Students have been creative in finding new ways to get around campus

 Student Bridget O’Donnell ‘25 starts her Thursday like most Dana Hall students with an all school meeting in the Shipley gym. She then has just ten minutes to take the far journey past the Library, Student Center, and Classroom Building construction, to Bardwell Auditorium. After her first class she voyages back across campus, finally reaching Shipley again for class meeting. She takes a seat and a deep breath, tired from spending over 20 minutes of her morning walking, yet only having attended one 60 minute class. This is just one example of many students’ difficult and vastly spread daily commutes. 

Due to the renovation of the Upper School Classroom Building, students and faculty have been forced to learn and teach in some unusual locations. Classes are occurring in a variety of places such as the Temporary Classroom Building (TCB), the Student Center, and even Bardwell Auditorium. Head of The Upper School, Ms. Kumpel notes that “It’s a very different feel than it was in the old classroom building and has forced us to be more spread out, having to be more creative when getting from point A to point B.” With all of these new location changes, students have devised some new unique and innovative ways to transport themselves around campus effectively. 

Many students have begun using vehicles, such as scooters to get around more efficiently. Hanais Alcantara ’25 said “Scootering makes it much easier to get around and better yet, it’s super fun!” Many teachers and faculty agree with students in this way. Ms. Kumpel said “I think they’re brilliant! For someone who has to go from the TCB to Bardwell, yeah, it’s far, and if you don’t like to walk or you have a heavy bag, honestly I think scooters make a big difference and are a really creative solution.”  

While there has been significant support towards scootering on campus, many restrictions have been put in place regarding the safety of the vehicles. In an email sent to advisors, Dean of the Upper School Lydia Stoye wrote “Students may not bring scooters indoors. Scooters should be left outdoors at all times. Students may only ride wheeled devices with a helmet. It is expected that all students who wish to ride scooters or other wheeled devices have a helmet at this time. Violations of these guidelines will result in confiscation of the device, and follow-up with the student’s advisor and family.” Many students feel frustrated with these restrictions and some have even stopped using wheeled vehicles completely out of fear of teachers confiscating their devices, though the school feels that these expectations are necessary for student safety. 

Because it has been taking students longer to get to their classes, there has recently been a schedule change to extend passing times between periods from five to ten minutes. Ms. Kumpel said “ We got feedback from the faculty and definitely from the students. It was clear that five minutes was not working and so we brought it back to the department heads, had a conversation, and changed it.”  

Most students have responded well to this change. Bridget noted that “The longer passing periods have been very helpful. I think I do a pretty good job of getting to my classes on time since the schedule has been changed.” Yet some students still struggle with timeliness. It takes approximately twelve minutes to walk from the temporary classroom building to Bardwell, which is still two minutes longer than the given amount of time, without even accounting for classes which may be dismissed late or mishaps that may occur along the way. Maddie McGill ‘25 says “I’m still late sometimes even with ten minutes in between each class. It might be okay for some students, but I have to walk to Bardwell almost every day for chamber singers and to the temporary classroom building or Shipley for most of my other classes.” As the year continues both students and teachers hope that the timeliness of our community as a whole improves even further, and are looking forward to our new classroom building in the coming years. 

Image source: New York Times

Comments are closed.