Seniors welcome the sunrise at early morning event celebrating the start of their last school year


Brian Sweeney

Seniors celebrated the beginning of their last school year by watching the sunrise together on September 23.

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On September 23, the senior class came together to greet the sunrise as a way to symbolically welcome their senior year. Seniors entered the Queens College track at six in the morning, set up blankets and food, and watched as the sun rose around forty-five minutes later. 

Senior class president (and Classic Features Editor) Benjamin Babayev organized the event. “[The] sunrise typically symbolizes [a] beginning,” Benjamin said, hoping for the event to mark the advent of the Class of 2023’s last year. 

Over the summer, the newly elected SU board had a meeting with members of the school administration where the idea was pitched. After Senior Advisor Blayne Gelbman and COSA Jaime Baranoff approved of the proposal, the preparation began. “Planning was hectic,” Benjamin said, “but we got it done.”

“[Benjamin] did a good job. He lined up all the ducks all in a row and made sure that the communication was done,” Mr. Gelbman said.

Along with the hectic planning came some rescheduling. The event was initially scheduled to be on September 7, however, due to heavy rain the night prior, the event was delayed. 

“People wouldn’t want to be sitting on a wet field,” Benjamin said. 

The date was pushed to September 23, where over 100 seniors arrived on the track that morning. 

A smorgasbord of morning pastries, including croissants and muffins, greeted the seniors as they arrived on the track. While eating breakfast, many laid on the turf, played volleyball and soccer, blew bubbles, and took pictures. The Classic live-streamed the event.

Though it was only a few days after the start of fall, the morning weather was already chilly. Senior Stella Cho said, “I spent the whole time huddled with my friends for body heat. It was a bonding experience.” 

“I just really missed people. Our schedules usually conflict, and I can’t see them normally. The sunrise [was] a fun opportunity to reunite with lost friends,” senior Mace Choo said.  

“It’s really important for me to give our seniors – and all of our students – as many happy experiences as possible,” Ms. Baranoff said. “I hope it will continue as an annual Townsend tradition.”

With the sunrise marking the beginning of their senior year, Benjamin plans for a senior sunset to mark the end of the year.