Deans permit food in lounge for two-week trial

Due to student complaints and a prefect-led proposal, the deans have initiated a two week trial which started on Monday permitting students to eat in the lounge.

Students are expected to clean up after themselves and preserve the cleanliness of the lounge without the help of campus faculty or maintenance crews.

“If after two weeks, the condition of the student lounge is not acceptable, the administration can revoke this privilege,” Head Prefect Tessa Wick ’09 said. “On the other hand, if the student lounge is in good condition after the trial period, we can continue to use it as an appropriate place to eat.”

Wick said, however, even if the two weeks are extended the deans can again prohibit eating in the lounge at any point in the year should the students show they cannot keep it clean.

The decision to close the lounge has been meet with contempt by some students.

“I ate in the lounge basically every day,” Jake Fernandez ’10 said. “I understand why they took it away, but I’m glad they trust us again. I know we’ll keep it clean.”

“The lounge was the perfect place to eat and do homework. I see why they did it, but it was just not fair to the tenth graders,” Kat Arenella ’10 said.

Before the trial period was announced, Robert Reeves ’10 circulated a petition asking that the administration allow students to eat in the lounge again.

Reeves sent out an e-mail with a link to a petition on www.gopetition.com called “Bring Food Back to the Lounge,” which proposed exactly that.

“In signing this petition, you are appealing to the administration for a second chance,” Reeves wrote in the petition. “In correlation with this appeal, you are pledging that, if bestowed said second chance, you will make an additional effort to maintain the cleanliness and order of the lounge.”

“The idea for the petition, like most, stemmed directly from my own discontent,” Reeves said. “The lounge was my primary eating spot. So I figured why not test the democratic waters and see what everyone else thinks?”

Reeves’ hope was to send the petition to the whole upper school student body; however, student accounts are not permitted to send an email to a whole class so he started by sending it to the junior class and work his way through the school.

The petition argues that an inside eating area is a fundamental part of a school. It also argues that the student body is able to maintain the cleanliness of the lounge and “earn the institution.” It also calls eating outside in the valley’s heat a “strenuous ordeal.”

Reeves believes that the upper school student body is different now and should be given a chance.

“Has the administration considered that a new class of students enters the school, and another leaves, every year?” he asked.

Reeves was prepared to possibly address Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra in the event of the petition’s failure. However, Reeves would prefer not having to make his own argument.

“The weight of many,” he said, “should always be greater than that of a few, or the one.”

Reeves’ activism in the matter, though, was put on hold when he heard of the prefects’ proposal at which point he closed the petition with a final tally of one hundred signatures.