SOS: Seniority of Sophomores?

Grace Coberly and Iz Gius Staff Writers IMG_3793 We’re back. The “take-no-crap freshman” are here to explain themselves. We’re not trying to cause trouble, we just want to shut down this idea of sophomore seniority. Here’s our side of the story: Before starting high school, the new freshman were all well acquainted with the unspoken rules of the Latin cafeteria: upperclassmen on the lower level and the freshmen and sophomores on top. One day in the second week of school, we and a few fellow freshmen sat in one of the upper level booths, ignorant of a newly-created rule. We got a few dirty looks and the other freshmen refused to sit with us, but it was only when a sophomore boy came up and politely informed us that “this is not freshman territory” that we realized the implications of where we were sitting. We really didn’t want to move, so we remained in the booth until we were flat-out forced to leave by another sophomore and his group of friends. It really wasn’t much of a welcome. We’re still confused. Why do the sophomores, only a year older and still underclassmen, have the right to kick the freshmen out? The fact that they too were kicked out as freshmen is not a good enough excuse. One of the most amazing things about Latin is how united we are; the closeness of each grade, as well as the closeness of the entire high school, is rare and should be appreciated. These unwritten rules of sophomore seniority are not a good impression to the new freshmen at Latin. Being a freshmen is intimidating enough (which we all can attest to), and these rules are certainly not helping to make the new kids feel like a part of the school community. When asked about the booth rules, each freshman had a different opinion, ranging from “never heard of it” to “it’s stupid, they don’t have the right.” Sophia Lancaster, a freshman, told us about her older sister’s view on our rights as freshmen. The list was long, but according to Sophia, “one thing she never mentioned was the booths being off limits.” To get to the bottom of the situation, we talked to the freshman dean, Mr. Windus, as well as the sophomore dean, Ms. McCarthy. Mr. Windus wholeheartedly agrees with us that the sophomores shouldn’t be treating us like they are. He admits, however, that he might have told last year’s freshmen something different. Ms. McCarthy, on the other hand, had never heard of this rule before, and was surprised and disappointed at this territorial behavior of the sophomore class. And both deans agreed that the effects in the Latin community, if any, were certainly not positive. We believe that the traditions at Latin should only go so far. When it becomes a matter of disrespect and rudeness, a line must be drawn. Additionally, this “tradition” is not actually a tradition at all, and in fact, only started last year with the current junior class. The seniors as just as baffled as we are, one replying with a simple “nope” after we described the premise of our article. He continued on to say that there shouldn’t be these specific rules, and that the Latin cafeteria has always been first come-first serve in terms of tables. The senior-junior rules make more sense to many students, considering that they’re upperclassmen, but these rules for the underclassmen are unnecessary and unneeded. In a school that preaches such inclusiveness and respect, should there really be such a strict hierarchy of seniority? We think not. And if the sophomore class truly doesn’t “want to be the bad person,” as Bianca Stelian suggests in her Forum article, then they should stop with the rules that promote disrespect and superiority. The Latin Community is an amazing place, full of acceptance and understanding, but this supposed sophomore lunchtime right shows a rare crack in the armor. Whether or not the rule will last, or whether the freshmen will continue it on next year, is still a mystery. If one thing’s for sure, the two of us will certainly not be giving up so quickly, and we won’t continue on this “tradition” next year.]]>