Why you Shouldn’t Step on the Seniors’ Turf

Why you Shouldn’t Step on the Seniors' Turf

‘On a cold morning at ODA when you are walking all the way from the Thunderdome to the college counseling office, you want to get to the warmth as fast as you can. You see a short cut from the Quad to get to the college counseling office. Do you dare?

This may seem like a weird question for some, but the students at ODA know that the Quad is the seniors sacred place. Seniors having special privileges is part of the tradition and legacy that Mr. Mahler introduced to our upper school.

When Mahler first came to ODA as the Head of School he noticed this new campus had no traditions. There’s nothing for underclassmen to look forward to on their last year of high school before embarking on a new journey: college. Tradition contributes to a sense of comfort and belonging, something students can take away.

“We needed to create some tradition, so at Convocation I came up with the idea of giving the seniors a gift. The first gift was the bell, and the second gift was the quad,” says Headmaster Mr. Mahler.

The Quad existed before Mr. Mahler started working at ODA, but the symbolism of it did not.

Mr. Mahler also added “They tried to create a space that was like the big open area at Siesta Key with the mulch, and it is there to bring the whole school together.”

Ironically the Quad has quickly shifted from beautiful grass that brings people together, to a gift to the seniors that the seniors who work as hard as they can to keep people away from.

Some say the traditions are getting older and the respect is growing thinner for these traditions. Some students really enjoy the Quad and respect the seniors’ rights to the Quad, others find that it might be easier for them to get to class on time if they indeed walk across the Quad. This ticks off some of the seniors as it should.

“When underclassmen walk on the Quad it’s honestly just annoying. We understand if someone is doing it to get to class on time, but if they are doing it to be annoying, it’s just disrespectful,” say seniors Charlotte Dixon and Libby Grimond.

“On behalf of the seniors, we feel like we are being disrespected when people walk on the Quad, and we feel like underclassmen do it just to upset the seniors and have us yell at them, but personally I don’t mind,” says senior Bianca Guidotti.

The seniors have earned the right to call the Quad theirs and have spent many years respecting other senior classes by not walking on the Quad. Some seniors feel angered by the fact that other grades do not reciprocate the respect.

Maybe it is because the underclassman are not looking forward to the Quad or the responsibilities that come with being a senior or some might just think that the Quad tradition is not important. 

“I feel like upperclassmen should be able to walk on the Quad because it would be faster for people to get from class to class, or to get to class after morning assembly,” says Junior Jacob Garrett.

“I am not looking forward to being able to walk across the quad when I’m a senior,” says Sophomore Sima Kosacheva.

Some seniors feel not crossing the Quad is a sign of respect and might be the only place where they feel empowered by something.

Some of the freshman and sophomores might not understand this, and this is a reason why some of them continue to walk on the Quad, not understanding why they are being yelled at or in some cases forcefully taken off.

“I didn’t really know the Quad was a big deal because I was never a part of the high school before. I understand why they might get mad now,” says freshman Caroline Diesel.

“I thought the Quad was just a piece of grass. I didn’t know that it symbolized respect for the seniors,” says sophomore Josh Raimon.

The seniors take a lot of pride in the Quad because they have come along way to get it, especially the people who have been attending their whole lives.

“When people go on the Quad other than seniors they are meant to ask them to get off, but now things are changing,” says headmaster Mr. Mahler.

Even though underclassmen don’t seem to currently understand the meaning behind the Quad, when they are seniors, underclassmen walking on their turf may soon annoy them and make them understand what the big deal is.