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Policy regarding backpacks causes concern

When walking back and forth between campuses, many students are fumbling with their books and binders, arriving to class minutes late because they aren’t allowed a backpack tag, nor have a locker at the North Campus. Switching between campuses may work out for some students, but some say they struggle to make it to class on time due to multiple factors. These include not being allowed a backpack tag, which are reserved for traveling seniors, a locker being jammed or broken, or simply not having enough time to walk across the street, go to their locker, and still get to class. A few lost minutes may not seem much, but in the beginning of class, it can include the most important info students need to hear.

Juniors Eli Haidamous, Michael Luce and Jalen Cook (left to right) walking into the North Campus during 6th hour on Sept. 26th. Many students no longer carry a backpack between campuses as a result of the increased enforcement the backpack policy.

From instructions, to missing the first part of a video that you needed to see for a worksheet, any instruction time is important and essential to what the whole day or even week could be about. “It’s just a time waster, when it doesn’t have to be,” said junior Alex Penski, who travels between both campuses. The backpack rule has been in effect for several years at the North Campus, but is being enforced consistently this year. Administration began cracking down on this at the beginning of the year. For students with broken lockers, those students have been asked to keep them in the office. This policy may not be a problem for students who stay at the Senior Campus all day, or even those who have only class at the North Campus. However, students across multiple grades travel. “It’s a hassle to come over here [to the Main Campus], put my stuff in my locker, then walk back over [to the North Campus], and I still have to come back and go to my locker again when I’m already late for class,” said Penski. In past years, it hasn’t been much of an issue to walk around with your backpack on at the North Campus. But this year, it was made clear that students are not to have a bag, unless clear or mesh, in any classroom, no matter what. The reason for this policy is based on multiple factors, such as safety and space management. Teacher opinions on the matter vary. Some teachers don’t have a preference, but are doing what is required of them by policy. If every student were to bring their bag into class and have it laying aside or beneath them, it is easy to imagine how fast the floor space would fill. “The classrooms were really hard to navigate,” said English teacher Anne Russo about last year ’s more lenient backpack policy. Some believe juniors should be allowed a tag for their bag for the sake of time, since they may even travel more than seniors. Russo used to allow non-senior students to bring in their bags to encourage them to be more time efficient, which other teachers may not have a problem with. “ I had a couple of undergraduates who were juniors with special permission,” said Russo. Now, administration does not want any bags in the room unless the bags are see through, no matter what. “I think that they should allow it in class at the North Campus,” said senior Luke Kenger. Many students have the same view on the policy, and Kenger thinks that the policy just wastes time. “Just because it will save you time,” said Kenger. So the main issue students have with this policy is time and how no matter how many times they travel and when they do, time is always a trouble to students.

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