Carina Cole ’22 News Reporter
Recently, members of the student government enacted changes designed to ensure that Mercersburg’s students live more productive, stress-free lives. Now in the Spring term, the eleventh-grade class will gain senior privileges including later sign in times, the opportunity to sign in at locations other than their dorms, and freedom from room checks on Tuesdays. The purpose of these changes is to increase convenience and allow upperclass students greater freedoms. Overall, there has been a positive reaction to the measures put in place by student government officials, such as Rose Potter ‘21.
Potter, with the help of other student council representatives, such as Jack Kothari ‘20 and Aba Sankah ‘20 and faculty members Chris Howes and Brett Potash, fought for these policies and students’ best interests. Potter commented, “These changes, which are seemingly minor, will show Mercersburg students that they do actually have a say in what goes on here.” Not only did Potter encourage this change to allow students more freedom, but to give students the opportunity to be more independent, as they will to responsibly manage extensive free time once in college. Potter and Kothari wanted upperclassman, particularly 11th graders, to feel that the school rules reflect their increasing levels of responsibility.
In the past, many students have found evening room checks to be stressful. In fact, many would go so far to conclude that there simply isn’t enough time to clean their rooms after school before PGAs. Kothari was excited to give students more privileges. “These rules are especially useful for Upper-middlers, who get more schoolwork and see more responsibility come their way in the form of leadership positions in the Spring.” Sankah added, “I’m interested to see how students react and how Veracross will help make the changes easier to control. I’m glad to be a part in starting these conversations, and thinks it’s important to eradicate the stigma that student council doesn’t do anything.” All three members hope that the modified rule structure will alleviate stress.
Marco Malo ‘21 is a self-declared “big fan of the later sign-in times” and feels that the changes, including no Tuesday room checks, will add to the experience of being an upperclass student. Sally Balentine ‘21 says, “I think the later sign in time will make it easier to get things done without interruption which is something many underclassmen look forward to, and students will work harder to have better grades to achieve these privileges.”
Potash worked with Potter and Kothari to help arrange meetings with the Dorm Deans in order to reach agreement on these policies. He commented, “This is a great opportunity for older students to prove they can be responsible with extended freedoms.” Kristin Ahlgren, English teacher and lacrosse coach, also feels strongly but addresses a different point. “I think that these new student-driven rules are great. Although, I wonder how other students will feel about these changes because a certain grade point average is required for the 11th grade privileges.”
Grace Carter ‘23 commented, “ I think these changes are deserved by upperclassmen in particular because they deserve more privileges than underclassmen. They are more responsible and know how to balance their work.” Chris Jetter ‘22 and Griffin Lange ‘22 both agree: “The entire upper class should have the benefit of later sign in times and no room checks on Tuesdays because they have earned the benefits as they are more responsible.”