“Don’t write this piece, it’ll end up getting you in trouble.”
So were the wise words that were unsuccessful in deterring me from writing this article. On the flip side, I was given multiple title suggestions, my favorite being ‘GTFO: Get the Fresh Out.’ I personally do not support the ‘removal’ of freshman whatsoever, but this title made me laugh, so I decided to refer to it here.
Recently at lunch I asked some of my fellow sophomores what they thought of the freshman-sophomore lunchtime etiquette. A major topic recently in the Latin class of 2016 has been the stigma that the booths on the second level of the cafeteria (in one of which we happened to be sitting) are only for sophomore use, and any freshman that sits there will be soon asked to leave. Does it sound harsh? Maybe. But we went through the exact same process last year, and for us, things have changed.
Being a sophomore is pretty nice compared to last year. We have our own lounge on our own floor and our grade has grown much closer since we gathered in the fall of 2012. Perhaps this new-found freedom has gone to our heads in our opinions about cafeteria seating, or perhaps it’s simply us attempting to hold onto what power we have over the freshman, who are the lowest (or as Mr. Tempone would put it, technically the highest) on the totem pole.
It’s not as simple as ‘see a freshman in the booth, kick them out.’ A group of us sophomores will more often than not notice when freshmen are in a booth during lunch, but we will all try to convince each other to go over and ask them to leave. Nobody wants to be the bad person– we don’t get some sort of sick thrill from asserting our dominance over them rudely (at least not most of us). We just want to know that we have the option to sit where we want after spending a year following the rules – is that too much to ask?
According to a particularly take-no-crap group of freshmen (and the faculty that supports them), it is. Despite Jessica Kubert, a fellow sophomore, remembering that “I had been told last year by [a certain teacher] that the downstairs section was for upperclassmen, the booths were for sophomores, and the rest was for freshmen,” the new view is apparently that booths are for everyone. Current seniors, when asked what this situation was like for them as freshmen, report it was totally different: “I sat in the booths all the time when I was a freshman,” Cameron LeCoque reminisced. “There was no rule on where I could and couldn’t sit.” So where’s the disconnect? Apparently, the rule came into action last year, and my grade was the first to experience it. It lasted the entire year, becoming the norm, and the rule has been ingrained in our minds ever since. I’m not alone in thinking this: Michael Herman remarked, “It is a tradition for sophomores to sit in these booths, and sitting in these booths as freshmen disrupts the Latin flow. By the way, vote Herman for junior prefect.”
All other sophomores asked had the same general sentiment. Some were a little more lenient on how we go about the issue of when freshmen sit in the booths, and others were not: an anonymous source who asked to be named “The Conservative Roman” violently summed up the general sophomore opinion by stating “Get out of our seats or you’re gonna get beat.” While I assure all freshmen that no beating will occur from sitting in the seats, and while for some reason they have a huge wave of faculty support of which last year we did not, the sophomores clearly do not wish to harm them physically or mentally – we just want a little leeway compared to last year. Soon enough, they’ll be sophomores, and hopefully they’ll be able to understand our point of view.