Opinion: Let underclassmen off campus


Credit: Natalie Hsu

WSPN’s Natalie Hsu argues that underclassmen should be allowed off campus.

Natalie Hsu

Standing in the cafeteria, your stomach grumbles. You glance at the hot lunch in the kitchen. Breakfast for lunch? Ew, no way. Soggy french toast sticks versus juicy, burrito heaven? Honestly, there’s no competition. You head out of the building, on a mission to find an upperclassman who is willing to take you to the land of burritos. Then, in the corner of your eye, you witness a subpar version of the Grand Prix, a golf cart and silver Toyota racing to Old Connecticut Path. You think to yourself, “Do I really want to hide in the trunk of an upperclassman’s car? No thanks.” Frowning, you head back into the commons. This wouldn’t happen if WHS had an open campus policy.

An open campus policy would allow both under and upperclassmen to venture off campus during the school day. This privilege will help students learn to be responsible adults in the future. The administration defends their restrictions, claiming that they are for the safety of the students, but is sneaking people off campus in trunks safe? People shouldn’t have to sneak around in trunks or disguise themselves as seniors in order to depart the campus, just to enjoy one small, harmless burrito.

According to the student handbook, seniors are allowed off campus during frees only if they have completed at least 30 hours of community service and have consent from a parent. Juniors, on the other hand, only have the ability to come late to school if they have morning frees, and they may leave campus early if they have last period free, with consent from a parent as well. One may ask, “Where do underclassmen fit into this?” Well, the sad reality is they don’t.

Since the beginning of this school year, there have been many controversies surrounding the campus rules. Last year, regardless of official rules, many juniors and seniors snuck underclassmen off campus and returned them to the school by the start of their next class. But now, if you attempt to drive off campus, your mouth-watering stimulation will turn into a stomach churning situation when you’re stopped by Dana Kanupp, the “Golf Cart Man.”

By revoking the privilege to freely drive off campus, the school is shielding us from the reality of adulthood, creating a pseudo-utopian society in the school. Sure, this rule may be enforced for student safety, but students leaving campus just to obtain a meal is honestly not that dangerous. If the administration is worried about liability, send the underclassmen home with a consent form — that way, if anything happens, the school will not be responsible for the horrendous car crashes that will leave underclassmen in hospitals. The administration should be comfortable with underclassmen leaving campus as long as they are buckled in and are with a responsible driver.

Students should have the ability to leave campus as long as their parents are okay with it because it’s fun and harmless. Since high school is supposed to mark a special point in life, this privilege would add to the experience of a lifetime. Also, WHS is an extremely competitive high school, which creates a high-stress environment. Because of the rigid limitations, students who need to leave campus to clear their heads are being restricted by the administration, which doesn’t benefit anyone.

So, fellow underclassmen: Would you rather hide in a trunk for a juicy, meaty burrito? Or sit in the commons with tasteless, soggy toast sticks?

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.