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Overcrowded gym poses threats to the safety of the student body

Melina Monlux, News Editor
Originally published May 3, 2017

Miles WhitworthSophomores cheering at this year’s Academic Spirit Week Assembly.

Miles Whitworth

Sophomores cheering at this year’s Academic Spirit Week Assembly.

Throughout the year, we have become all too familiar with the issues and inconveniences caused by the overcrowding of our school.  While we have spent months exhausting the topic, there seems to be one place in which our suffering remained silent: school-wide assemblies.

The bane of every high-schooler’s existence, these events take place at a time of utmost inconvenience to skip, and consist of some spectacle which its patrons are unable to properly enjoy due to the incessant awkward nudging from all sides. While the overpopulation of the bleachers is not (technically) a safety hazard, as maximum occupancy is 62 students more than we have at the school, it is truly an uncomfortable situation. There is absolutely no escape from the knees jabbing into your back from behind, causing a crippling cramp in your lower back, or the kid to your right who is sitting just a little too close. The heat which emanates from these people becomes unbearable. And if you are wearing a sweatshirt, tough luck, there’s no room for you to take it off, unless of course, you are in the mood to give your neighbor a black eye.

While the rigid position every student is forced to sit in for hours out of fear of seriously invading the personal space of those around you is not reason enough to take up arms, what happens during spirit assemblies just may be. Students flock to the gym to celebrate class pride and enjoy a lovely event produced by ASB, and yet are entirely unable to do so. How can one properly scream for spirit can when they cannot hear their own scream as a result of the sheer number of screams that exist within such an overcrowded gym? With students getting excited left and right, there are likewise bound to be some casualties within such a cramped space. We dream of the glory days when the only injuries ever inflicted during an assembly were a misfired water balloon and a teacher collision. Now, one must be on alert at all times to avoid a wild elbow to the gut or a rogue fist to the face. There is absolutely no stopping the perils of these assemblies until there is some sort of reduction in attendance.

With that said, a lightly attended assembly was once easily attainable. In the years of post 6th period assemblies, skipping was a far more viable option. But when the treacherous administration discovered that kids were skipping (in the interest of being good Samaritan of course) they moved the assemblies to their current slot after 2nd period to dissuade this behavior. What a mistake that turned out to be. Even should students wish to give up their seats in an assembly for the greater good, there is the issue of arriving back at school on time. The assembly could go under or over the designated time, for example, and the student would be at fault. Truly a shame.

Action must be taken against this atrocious problem. Opening a new school simply isn’t enough. We need results now. Whether students must sign up for assemblies, draw from a lottery for the privilege of attending, or play a game of freshman assassin at orientation to determine who may go for the next four years, a solution must be found.

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Overcrowded gym poses threats to the safety of the student body