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Open Campus: Yay or Nay?

Meredith Nash and Julia Barshak

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Is the Open Campus Policy  really all it lives up to be? Two top student correspondents duel it out in this debate.

Argument For Open Campus:

Who wouldn’t want open campus? It means more freedom, independence, and better food. Sounds great to me. This is high school after all, and as a student I believe we should be entitled to basic rights. After all, we aren’t prisoners, so if we don’t have a required class to attend, we should be permitted to leave.

So what is open campus exactly?  Traditionally by definition, open campus means a student is permitted to leave school when he or she is not scheduled for a class.  It makes sense for students to be able to go grab a bite to eat during a study, come in a little late in the morning if they don’t have a class first period, or to simply spend time and wind down outside the school grounds.  Also, what student wouldn’t want to leave early during a free period at the end of the day?

If we aren’t allowed to leave, school is comparable to prison. Other schools have open campus with few problems. Of course, there may be a few students who abuse the privilege, but these are the minority.  Why should a minority of students thwart the freedoms for everyone else? While it is true that lunches are too short to bother leaving the school grounds, studies are a different story. As long as the students return in time, why keep them imprisoned?

Another advantage to open campus is that students don’t even have to use it. If students don’t have the time, then they don’t leave. Open campus simply gives students the option; it does not force them to leave. Students will have to plan ahead and determine if they can be back in time, and such planning will be a necessary skill for college.  Time management skills are crucially important when one is working in an office, or managing study time at college.  This privilege is an important life skill to learn.

Most importantly, open campus pays respect to our students. It engenders them with independence, responsibility and the expectation that they will manage their time successfully.  What better way to infuse our students with self-esteem than by expecting them to manage their time efficiently?

Teachers are responsible to instruct and mentor students, not babysit them. Open campus is a privilege that is enjoyed in numerous high schools with few issues. The addition of an open campus policy to Nashoba would be beneficial to students, in terms of independence, respect, and time management. It would add a new element of freedom to the school day.

Argument Against Open Campus: 

Independence in a lot of cases can be wildly overused and seen as a leading cause for too many incidents, especially within school walls. Just recently whispers about opening the school door’s for an off campus experience during the six hours we’re here have risen. On one hand there are multitudes of reasons this is a great addition to our educational experience but countering such voices is a harder side to battle.

Despite the newly found freedom we would attain, what happens when several students abuse it? It can be challenging to hand a student a pass and agree that you will know exactly where they’ll be going without the single doubt in your mind that they’ll stray the path they’d originally instructed you of. In several cases students have even abused such freedoms for skipping classes or even mixing drug abuse somewhere along their time outside the classroom.

Regardless of not knowing of the student’s whereabouts, a lot of times, personally as a student, I have a hard time making it to my class on time within the four minutes we have. If we were allowed to leave the school within a twenty three minute interval, get our food, and still have enough time to get back to our lockers and collect our supplies – would there really be enough time to accomplish all that?

Doubtfully so.

Additionally, now that student’s would be leaving school property and ordering their food from other businesses like pizza places across the street, that would be tampering with our school’s funds and the money we consumed from our school lunches would ultimately plummet.

Now, I’m not saying its time to close those doors and not even mull over the options of different places to eat but there are alternate ways we can achieve our freedom of selection. Additional food assortments in the cafeteria are among the many options.

As great of an idea as it sounds, it just doesn’t seem possible to attain without holes in the apparent, foolproof plan.

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Open Campus: Yay or Nay?