Changes in the Boarding Department

Lights out times for boarders have been extended. Art by Cassie

Lights on in the Senior Hall

With girls screaming, jumping and laughing, the senior hall at boarding was filled with ecstatic sentiments. Five minutes ago, the Director of Residence Danielle Ferguson had announced the removal of lights-out restriction for all senior boarders.

11: 50 p.m. had been the “time of judgment” for senior boarders in the past years. Homework, test preparation, college applications and everything else had to be done by this time because at midnight, a knock on the door would mean lights out.  Senior lights-out was always at midnight, although each senior was granted two one-hour late-lights a week.

“I do see the benefits of having mandatory lights-out, especially for those younger ones who not only need more guidance and supervision but also need more sleep,” said Claire ‘12, who was an international boarder from China at Hockaday for three years. “However, I don’t think seniors should have lights-out.”

Claire was not the only one who struggled with getting all her work done before midnight. She said that she and her peers had a lot more work and stress than younger girls, so having a lights-out time simply added more stress.

“Seniors should be treated and trusted as adults. They are soon going to college where there is absolutely no lights-out or even curfews,” Claire said. This is the exact reason why boarding changed the lights-out rules this year. According Ferguson, the boarding department relaxed the rules this year in hopes of helping seniors get used to a more self-disciplinary lifestyle.  

“The change was made in an effort to align residence guidelines with developmentally appropriate needs,” Ferguson said.  “We are a college prep program and must help students learn to manage their time as they would in life after Hockaday.”

After Claire learned about the nullification of lights-out policies for seniors, she said she felt glad for the senior boarders this year.

“Loosening the rules on lights-out for seniors will decrease their stress and help those young ladies to grow and learn, which is the goal of Hockaday education,” she said.

Anastasia, a senior boarder this year, expressed relief and excitement after the announcement of the new policy.

“I’m very happy because sometimes it is very difficult to fit everything into the short amount of time given to me,” said Anastasia. “Because, let’s be real, going to sleeping at 12 o’clock is not something possible for a Hockaday student, especially not for a senior.”

Along with the change of senior lights-out, underclassmen at boarding are also allowed more study time at night this year.. Sophomore lights-out has been changed from 11 p.m. to midnight, and juniors are given multiple late-lights as opposed to a limited two late-lights per week in the past.