AMS Firstweek kit sales only made $4,000 this year, after projecting to make $37,000 in sales.
According to a quarterly report released by the AMS, the Firstweek kits ended up being the biggest expense for Firstweek, with only 81 kits sold. Each kit was originally priced at $49.50.
The kits contained a water bottle, reusable straws, lanyard, coupon books and student agenda, among other things, all inside an AMS tote bag.
Students also received a wristband to all Firstweek events, except the Welcome Back BBQ like in years past.
AMS Senior Communications and Marketing Manager Eric Lowe said the kits always sold out in the past. He said the difference this year was that the kits did not include the Welcome Back BBQ tickets.
“This year, we tried to sell the kit and the ticket separately, and it appears that the demand for the kit wasn't as high as we were expecting,” he said.
“We misjudged the amount of demand for back-to-school activities after two years of hybrid study, which led to the decision to separate the Welcome Back BBQ ticket from the kit,” Lowe said in a follow-up email statement.
Welcome Back BBQ tickets were eventually sold with the kits for $99 after September 2.
He said the events team is planning to review the kits themselves before thinking about what to add next year.
“Maybe students are expecting a different experience from the university now than they did when we last made the kits pre-COVID[-19],” he said. “We’re just going to review the whole kit itself … and we’re very likely to tie it back in with a ticket.”