Returning to Normal

Residence Department readjusts Boarding’s study hall guidelines

This year, a new Residence Department rule was instituted: boarders, with the exception of seniors, were no longer allowed to return to the dorm and work in their rooms during study hall, which is from 8-10 p.m. Monday- Friday.

The decision to change the rules of study hall was made in order to prevent girls from sleeping, watching movies or Skyping during study hours, which was a problem last year. Although we, the boarders, understood the logic behind the decision, it felt unfair.

Most of us believed that it was unjust to have our privileges rebuked due to some girls’ mistreatment of study hall. Why should we all be punished for someone’s decision to catch up on “The Vampire Diaries” rather than study for a math test?

Along with this disappointing decision came stringent rules dictating where we could study.

The designated study areas were the Upper School Library, Upper School and Middle School Commons and Tarry House. These guidelines forced girls, who thrived on solitary study, to sacrifice their productivity and embrace working in a room filled with others.  And, unfortunately, due to the limited number of places to study and 65 girls required to occupy them at the same time, each location became full fast.

Along with the crowded conditions came the bipolar air conditioning in the rooms. One never knew whether to wear a sweater or shorts; some resolved just to carry a sweatshirt even though it was August. Not to mention the extra 10 minutes it took to walk to study hall, unpack, pack up and walk back to the dorms.

Luckily, after a semester of being inconvenienced during study hall, the rule has been partially overturned. Now, sophomores and juniors in good academic standing are allowed to study in their rooms—with a few strings attached.

First, we are no longer allowed to study on or near our beds. A big inconvenience for those of us who like to review Chinese flashcards from the comfort of our quilt. Secondly, we are required to keep our doors open. Finally, we are not allowed to break Quiet Hours (7 p.m.-7 a.m.), meaning that we are prohibited from making any noises that could disrupt fellow students, which proves to be difficult while our doors are ajar.

But even though these new rules are stringent, everyone in boarding was thrilled. Upon being told of the rules’ revision, some girls shrieked, others jumped for joy and one girl even fell out of her chair with excitement.

Gone are the days of trudging to study hall bogged down with six textbooks and binders. We shall venture outside while bracing the cold rain, dry heat or bitter cold no more. Never again will we be required to change out of our comfy pajamas and into street clothes.

We can finally study in our rooms like every other teenager in America.

– Vivian Armitage