Offensive? Which Side are You On?

Beni Jurion and Hobbs Hegedus

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Which side are you on?

Seattle Prep has just installed a fence that may allow for new doors to be opened, literally, but is it an obstacle that keeps more people in than out? This new security measure was added to allow the outdoor access door to Adelphia on the 4th floor to be unlocked, but is it worth it?

One may think that the increased access is great as the unlocked door allows for last second runs to your next class in the building over. But it also closes off many opportunities and causes inconveniences for those who access campus from down the hill, as well as athletes. In an interview with the Prep football players and the Dean of Students, readers can get the perspective from both sides of the fence.

Football players, lacrosse players and other athletes have used these steps to go to practice at the Montlake field for years. In a poll of the school’s football players many saw the fence as an inconvenience instead of a solution. Further, many asked why a gate couldn’t be installed on the staircase. This new one way path also increases traffic on the main stair in Adelphia. Students who need to get to classes from the science rooms are disgruntled as they now have to take the crowded stairs up. John Tramountanas, a student with classes on the 1st floor is upset and questions: “Why couldn’t they have moved the gate closer to the parking lot by the edge of Adelphia, instead of at the turn.”

Reasons behind this new addition to the school are brought to light by the Dean of Students, Mr. Stearns, “We had a professional security audit come last June, and a professional came to look at the school. He identified one area of concern is the side between the gym and Adelphia as a place where it is out of view from the rest of the campus.”  He added “that only fences do so much, it’s just a helpful reminder. I don’t believe it’s going to keep anyone in or anyone out. After the review, the fence was determined a necessary feature needed to improve the overall safety of students and staff.

Even though there is logic behind this decision, many people do not like the change even if they do understand the reasoning behind it as seen with many comments such as by Tom Polzin a biology student who stated:

“Well first of all I do understand why they put the fence there, and I know it is for our safety, but it also does us a great inconvenience having to adjust.”

Many students suggest, that the fence should not be removed, but some changes should be made such as the inclusion of another one-way gate on the steps to Interlaken Blvd, that would benefit the efficiency in exiting the school while not compromising the security aspects. This addition and the possible relocation of the science gate to further down to the parking lot so that the side stairs are accessible would reduce student traffic during the busy passing periods, especially on the single staircase up the Adelphia building. These improvements would certainly improve the student opinions of the new fence as well as not compromising school security.

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