The 4:1 Golden Ratio: Latin's New Mindset

Theodore Weldon  Latin is no stranger to pushing the occasional lofty philosophy on its student body. From last year’s “leadership” to this year’s “taking action,” Latin has given its students plenty of food for thought and the school administration has extensively advocated these ideas. Another concept introduced this year hasn’t been marketed nearly as aggressively, though: Latin’s “4:1 ratio,” the idea that you need four positive social interactions for every negative one. Latin prides itself on being a safe, friendly environment in which its students feel comfortable, and for the most part it is; however, it’s undeniable that some bullying or otherwise unfriendly interactions slip through. These issues, no matter how small, can undoubtedly develop into serious problems for the community. It’s for this reason that the Latin administration introduced this 4:1 interaction ratio, meant to counteract Latin’s problem with negative interactions by encouraging more positive ones. The effectiveness of Latin’s “positivity quota” is still up for debate. When interviewed, many students didn’t even know that it existed. “Yeah, I’ve never heard of it,” said a senior who chose to remain anonymous, “but I’m a pretty negative person so I’ll just leave it at that.” Sophomore Randy Pierre didn’t like the mindset behind the idea. “I’m not gonna come at anybody, but I don’t want it to be like I need to I have to go out of my way to have four positive interactions just because I was maybe joking around with someone, it just seems kind of strange.” On the other hand, some students saw merit to the ratio. “I feel like a lot of people at Latin, especially in [my] grade, can be pretty negative. I understand the thought process behind [the ratio], even if I don’t really agree with it,” said a student who chose to remain anonymous. The 4:1 interaction ratio is indeed a contentious concept; a sizeable percentage of the students here didn’t even know that this new idea had been introduced, and the consensus among those who have heard about it is that it needs clarification. While there seems to be good intentions behind the establishment of the 4:1 rule, the school will need to do better advertising it if they really want to see it succeed. ]]>