Western Reserve is a boarding/day student school, and between lunch and the following class period, day students and boarders do not have a designated place to drop their bags. So, students began to drop their bags in the dining hall to be picked up after lunch. However, the dean of students announced a few days ago that students are no longer allowed to drop their bags in or around the dining hall. The school would no longer tolerate the unsightly piles of bags and the chaotic scramble by students, all digging for their bags at the same time. Every day, this scene used to repeats itself resulting in a great deal of noise, traffic jam at the exit and missing personal belongings. The dean did offer an alternative: we were to place our bags at the academic building, the dorms, or the chapel.
|[Pile of bags laying outside of the dining hall. Photo Courtesy: Jin Lee]|
Well, this alternative created a great deal of confusion among students at first. Some bags were simply dropped outside the dining hall and other bags were strewn on the streets or at the dorm entrances. The dean got rid of the traffic jam and the noise at the dining hall, but now the entire campus started looking like what the dining hall used to look like before the edict.
[Interviewing my friend, Martin So, in my dorm room about the bag announcement.
Students’ reactions were mixed. “Before the announcement, I usually put my bag outside the dinning building. It was easier for me to head straight to class or to my dorm. But after, I am forced to put my bag in my dorm or in academic building which is really time-consuming and annoying,” complained Martin So, a sophomore. He also expressed his frustration over the unclear reasoning behind the dean’s decision. “I would understand the announcement if the deans made it clear enough for the students. However, they did not send out a single email about the specific reason behind it. Probably some beneficial reasons for the faculty who does not have bags, but not for us.”
Renee Oh, a sophomore boarder who lives in the dining hall, has had a different experience. “I did not notice any big difference. We usually put our bags on the other side of the dining hall door where the stairs are. The stairs are to the girl’s dorm, so only the girls can put their bags. Thanks to that, I don’t have to worry about inconveniently putting my bag in the academic building or somewhere else,” said Renee
However, incredible changes started to happen inside the campus in the weeks following the announcement. Students no longer decided to put their bags outside the dining hall building, outside dorm entrances, or on the streets. Instead, most of them left their bags at academic buildings or inside dorm common rooms. This made students head back to their classes early in the academic buildings early.
In addition, day students began borrowing boarders’ help and dropping their bags inside the dorms. Usually day students and boarders did not used to have much time to interact or become closer except in classes. Now, this barrier is coming down as they help one another park their bags inside the common rooms of the dorms
Although the announcement seemed disconcerting and aggravating at first, it may have been a shrewd decision after all.
Western Reserve Academy
Jin Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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