Seniority: A Controversial Topic

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Anna Meyer '17

Finally earning my spot as a rightful senior on the Island, I have seen a fair share of senior classes pass before me. And, with those senior classes progressively going on to bigger and better things, from the legendary Class of 2014 to the diverse Class of 2016, Loomis is consistently left with decisions to make and changes to be discussed. One of these changes, taking a personal toll on the Class of 2017, is the new stigma around seniority and its traditions on campus. Before I jump into a gushing piece about seniority, it may be helpful to describe what it entails. Seniority, defined by Merriam Webster as a privileged status attained by length of continuous service, comes with, obviously, your senior year as a Pelican — it’s the nature of the word. Every class looks forward to when this word is rightfully theirs, from the beginning of freshman year until the very last day of junior year.

According to the deans and faculty on campus, however, seniority “does not exist” on campus. There is no such thing as a senior lot or the senior seats during Convocation. Yet, clearly, the seniors disagree, passionately urging people to remember the tradition of waiting your turn. Subjectively, I can understand why the deans have decided to tackle this issue. With the hopes of creating a welcoming and equal community, the mere idea of seniors exercising slight power does not sit well. One thing could lead to another and the seniors may really cause some trouble with a junior in the senior lot or a freshman in the senior seats during Convocation. But, I want to take a minute to emphasize the inclusivity that the Class of 2017 has already put into place, whether we like it or not. The upperclassmen dining hall is now booming with sophomores, for example, whereas my sophomore year, the closest I got to the upperclassmen dining hall was the toaster by the doorway. Honestly,  seniors wouldn’t even care if the juniors took a couple seats on the senior side during Convocation, as long as we all can fit. Something just isn’t right when the seniors have to move to the freshman side because juniors took their seats. While the deans may say seniority should not exist, we all still get that bad taste in our mouths upon the disrespect of seniority.

This new trending topic among the faculty and deans has really stimulated new stir within the student body, especially the seniors. Now, I will be the first to admit that the senior class may have overreacted slightly to these announcements. World War III is not upon us, so we could calm down a little. But, there is reason to be upset. We have been with this school through the thick and thin of our academic, athletic, and social careers in high school. We have sat through the most Convocations, class meetings, and boring weekends. So, haven’t we earned a little priority? Moreover, what I believe to be the driving factor behind the Class of 2017’s frustration is differences already present since we were freshman with the Class of 2014. This class, a dynamic group of great and inspiring people, withheld the seniority with strict balance — no freshman in the upperclassmen dining hall, only seniors in the gravel lot, and only seniors sitting with seniors at Convocation. And, we respected it! We respected them and their traditions, and we still talk about how incredible of a class they were. Just because seniority may not be the most inclusive, doesn’t mean the school fears the seniors.

Furthermore, as a four-year senior, I would like to urge the student body to respect the senior class for their dedication and time with the school. We have been here since 2013! We deserve respect because we have worked for it. Running dorms, clubs, athletic teams, the seniors care about you all and the school we all attend. We do not want any of you to genuinely fear talking to us because that’s not what we stand for. Instead, we stand as an example of Loomis’s role in our lives and what Loomis can do for you over the course of four years. So, out of respect for the time we have spent here, please respect our polite requests to wait your turn to park in the gravel lot or sit on the left during Convocation.

Finally, I’d like to end on the topic of the Senior Path. Deans and seniors both agree that this tradition, long-standing at Loomis and still legitimate, still stands. So, if your schedule says anything but Grade 12 along the top, stay off the path. It’s not that hard. You’ll understand when it’s finally your turn to walk down and sit on the path. It’s an indescribable feeling, unique to a senior walking down the Senior Path for the first time. Loomis has nothing else like it, so wait, and the first time will be that much more special.