School Enacts Revised Open Campus Policy

Walker Fenrich, Staff Writer

As the doors to Friends Seminary fully reopen, there are many new changes around the school. One alteration is the policy put into place in the beginning of the school year that prevented ninth graders from going off campus for lunch. In past years, all upper school students had been allowed to leave the school during their lunch period. Though temporary, the policy had a big impact on the freshmen because it limited their options for lunch. On November 8th, it was announced that the freshman class could go off campus for lunch because the goals of the policy had been achieved.

According to Erin Mumford, the Assistant Head of the Upper School, the rule change was necessary. She said, “It was something talked about for a long time; the grade has 33 new students and the rule is to help everyone meet.” Mumford said, “historically, students go off campus with old friend groups making it hard for the new students to bond with the older students.” She also emphasized that the policy is not a punishment, but an attempt to help the grade socialize better. The administration received feedback from freshmen, many of whom, according to Mumford, “feel they are ready to go off campus.” The administration agreed and announced that freshmen can eat off campus.

Joseph Rooney ’25, a new student to Friends, understands the motivation behind the policy. He says, “if we were allowed off campus at the beginning of the year, I would not have met half the people I talk to and hang out with now.” If the freshmen were allowed off-campus privileges from the start of the year, Rooney says that “not just my current bonds, but other friendships throughout the grade would not exist.” Although Rooney is grateful for the rule, he agrees that the freshmen are ready to leave the campus for lunch. He says that the old and new students have made “special bonds,” and gotten to know each other, even “the people we may not have classes with.”

Jane Apter ‘25, who has attended Friends Seminary since sixth grade, feels that the policy was helpful and says, “there are people who I have no classes with and maybe I would have not been friends with without the rule.” Apter agrees with Rooney that being confined to a specific area with everyone helped create lasting friendships.

The rule seems to have met the goals that the administration hoped to achieve, as new and old students have gotten a chance to get to know each other because they have been limited to a few spaces around the school. Due to the limitations, they have spent time together and become better friends than they might have been if they could have gone off campus during lunch from the beginning of the year. The freshman can now enjoy lunch off campus with new bonds the policy helped create.