Board Editorial: We need to respect our campus


After several warnings about the messes left in the Father Downey Garden after lunch, Head of School Meredith Essalat announced that eating in the garden would be prohibited, effective October 10.

While this decision was meant to encourage students to clean up after themselves and respect the newly renovated outdoor space, the garden being off-limits instead sparked a separate issue surrounding seating and seniority. For years, an unspoken rule among the student body says the dining hall is reserved for upperclassmen, and underclassmen must sit outside, primarily in the Father Downey Garden. But, to ensure that all students had a place to eat, Essalat officially opened the dining hall to all students, irritating many of the seniors.

As this new seating competition has emerged, attention has been diverted from the true issue at hand: Our campus is being treated with blatant disrespect. In addition, the lack of effort by the student body to correct mistakes has led to worsened behavior. Messes have quickly become deliberate acts of destruction and vandalism. Broken ceiling tiles, paint poured out in the bathroom and misused athletic equipment are just a few examples.

Frustrated, ASB officers held a school-wide assembly on October 11 that emphasized the administration’s call for respect. They announced that, because of students’ misbehavior, the first two days of Spirit Week have been taken away and will not be awarded back unless rules are followed and behavior is corrected. Spirit days are a beloved NDB tradition in preparation for Halloween, so many students are upset by the recent loss of some spirit days due to the actions of a few students.

The Catalyst is disappointed in the student body and recognizes that the destruction of our campus affects everyone in the community. These acts of vandalism are simply immature and not a reflection of an NDB student guided by our Hallmarks.

The NDB campus is home to the extensive resources that allow us to learn, grow and celebrate one another. It is a great privilege to attend a private school, and students must recognize this and treat the facilities provided to them with respect. The inconsiderate behavior that has been seen on campus recently is not reflective of students who are grateful for their education. We should be constantly expressing our gratitude toward every single community member, as NDB would not foster such a supportive environment without them.

The goal of a high school is to educate and prepare teenagers for college and adulthood, which requires a high level of maturity from students as they prepare to start a new chapter in their lives. The destructive actions of students on campus are absolutely immature and do not meet the expectations of a high school student. As a student body, we can do much better.

This disrespectful behavior is not a fair treatment of the staffulty, especially coaches and teachers, and administrators at NDB who work so hard to provide students with the best learning experiences. We must come together as students, not just to earn back the privileges we have lost, but also to show our administrators and staffulty the respect that they deserve.

Tigers, we have to clean up after ourselves, we have to respect those around us, and we have to hold ourselves accountable.