Attempt at inclusivity at AHS upsets seniors because of taken traditions


Kayla Tehrani

Long, red lunch tables placed on Yellow Brick Road in lunch room in an effort to create an inclusive environment

Becoming an upperclassman at AHS comes with perks. As students rise through the ranks, they move closer to the boat, until you reach senior year and the boat is yours.
The 2021/22 school year marks a shift in tradition. On the first day of school students walked into the commons to see long lunch tables placed across the yellow brick road. Seniors were also told that the boat no longer belongs to them, so if an underclassman wants to sit there as well, they can.
A few years ago, traditions like bottle dropping were regularly being enforced. Since then bottle dropping stopped, but taking away the boat and the yellow brick road is almost too far.
The boat and yellow brick road traditions are not harmful to anyone, nor are they encouraging hazing in any way. They are basic rights that AHS students look forward to as they get older and are a key part of AHS culture.
Seniors understand that taking these rights away is part of an effort to make the school a more inclusive place, but it is taking away from the excitement of senior year.
An AHS senior believes that the senior traditions should stay the senior traditions instead of becoming all school traditions.
“Seniors before us taught us lessons; things like the yellow brick road, the boat, and not to stand in the middle of the hallway. The administration is saying that things like the yellow brick road are too dividing between freshmen and everyone else,” they said.
Some seniors also believe that certain rights should be left to look forward to.When those things are open to everyone, there isn’t much excitement for senior year and no separation between the seniors and the underclassmen.
“We should’ve been able to tell them from the beginning the basic rules, so they have something to look forward to when they are seniors like we did when we were just starting out,” AHS senior added.
AHS Head Person Lindsey Heineken sees both sides of the new changes. She believes these traditions should be continued as long as there can be a fine line between senior privilege and inclusivity.
“I think traditions are important and fun, especially when you get older. It personally gave me something to look forward to when I was younger, and now that I’m older I feel like it’s fun,” Heineken says. “However, I understand how some traditions come from a place of hazing and I feel like that doesn’t have a place within our school.”
Ellie Dangler, also a senior at AHS, believes that being inclusive and welcoming to underclassmen is a good idea for the school, but the traditions that have been going on for a long time should stay the same.
“The boat is a great example of something I looked forward to when I was a freshman that I now get to be a part of. As a freshman, you know the boat is for the seniors only, and the first day of school when all of us got to sit on the boat and see everyone, it was a good feeling of us making it to senior year,” Dangler says.