More campus accommodations necessary

Staff Editorial

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After the town hall meeting was hosted by Principal Sarah Wondolowski on Aug. 23, it was made painfully clear to the Class of 2015 that Cal High’s closed campus will not be opening any time soon.

Students have swarmed the commons at lunchtime, snuck off campus to score Taco Bell, and expressed general teenage angst over this drastic rule change in the past few weeks.

This has left administrators and students alike to wonder: What went wrong?

Now that students have grudgingly accepted the reality of closed campus, they are desperately struggling to hold on to what remains of their freedom.

Administrators opened the football field for one day only on Friday, Sept. 12 for seniors, and they have toyed with the idea of putting tables on one of the balconies specifically for the senior use.

A new lunch line has also been added outside the commons to reduce crowding inside the building.

Unfortunately, this isn’t enough.

And that’s why seniors are still angry and administrators are still grappling with the backlash of a closed campus nearly six months after former Principal Mark Corti announced the decision to close Cal’s campus on March 19.

Corti said the campus should be closed in order to ensure student safety. He reasoned that the 35-minute lunchtime was not enough time for students to drive from campus to out-of-the-area restaurants and stores – none of which are within five minutes from campus – purchase food, and return safely to campus in time for their last period of class.

Safety is important, especially when the school could face a lawsuit if a student got injured while off campus.  This makes the closed campus decision logical, but the real problem is not the closed campus itself.

Students are intelligent and can see administrators enacted a drastic rule change with little thought on how to accommodate to the effects of that change.

Why would administrators take away such an exciting privilege without thinking of ways to offer something just as good, if not better?

Administrators had the entire summer to make appropriate accommodations for the school year.

They didn’t, and now it feels like they’re in a mad dash to try and appease the students whining for open campus.

We respect Wondolowski’s attempt to make the seniors feel heard by hosting the town hall meeting and opening the football field at lunch, which attracted one person on Sept. 12.

But these things were done out of desperation rather than forethought, which was pretty apparent to most seniors.

If they want to allow seniors on the football field, why not make it five days a week as opposed to one? Previous classes could go off campus five days a week, so this is a suitable expectation.

Also, the snack shack could be opened during lunch to offer high quality food for the seniors. This way, they wouldn’t have to wait in line at the commons and then walk all the way to the football field, losing much of their lunchtime.

Vending machines selling fresh food, such as fruit, also could be added on campus, and lunch vendors could be more spread out throughout campus.

Putting one additional line outside the commons still forces students – nearly 2,800 of them – to the same spot on campus if they all want to buy lunch.

These suggestions are only sub-par replacements for open campus. But open campus is now a thing of the past and must be treated as such by the students if we want to move forward.

If these kinds of changes, or any others, can be made swiftly, maybe administrators can save themselves and the student body a lot of time and further frustration.