Senior Privileges

By ALANNA LEVINE and JONATHAN LANZ

Originally Published May 2013

Seniors at Jericho High School receive certain privileges that are not open to students of other grades, such as their own lounge and seniors-only courses. Many students believe that such privileges should be open to underclassmen as well and that this special treatment accounts for a loss of motivation in seniors during the latter portion of the year.

A class open exclusively to seniors is Senior Experience taught by Mr. James Shotter and Ms. Nadine Bouler. This unique program allows seniors to participate in internships during school hours in fields that they are interested in. When asked if this course should be open to other grades, Ms. Bouler said, “We believe that the seniors have the maturity to take this class rather than underclassmen.” The course involves traveling off-campus and is meant to prepare students for future jobs.

“I don’t know if theyimage004[1] [the seniors] have any privileges,” assistant principal Patricia Bany said of the matter. “I guess you can count the [senior] lounge as a privilege, but I don’t think many use it, and parking on campus, but I wish that was open for the juniors too.” Many students agree with her. In a recent survey conducted among JHS students, 73% of the 234 students who responded agreed that licensed juniors should be allowed to park on the Jericho campus.

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Although underclassmen advocate giving juniors the ability to drive to school, the senior lot is filled to its maximum capacity on most school days.

However, some underclassmen like sophomore Jared Blech do not see all senior privileges as so desirable. In reference to the senior lounge, Jared Blech said, “I don’t think anyone should use the senior lounge because the couches are really old, and you don’t know what people did on those couches.” Drew Leist did not see any reason for change, she thought that privileges and classes offered were good and should not be offered to anyone else.

Students also showed an interest in more privileges like regular school dances, a senior cafeteria, no testing on days when SAT scores are received, and the ability to leave school for lunch. The most popular among these requests was the ability to leave school during lunch periods, 80% of students voted in favor of reinstating this privilege. “I wish our seniors were able to leave campus for lunch, in fact, they used to, but it became a safety issue,” Mrs. Bany said.

Perhaps the most infamous element of second semester seniors is the yearly “Senioritis” epidemic. In a recent survey, approximately 60% of students thought seniors do not work hard and are significantly lazier than they were during the school’s first semester. Most teachers view college acceptances as the main source of seniors’ lack of motivation in school. English teacher Mellene Hederian said, “It’s a full-on job just to get a senior to bring a notebook to class!” “Senioritis” is defined in the dictionary as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and grades.”

“When the second and third quarter end, a lot of students begin to relax when it comes to academics,” said guidance counselor Candy Bodner. “It doesn’t reflect favorably on them.” While there are many opinions about the true cause of Senioritis, most agree that it is detrimental to students’ futures.

“Since seniors are already focusing on  the next chapter [of their lives], everything seems small and minor, said Hederian. “Spring seniors are a different animal.” Cindy Hassan, a senior, said she feels that she does absolutely nothing this year, and she feels that her motivation to work hard is plummeting.

However, some seniors haven’t succumbed to senioritis. Amanda Ritter said, “I work harder now despite my acceptance into college than I ever have in my high school career.” Overall, senior year is very different than any other grade in high school and requires a different level of responsibility and maturity.

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