Latin Closes Doors for Students


Caroline McHugh

The sign indicates the locked fourth-floor door, preventing students from entering the quiet study space.

During the first 45 minutes of the 2022-23 school year, deans Nick Baer and Bridget Hennessy revealed a shocking, life-altering change that sparked mutters across the Wrigley Auditorium: The door between the Learning Commons (LC) and the Bridge Cafe is now locked. From the stage to the balcony, students in the theater contemplated this new impediment to their everyday life at school.

Latin’s Upper School: a building known for its questionable window placement, drastic temperatures, poor internet, continuous hallways, and desire to be open and inclusive. Considering the latter two traits, opening doors seems like it should be a part of the Latin spirit. Contradicting the Roman way, Latin has barred students from journeying directly from the Bridge Cafe to the LC.

“This is a real loss to the school,” said senior Mia Lapiere. “It’s pointless.” Many share Mia’s sentiment, with students across the school questioning the lock’s necessity. The change seems unexpected as well, as the main concern last school year seemed to be eating in carpeted areas, not walking through them.

“I am so outraged by this terrible move,” said sophomore Sofia Testai, who utilized the open loop last year to walk around in circles. It is such a shame that many are missing out on the valuable exercise these walks provided—the locked door prevents bored students from taking laps around the fourth floor.

Another former fourth-floor-walker, senior Alena Brandt, said, “I think Michelle would be disappointed,” referring to the former first lady’s fight to get youth across America moving.

Shockingly enough, there are students who use their free time at school to do work in the LC, and, apparently, gaggles of coffee-holding students caused by the locked door negatively contribute to their work time. The librarians, it seems, value peace and quiet. This uncharacteristic vendetta against volume has driven the librarians to guard the door against noise in the same way sophomores guard their locker bay against freshmen.

“In the quiet area, we would immediately tone down our voices,” said Alena. Given that Latin students are known to be considerate people who always listen to the deans about keeping the pit clean, not using the elevator, and eating only in the correct spaces, will a locked door accomplish more than putting obstacles in everyone’s path?

Mia finds the guarded door more disrupting than walking students. “People talk in there anyways, so it’s not like it changes much,” said Mia. “It has already been a big obstacle in my daily walk to class.”

“People are going to find a way through,” Mia said. After all, when one door closes, a window opens. If only there was a window between the LC and Bridge Cafe.