Restrictions on the West Wing: Are they Necessary?

Since Covid-19 regulations have started, there have been limitations throughout the school.


N. Radzinski

Huntley High School before the day starts.

By Nicolette Radzinski

Within Huntley High School there are places where students can not go and places where students have designated seating areas. The commons and library are always open to students and the cafeteria is open to anyone during lunch hours. However, a student needs a pass to be anywhere else. Areas such as the upstairs circle, medical hallway, and west wing are all closed. 

These restrictions have been enforced since the 2020-2021 school year. At first, it was due to decreased staff and Covid-19 regulations. The following school year saw a continuation of the closing of the west wing, with good reason. Student behavior was at an all-time low. Trends that encouraged clogging toilets and stealing soap dispensers ran wild. Now that everything has calmed down, the benefits and disadvantages must be weighed. Since the restrictions were first put in place many students claimed that closing the West wing significantly increased crowding found in the commons and hub, especially during lunch hours. 

“It’s very frustrating, and honestly I feel like there isn’t really enough room between all the students who have blended and all the students who have study halls. The west wing’s room could really benefit us,” junior Nikolette Murphy said.

These restrictions not only increase crowding but take away from the students. There are five out of nine bathrooms in the restricted areas that students can only reach with a pass or during passing periods. 

“It’s unfair that they won’t let us have full bathroom privileges,” junior Makenna Jacobs said. 

This feeling of unfairness is only growing among the study body. What might have been accepted last school year is quickly becoming an issue. However, is releasing the restrictions the only option?

Many teachers have found themselves loving the restrictions. They provide a more focused learning environment and significantly decrease any distractions found outside the classroom. 

Dana Kallas, a math teacher who has been at Huntley for six years, finds a great difference in the before and after of the restrictions. Her classroom has been in the west wing for all six years she has been teaching at Huntley, and she finds that the restrictions have helped her students stay focused. 

“It’s definitely much more subdued and quiet. And the reason that’s amazing is that it helps the students in the classroom not get distracted,” Kallas said. 

She always noted how noticeable distractions from the outside can be, something that was not as prevalent before the restrictions. 

“So recently, physics honors, I believe, just did a lab in the hallway for two days, which obviously they had to. But it was very distracting for those two days.”

There is also a notable weight lifted off of the campus supervisors. Now, they do not need to closely monitor all areas of the school and can instead focus on a few controlled areas. There are also benefits to our custodians. The lack of students means a decreased chance of messes and maintenance problems.

Adjustments are still being made in the aftermath of the Covid-19 school shutdowns. But it must be noted that some changes happened for the better. There are, of course, possible changes that could be made in order to provide more room for the student body, but the answer does not lay in the west wing.