Senior Privilege

Theodora Bratu

When you read the headline you might expect "Senior Privileges", but this year there was only one. However, over the years, privileges have been changed.
The history of Senior Privilege began when staff wanted seniors to “transition to college where they would have lots of freedom, and to fight "Senioritis" and help Seniors stay focused their last semester and finish well,” says Mrs. Lori Dickason previous Upper School Principal. Mrs. Dickason agreed to let seniors go out for lunch on Fridays and leave any class at the end of the day. Furthermore, if they had an A in a class come 4th quarter, and didn't have excess absences, they could skip the final.   To enjoy this privilege, seniors had to hold strong grades throughout the year. However, Mrs. Dickason agrees there were many “downsides” to this agreement. Missing a Friday meant that he or she missed a week of potentially going off-campus. Students would not choose classes based on how it would benefit them, but on how it was scheduled. More so, students were “tempted” to come in sick, to not have many absences. 
Mr. Michael Southwell, Principal of the Upper School since 2019, instituted the Senior Privilege when he was met with a dilemma: students specifically did not choose last period classes in order to leave early. This problem initially stemmed when Photography was offered as an elective for the school year 2019-2020. An overwhelming number of students had signed up. 
Yet, when it was announced the course took place during the last period, almost all seniors had dropped out due to the fact of wanting to use their senior privilege. Considering this phenomenon, Mr. Southwell changed this privilege. 
Yet again, another dilemma arose. What could Mr. Southwell provide to substitute the previous arrangement? Together with Eddie Peck, Stu.Co. President and class of 2021, he decided Seniors could leave school grounds for lunch. The majority perceived the idea with enthusiasm.
Since then, the privilege still holds. One privilege might seem like it’s almost nothing at all, but in years past (according to Mr. Southwell’s knowledge), seniors had an average of one.
However, if students wish for the number to increase, Mr. Southwell said, “I am open to any ideas to add to Senior Privileges if they are reasonable.”
Students can contact Mr. Southwell (through Teams Chat) if they wish to discuss this topic.