Corridor congestion? A solution [Opinion]


(Elena Protocin)

These juniors, like many others, pile up along the hallway by the business offices leading to the Chapel to use their iPads.

A new hangout spot for students has emerged in what is otherwise known as the business hallway, so called because many school officials occupy the offices adjacent to the hall.

Every lunch period, multitudes of students loll along the corridor. Mrs. Kilway, from the nearby Finance and Operations office, noted that “students are looking for a place to socialize, catch up, share thoughts and ideas, as well as to access their iPads.”

This has caused many to wonder about the sudden surge of students spending their time there. I myself have taken refuge in the hallway since last year, back when hardly anyone sat in it. Since then, I have noticed how many people now flock to that corridor and create a tight squeeze for passers-by.

Students usually have their legs stretched out every which way on both sides of the hall, so it is nearly impossible for a group of three or more to manage the obstacle course. “It’s only difficult in about two lunch periods. If maintenance tries to get through, it’s a challenge,” according to Mrs. Kilway.

Although the once peaceful sanctuary has changed into a bustling zone, junior Jeff Sadar said he likes the hallway because “the benches are comfortable.”

Sydney Noerenberg, another junior, said that she does not use her iPad in the Commons because “I don’t want to risk the trouble since they are banned in the Commons.” There is currently no specified ban on iPad use in halls, but students are not allowed to congregate in any other hallway.

students are looking for a place to socialize, catch up, share thoughts and ideas, as well as to access their iPads.

— Mrs. Kilway

The rule against iPads in the Commons was instituted in the 2016-2017 school year. When I was a freshman, iPads were allowed in there, but the problems were obvious. Students, including me, were much more focused on playing games than talking to each other. I can hardly remember talking to others during lunches that year.

Students did socialize more after the ban, but being able to eat and use an iPad at the same time was no longer possible. The Rotunda was then converted into a new lounge area that allowed students to do both. “It’s always crowded, but we try to [go there],” said Sydney.

Within the first five minutes of a lunch period, the Rotunda fills to the brim with students, so latecomers can’t find seats. This creates a new issue. Students are forced to go to the only other place available: the business hallway.

So, the traffic and problems stem from a lack of a larger designated space where iPads can be used freely, even for games. This has led to many looking for solutions. Referring to the Commons a few years ago, Mrs. Kilway noted, “We had comfortable chairs [near] where the senior tables are now.”

I suggest that new plush seating, such as couches and chairs, be placed near the front of the Commons. This would allow for a new area for iPads and divert students away from the hallway. A rough sketch of this concept can be viewed below:

                                                                                                                                                             (Andrew Toth)

In response the to the sketch, sophomore Gavin Carr remarked, “I would definitely sit there if the seating was comfy.” A compromise such as this will keep all sides of the issue satisfied.