Is Open Campus at Woodside High School Possible?

The Pros and Cons of an Open Campus

Beck Patrone, Sports Editor

The fiery debate of whether an open campus policy should be allowed at Woodside has struck the students and staff once again as another daunting school year begins.  

In addition to the arguable pros of an open campus, there are a multitude of cons that come with the policy. Open campus policies are decided by the districts and guidelines that are put into place. According to the Public Health Advocacy Institute, 46 percent of California high schools hold open campuses, Woodside not being one of them. However, the Sequoia Union High School District does not let its students indulge in the coveted lifestyle of an open campus.

“Up until about 18 years ago, Woodside has been a closed campus,“Principal Diane Burbank stated. “We don’t have a long enough lunch and we don’t have anything close enough to go for lunch safely.”

Woodside has indeed tried to utilize the open campus rule, but it was too overbearing for the teachers, administrators, and students creating problems at school that could only be resolved by closing the campus.

“An open campus would increase absenteeism and tardiness after lunch in classes,” Burbank added.

Teachers, just like administrators share similar views as they both agree in the fact that it would decrease the potential for one’s learning and general knowledge to rise.  

“When I went to school here there was an open campus and I liked it of course as a student, but we wouldn’t have any clubs and attendance would be really bad,” Physical Education teacher, Laura Perdikomatis said. “If people don’t come back after an open campus lunch their education would suffer.”

Despite the obvious negative effects of allowing the open campus, many of students still argue for changing the rule, letting them roam free around the surrounding neighborhood.

“Open campus would be beneficial because it eases the heart, soul, body and mind of students,” junior, Gabe Devitis states. “It would give us a chance to leave the school environment.”

Because it is such a highly debatable subject, several online forums discuss whether high school students should be allowed to have an open campus.

According to Debate.org, 87% of the general public thinks that adolescents in high school deserve the open campus policy. Several commenters on the page say that it just isn’t right for students to be at school for that long without a break.  

“If I were a senior I would definitely be in favor of having an open campus policy at Woodside, but since I am an underclassman I really have no use for it.” Freshman, Stella Haussler says.

Being able to leave during lunch would be a huge privilege, and those who followed the rules would barely be able to get back to class in time. However, there is a large majority of students that want to leave campus for a 35 minute relief from the stress at school. The administration clearly doesn’t agree with the students as the firm rule is put in place for the long run.

“I admit that if I were a student I would love an open campus, but the fact is we don’t have a long enough lunch and there would be a lot more outside forces that I could not control.” Ms Burbank concludes.