Senior Privileges Draw Near
As winter concludes, winter sports wind down while spring ones kick up. Spring break draws near, and the weather gets nicer. Seniors take the spotlight as they shine in the final months of their graduating year at Gilmour. With senior projects allowing them to get out of school as early as the end of April, another exclusive perk for seniors is senior privileges.
According to senior Student Council leaders John Kunzo (‘18) and Sebastian Williams (‘18), “The proposed senior privileges this year would be very similar to last year. The seniors would be able to wear colored blazers, full dress down Fridays, polos every day, along with colored school shirts. Not necessarily sweatpants and sports wear as many expect. People want to dress nice, with more variety or style.” Kunzo and Williams had sent a request to administration to obtain these privileges for seniors. They sent in the council’s last draft on January 19 and are waiting for a response.
When it comes to dress code, the administration runs a tight ship. Student Council tried to make the dress code looser, but it appears to be stretched to the limit this year. Kunzo tried to make facial hair available for seniors, but administration would not budge. According to Mr. Matt Lindley (`89), Social Studies Department Chair, this is still a step up from when he was a senior at Gilmour. Lindley said, “Back then, seniors had no Senior Privileges. We had a stricter dress code than what you guys have today.” Lindley agrees that the dress code is fine how it is now. He is alright with allowing senior privileges as a teacher. He does warn seniors not to abuse the privileges like wearing hoodies or quarter-zips when they are not allowed.
Senior Privileges have gone through many changes over the past 20 years. For instance, Ms. Jessica Grassi-Simonetta (‘05) a Chemistry Instructor, said when she was a senior, some rules were relaxed. “With permission, seniors could leave for lunch to grab food or leave school during their D-Block free block. We also proposed a looser dress code. As a result of behavior, we lost most privileges,” said Ms. Grassi.
Today, Senior Privileges are stricter in terms of dress code and pranks. In large part, this strictness comes from the past. Going back to 2005, a “Battle of SOM” hockey game (University School vs Gilmour) resulted in seniors (’05) losing their Senior Privileges for the rest of that year.
At the game, players on both sides threw punches on the ice, not entirely uncommon in the sport. Later in the game, students in the stands of both schools engaged in inappropriate cheering. Parents got involved and then a fight happened. Major disciplinary action was taken after the game. Some students received detentions or suspensions, but the whole senior class got punished.
The 2005 seniors lost their Senior Privileges. For the rest of the year, the student sections were monitored during games and quickly dispersed at the end. This in effect would influence all future seniors.
The administration from that year has removed the ability to leave during D-Block to go home, or leave for lunch. They still allowed dress code to exist, pranks got stricter rules applied to them, and the student section was only dispersed for the rest of that year.
Mr. James Polak, Instructor in Social Studies, and Mr. Pfundstein, Dean of Student Life and Leadership, gave this advice: “These are senior PRIVILEGES, not rights.”
According to Mr. Pfundstein, the student body can be inconsistent with following the dress code. All students don’t always tuck in their shirts. Some wear tennis shoes or hoodies. Girls’ skirt length can also be an issue. In 2015, there was a boot ban, because the students brought in salt ruining the carpets. The administration didn’t want to keep replacing carpets throughout the whole school. Despite these ongoing concerns, the administration is still giving the seniors a chance to have a little more freedom with the style of their outfits.
Enforcing the Rules
Administration and faculty are expected to be strict on enforcing the rules. A lack of enforcement can result in students receiving infractions for not following protocol. In an effort to help students feel comfortable, Mr. Pfundstein added quarter zips, polo Fridays, and the ability to wear sweaters (not hoodies) this year.
With Senior Privileges, Mr. Pfundstein agrees with the dress code requests from the Class of 2018. He hopes they will enjoy their home stretch.
Senior privileges are expected to start soon after the formal letter is sent from Student Council to the administration. Senior Privileges should start about a week or two after the letter is submitted.