Student Dorm Petition: How Do We Make the Dorm a Better Place?

By Xinlan ‘Annie’ Chen, Dormitory Life Division Head.\You can read the full text of the original petition that went to Dr. Winsor and Mrs. Torjesen HERE.

Since the beginning of October, the dorm has introduced a new study hall rule, requiring all students but seniors with privileges to attend evening study halls in designated areas. In previous years, dorm students with privileges were only required to sign in at the dorm parent desk at 7:30 pm every evening for study hall, and then they were permitted to study in any area of their own preference in the dorm, including their individual rooms — ideal study spaces where one can focus and study without interruption. This new study hall policy is full of good intentions from making sure students study under the supervisions of adults and having their questions answered as soon as possible, to ensuring students are prepared for the next day’s classes and building up good study habits for dorm students, especially for the younger ones.

While all the positive intentions of forced study halls are well-understood, the new policy has its defects. Because of limited study hall spaces, many juniors ended up studying on the floor in the hallway, just outside their rooms; groups had a hard time gathering because almost all study hall rooms were occupied during study hall hours; students taking TOEFL and SAT struggled to perform a mock test because of the divided up study hall hours.

Just before spring break, dorm students petitioned for an extension of academic privilege from LCA main campus to the North Campus. The petition proposed a return to the original dorm study hall policy so that not only existing concerns would be solved, but also so that students would learn more about time management, and underclassmen would get more help and more attention from dorm parents.

The petition was signed by over 40 students, and the dorm administration responded positively. As a compromise of the petition and current policies, now sophomores, juniors and seniors with privileges are allowed to study in their rooms during study hall hours with their doors open. The new policy has not been formally announced, but the good news has spread around. Students are generally pleased with the more lenient approach and are happy with the freedom they have gained to manage their own evening hours.