The Too-Long Tale of Freshmen Off Campus
When Anna and I came to HHS our freshman year, there was much discussion on whether or not freshmen should have off campus privileges. Many freshmen running for Council, including both of us, promised that we would make this important change. Countless Council members asked which Freshman would bring the Off Campus motion that year, as it had become a tradition. The motion has been brought almost every year, and it has been failed every time. This continued for about 60 years. But Anna and I were determined to get it passed. We looked at old Broadside articles, researched, and listened to our classmates’ opinions and decided that Freshman Off Campus was necessary.
Some argued that freshmen should not have this privilege because they are too immature, but Anna and I looked at school records and found that there was no correlation between age and off campus incidents; sophomores had the same number of issues as seniors. And so, we thought, how much more mature is a Freshman compared to a Sophomore? One year could hardly make that large of a difference. Additionally, by giving everyone the same privileges, we inhibit the amount of Freshman hazing and put everyone on a level playing field socially.
Finally, the biggest obstacle to passing the motion was that other grades didn’t have off campus their freshman year, so they didn’t want others to have it. But in our discussions, Council agreed that this argument was petty, and new Freshmen should have the same off campus privileges their second semester. However, many people said that they made their best friends during free periods Freshman year, so we decided that during the first semester it’s important that Freshmen stay on campus. Staying on campus during the first few months of high school gives people a chance to get to know each other. The motion took a lot of work and a lot of conversations to even get on the floor, but eventually Anna and I were successful and our motion passed.
So, is there a controversial motion that you want to bring to Council? Even if it has come to Council countless times and failed, it is worth the try! Even if others strongly disagree with you, your motion might still spark an enlightening debate. Some even argue that controversial motions are the best kind as they keep everyone interested in our school’s democratic process and highlight a possible problem in our school that some may not have been aware of. The greatest piece of advice we have for anyone who has an idea of how to improve our school is to make change happen. Even if many people disagree with your plan or if
your idea has already come to Council and failed in the past, give it a try! There were so many people who told us that Freshman Off Campus would never pass, but we put in the work and got it done. Just because a motion failed in the past doesn’t mean it is doomed to fail. You never know until you try.
*This article was first printed in a special edition of the Broadside that celebrated Council’s 50th Anniversary.