The halls are too crowded!
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The student body at Sunset is getting bigger than the school can handle. The halls are constantly clogging up, classrooms are feeling tighter, and the student parking lot takes far too long to escape. When it was built in 1959, Sunset was meant to hold a fraction of the student body of today. This years enrollment marks the biggest since 2011 exceeding 2,200 students, and we are struggling to fit into the shrinking yellow hallways.
Whether it’s because the increasing number of students or just their inability to function, there is chaos in the halls. This is an especially irritating issue at the intersection of one hall and main during passing time or at the end of the day. Entering one hall is like trying to swim upstream in a raging river of high schoolers, but when you reach that intersection it’s a war zone. Backpacks smack into unsuspecting victims and others are pushed up against the wall or sent in the opposite direction of their destination.
A lot of this chaotic traffic is the fault the students. So for those of us who are struggling to tackle the concept of hallway courtesy or fear for your safety, here’s a few tips:
- The golden rule is to never stand and chat with your big group of friends in the middle of a main hall. Every time you do this during passing time it will cause clumping, people will get annoyed, and there will be little sympathy for you and your pals if you get knocked over.
- Walk on the right side of the hallway. It’s like driving, if you decide to swerve into the lane of opposite traffic you’re bound to get into a crash.
- No pushing, no pulling and please no throwing. Be considerate, everyone is trying to get somewhere, and no one wants to break a bone.
This said, with such a large number of students, there isn’t much we can do this year to change the mayhem that follows our (nonexistent) school bell everyday. So I advise you to stay safe and try not to get trampled.
The next issue that crowding has caused at are school is at the end of the day. When 2:30 approaches, traffic awaits those poor junior and senior souls in the student parking lot. There are reports of students waiting for up to an half an hour to get out, as well as car accidents caused by drivers trying to maneuver around the cramped lot.
“It’s mayhem at the end of the day,” says Senior Jasmine Jenkins. “Everyone has the mentality of ‘me first’ forcing their way through to avoid getting stuck.”
As a consequence to our disorderly parking lot, some Sunset drivers arriving for class at 7:45 have decided to take up the late arrival spots. Thus late arrival and health career students don’t have anywhere to park their car on the school premises.
Finally, this theme of crowding at Sunset has found it’s way into many of our classrooms. Most elective classes have 40 plus students. This kind of environment is both stressful for the teachers and the students when it comes to learning content. But it should be noted that the school has been making great improvement in this department. This year 17 new teachers were hired which has decreased core class sizes to 28-35 students maximum.
So is there hope for those suffering students who have late arrival and are forced to park at Home Depot, then slip into a stool instead a normal seat in their overpopulated art class and finally end the day trudging through the upstream flow of one hall? The answer is yes, and the solution is nothing too drastic. So don’t take this information and try to convince your most annoying classmates to drop out, but instead we can manage the crowd. Be kind and courteous of your fellow students; leave room for your late arrival peers in the late arrival parking lot, and don’t push and pull your way down the hallway. With boundary changes in processes, the next few years promise an ease in the number of students enrolled and hope for this years underclassmen. Someday, although not today, the one hall stretch will simply be a leisurely walk to lunch or that next class.