Column: It's closed again …
Consequences, yes — but isn't there a better way than schoolwide punishment?
Published: Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 5:01pm
Gargoyle staff reporter
Posted Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009
IT'S FRIDAY AFTERNOON, and I'm coming back from eighth-period PE.
The first thing I hear is Assistant Director Kovacs' voice warning a bewildered group of students around the elevator that they're going to be suspended if they get on.
I ask around and figure out pretty quickly that somebody made some markings in the elevator. The first thing that crosses my mind? “You can’t be serious. It’s closed again.”
This time, though, it's closed to students for the rest of the school year.
I don’t want to demonize the administration, because warning e-mails and bright neon signs really should get the message across, and they are pretty effective for the most part. Students who ride the elevator may push and shove a little, but they’re generally well-behaved.
I do realize that it’s not just one student and one marking. It’s several students and several markings. That can be quite irritating, especially when there is no way of finding the specific people who actually did it.
So yes, some particular Uni students are guilty of breaking the rules, and they need to be stopped.
But several students isn’t the whole school, and yet the whole school is going to be climbing stairs for the rest of the year. Is that really fair?
How effective is punishing the entire school for something a few people did, anyway? It’ll stop the few wrong-doers from marking in the elevator, but who’s to say that they won’t simply move on and find another venue for their stray markings?
The only thing it is guaranteed to do is leave the rest of the school disgruntled.
Although I don’t really care that much about the actual punishment since I can deal with the stairs, there’s a bigger picture that we need to look at because this isn’t just about the elevator.
It’s really about communication between us and our administration. Someone needs to speak up for the student body and mediate between the two. It shouldn’t just go from a few people consistently incurring the wrath of the assistant director straight to a schoolwide ban. There have got to be other options.
Most of us are rule-abiding Uni citizens. We can deal with it.