Please exclude the critters

Chronicle Staff

After years of complaints that the school lacked a sense of community, the administration has finally come up with a practical solution. Unfortunately, the house system will only be put into place at the Middle School. The Upper School would benefit from the same program.

It would instill the sense of community that faculty and students have demanded from the administration. The Faculty Academic Committee created a subcommittee last year in order to find ways to improve school community and character.

A house system would bring together all three grades on campus, forcing students to get to know some of their classmates that they would otherwise never meet. As a smaller, closer group within the school, each house would grow together and bond in the same way students do on Middle School retreats.

Although some may say that the system would be a waste of time and that students are not spirited enough to truly take part, having inter-house competition would actually foster school spirit and tie students together. Students could find a break from a tough day in color wars, intramurals, house community service projects and academic decathlons.

Although the house system should be brought to the Upper School, there must be some changes first. The house names—Otters, Badgers, Polecats and Ferrets—need to grow up before the Upper School adopts them. The Emery, Gooden, Vance and DeLaguna houses—named after the first two headmasters and headmistresses of Harvard and Westlake, respectively—would be more appropriate.

Houses should be assigned in seventh grade, and that assignment should carry through until graduation. If the system spanned both campuses it would encourage more cooperation between the two. On their first day at the Coldwater campus, sophomores would already know a group of upper classmen in their house, making the transition easier.

The upper school student government should work to bring this program—all grown up—to our campus. It would bring the entire school together and strengthen the community.

Just please, no more vermin.