Students Sitting in the Hallways


During free periods, many students opt to go to the 7th-floor cafeteria, but others prefer a more quiet environment. Many students find the cafeteria unsuitable for many reasons, including overcrowding and distractions. The library is an alternative, but it fills up extremely quickly. As a result, the hallways have become a go-to for students who want to do their work in silence without interruptions.

Last year, Principal Newman closed the hallways to all students, citing COVID-19 concerns. However, as the city-wide mask mandate has been lifted and cases have dropped, hallway restrictions remain in place. Students are still being kicked out of the hallways during their free periods without an explanation.

Tech students are in desperate need of a quiet place to study, whether it is classrooms designated for silent work, or re-opening the auditorium to students.

Parnita Basnet, a senior in the Biological Science Major, uses the hallways as a quiet place to do her work. She stated, “I sit in the hallways because the cafeteria is loud and disruptive when I want to do my work.” She agrees that the cafeteria is simply not a realistic option for students that want a quiet environment to study.

Although the library is an option, it isn’t available for all students. Basnet explained, “I would go to the library but it fills up very quickly.” Unless a student’s class directly before their free period is close to the library, he/she is extremely unlikely to get in.

Mastura Mayesha, a Senior in the Social Science Research Major, has also found the hallways a suitable place where she can focus on her work after the mezzanine was shut down last year. She stated, “If the mezzanine was open then I would probably go there instead of sitting in the hallways.”

Many students find it unfair that they are being kicked out of the hallways when they are not disrupting anyone. Even if they are kicked out, students come back after a while or they go to a different floor. Kicking students out of the hallways accomplishes little besides interrupting studying students.

According to Dean Park, it has always been school policy that students aren’t allowed in the hallways during their free periods. He explained, “The school is being more strict with kicking students out of the hallways because they have gotten better at enforcing it.” In previous years, there have been instances where emergency personnel needed to use the hallways but were not able to get through due to students sitting in the hallways. The school has begun enforcing this policy more vigilantly to ensure that these types of incidents are not repeated.

Many students would like the mezzanine to reopen as an alternative to the hallways, but that is not an option. According to Park, “The mezzanine can’t open because the school is short-staffed.” The school does not have the staffing to monitor the mezzanine, and a safety risk exists as a result of the mezzanine open.”

Principal Newman, who made the call to close the mezzanine, stated, “Now that we are going to some pre-covid regulations, go to the lunchroom, go to the library. Places where we have ample people that can supervise you.”

Now that covid isn’t an imminent threat anymore, the school has begun following pre-covid procedures and encourages students to do the same.

However, despite the school’s efforts to kick them out, students continue to sit in the hallways. An explanation is needed for the hallways continuing to be cleared, as the rationale provided last year seems to be outdated. If the school wants students out of the hallways, an alternative needs to be provided.