Open-Campus at Hanover High

The students here at Hanover High School enjoy the privilege of an open campus. If you are a sophomore or an upperclassman and have parent permission, you can enjoy this privilege. Students can leave the school during their free time, as long as they’re not needed somewhere in the building. However, open campus is still a privilege: if a student cuts three classes, he or she gets scheduled up and loses open-campus. Open-campus is not guaranteed either.  The features of the open-campus are loved by students, but hated by some members of the Hanover community. Therefore, open-campus exists in a state of limbo; it is constantly under fire while simultaneously receiving praise.

New & Improved Sign-Out, courtesy of Ford Daley.

Open-campus has many beneficial attributes. Many students have free periods and enjoy the ability to leave campus during this time; if you have work to do at home, then why stay? Open campus also allows access to the Co-op, which is good for those who don’t like the cafe as well for Co-op sales.

Most of all, the ability to leave the campus creates an environment free of arbitrary rules, not unlike that of college. Not having to be on campus during free periods prepares students for the freedom of college. Making the transition from high school to college is what senior year is all about, and open campus facilitates that transition as early as sophomore year.

“It prepares students for, oh, college and life. Practice is very important. It’s not about how you raise the children with morals or ethics it’s about practice and experience,” says Ford Daily. Ford’s views are similar to many teachers who support open-campus. But open-campus isn’t without its flaws. The biggest problem with open campus is that many students don’t sign out when leaving. This becomes especially dangerous during a school emergency. Students who aren’t on campus won’t know of a school emergency until they return. This could be a big issue if there were a shooter in the school. Also, the students around town cause more traffic and more trouble. Students tend to travel in packs, which can hold up traffic at crosswalks, especially those close to the Co-op during activity period. Students also tend to j-walk when cars are traveling towards them. For the most part, students behave and respect the stores and citizens of Hanover; however, there have been complaints from the Co-op and from the senior apartment complex about student behavior.

Open-campus is what students make of it. Students who use it in the intended manner benefit later in life with time management skills and an easier transition to higher education. Students who abuse this privilege risk losing it both for themselves and for the entire school. Like using a computer in class or cell phone in school, the fate of this maturity-contingent privilege lies in the hands of the students.

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