitely deserve, especially because of the stress that senior year brings,” junior Diego Miranda said. “As a junior, it’s something that I look forward to, but I don’t feel like juniors should get treats just because at that point, sophomores and freshmen would feel as though they should be getting treats as well.”

Each year, four senior parents are appointed as grade chairs in Latin’s Parent Association and assume the responsibility of senior treats. They organize sign-ups, coordinate with parents and the administration, and assist with table set-ups.

“We are seeing great parental participation and support,” Lisa Barnes, Parent Association senior co-grade chair said. This year’s senior class parent roster is very passionate, with “eager parents who had an idea or date in mind and had specific things they wanted to do; parents who quickly signed up for a slot as soon as the sign-up list went out; parents who have gotten their own syndication groups together to underwrite a snack week,” and so much more, Lisa said. Latin families demonstrate their passion, collaboration, and pride for Latin and its students by fully funding their senior treats.

Parents who wish to participate are given a few options for how they can proceed with their treat. A parent can either sign up (and fund) a treat on their own, go forward with a partner, or work with a whole squad. If a parent is unable to financially back a treat, parents can volunteer for opportunities and positions at each Friday treat, whether it be running the table or greeting students and keeping everything organized.

Out of the grade chairs appointed for 12th grade, only one is responsible for coordinating senior treats with parents. They reach out two weeks before a family is signed up for a treat and ask what treat they are doing, what potential allergens in the treat are, what they need for set-up, and if they need volunteers to assist. “You get to choose if you want to pass out the treat in the morning or at lunch time and then you are responsible for being there for the whole treat period, usually about two hours. You can also put together a flier that will be emailed to seniors so they know what to look forward to,” Parent Association senior co-chair and Latin alumna Jacki Torshen said.

“My favorite part is the surprise when I forget we have it, and then I’m surprised with a treat,” senior Ethan Mullens said.

Treats this year have been a massive hit with the senior class. Ideas ranged from Latin-themed flannel pants, taco trucks, bucket hats, personalized sweatshirts, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, ice cream, and more.

Senior Natalie Frankel said, “My favorite senior treat this year has been the orange and blue flannel pajama pants!”

All senior treats, regardless of whether they’re swag or sweets, require the collaboration of Latin parents, the Parent Association, the Latin administration, and Latin’s Facilities Team.

Mr. Baer said, “I get an email from the senior parent reps each week letting me know what the senior treat is and what they would like for set-up. I put a work order in for tables, chairs, and the ceremonial senior treat banner, which Facilities graciously puts together for us! I am exclusively in charge of the bright orange tablecloths, which I store safely under my desk.”

When it comes to the history of senior treats, the story seems to be a mystery. Ms. Torshen said, “I have absolutely no idea how this tradition started or when. I can tell you that they didn’t do this 30 years ago!”

Likewise, Mr. Baer was unsure of the exact origin.

“I think they were more sporadic at first, but in the last 10 years or so they became an every week thing. There was definitely a period of time where things were a bit out of control, when rogue parents would get a ridiculous amount of food or swag with no real communication with the school, facilities, etc. There’d be like a full hot dog and sundae bar with like a pile of peanuts and assorted allergens, open flames going as you walk in the cafeteria. It was like the Wild West. But now the Parent Association has taken it over, and it’s much more streamlined and in coordination with the school.”

He added, “I grab a senior treat almost every week. It’s my right!”