The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Juniors caught leaving off-campus without senior lunch privileges

Connor Tang
Head of Upper School Security Earl Saunders stands at the north security kiosk. Saunders caught multiple juniors leaving campus in recent weeks.

Juniors have been caught violating the off-campus lunch privilege, which is reserved for seniors, according to an Honor Board report issued by Prefect Council on Feb. 20. The report detailed a specific incident involving a junior who was caught leaving campus repeatedly during lunch.

“The student was suspended and lost junior privileges,” Prefect Council said in the report. “Leaving campus is a senior privilege, and Mr. Preciado can track who is leaving [campus] through iHW.”

Head of Upper School Beth Slattery said that students who are caught leaving the campus without permission will be sent to the Honor Board because it is a violation of school policy. She said that freedom is purposefully given to students in increments as they progress through the Upper School.

“This [is] an Honor Board case because you’re not allowed to do it,” Slattery said. “Wait your turn. If you’re a sophomore you can come for your first obligation of the day, but you have to stay the whole day. A junior can come for their first obligation and leave after their last obligation, but they can’t leave for lunch. But then seniors can do all of those things, and that feels like the fair way to give freedom progressively to people.”

Junior Prefect Victor Suh ’25 said that there has been a increase in the number of juniors leaving campus as a result of students no longer valuing school customs.

“It’s tradition that seniors have the right to leave campus,” Suh said. “We have a class who is starting to push away the internalization of tradition. Over time, underclassmen have gotten better at building up relationships with people in the senior class. And when you are closer to people who have the privilege to go off campus, naturally, there will be more instances of seniors encouraging juniors and sophomores to stick by them and take advantage of that privilege as well.”

Head of Upper School Security Earl Saunders said juniors should not be leaving campus because it is an exclusive way to reward seniors for their responsibility.

“When you become a senior you’re ready to go into [the] adult world, you should be more mature to be able to handle the responsibility of leaving campus and coming back at a certain time,” Saunders said. “So when you’re a senior we’re going to give you a little more play because nobody’s going to hold your hand.”

Suh said that being present at lunch is crucial for students to build crucial relationships among their class.

“I’ve always seen lunch as the only way that I could get a visual diagram of the social dynamics of our campus,” Suh said. “I know that break time is short and during Conference Time people are usually working on something. Lunch is really the only place where you can see that many people in one place at the same time. I would not have gotten the chance to meet as many new people if people weren’t forced to attend.”

Nevertheless, Saunders said he warns against students making assumptions when juniors leave campus because a lot of them have valid reasons to leave.

“There [are] also a couple of kids that are getting off campus and then everybody targeted them, thinking that we were letting them because we were being nice,” Saunders said. “That wasn’t the case. People see someone getting off and they assume, ‘Look at the juniors going off campus,’ but what do they know? What if they have a doctor’s appointment or medical issue?”

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MeJo Liao, Assistant Features Editor
Connor Tang, Assistant News Editor

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