Although this issue is not as hot as the dress code or food at Sage, we seldom hear positive feedback when we listen to students talk about the seating at the school meeting, which is surprising to me because I never thought of finding seats for people would be a problem. I’m here to present two possible solutions that hopefully will make students’ experience better at school meetings.
- Advisory Seating
The downside with our current arranged seating is that students might not know people sitting next to them well as they were assigned to different rows according to their grade level and the alphabetical order of their last names. Unfortunately not everyone shares the same initial letter in last name with you is your close friend. Besides, I heard teachers argued that they did not know some students sit on their rows because they barely had the chance to make a connection with these students at school.
One way I believe we will solve this problem is to arrange the seating by advisory. Students and faculty in the same advisory group know each other well. On top of that, our community is doing a great job in building a connection outside the classroom between students and teachers. A stronger student-advisor bonding is what the school is going after, and I think having people seated according to their advisory group will help promote this goal.
- Having the freshman in the front
Another option we have for arranged seating is to have freshman sit in the front. Although under this plan students still have to sit with people they are not particularly familiar with, it came purely from a perspective that attempts to make the seating fair and comfortable for everyone.
This is not a original idea, two years ago it was brought up by Peter Saliba Jr. at the town meeting. The point he made was that it was hard for underclassmen to see speakers in the front because they were relatively shorter in terms of their height, which totally makes sense. The counterargument he later received was, “It’s part of our tradition”.
It’s a good thing to see that members of our community always bear in mind that we are a school with lots of traditions; however, tradition is not always the best path to follow. If we are keeping the current chapel seating which seniors sit in the front because of our tradition, then I shall ask, for what reason did we get rid of the senior walk? Of course I’m not suggesting that kids be bullied for seats at the chapel, but my point is, there are realistic benefits of letting freshman sit in the front rather.
Both solutions are based upon the criteria that there has to be a fixed, arranged seating so that teachers can take attendance. One of the few brief lessons I’ve learned in my first eighteen years in this world is that people will be more engaged when they are actually interested in something instead of being forced. Maybe the ultimate answer of making our school meeting better lies not underneath the seats, but the talks given on the podium.