Is Having Open Campus Really a Bad Thing?


Isabella Redding

Open campus. Most schools have it, ours doesn’t. The million dollar question is why doesn’t SHA?

I’m sure many of us are confused as to why we are one of the only private schools in the area that does not allow our seniors to leave campus during their free periods or after they are done with classes for the day. Staying neutral in this topic, I thought it would be interesting to voice my opinions in a sort of ‘pros and cons’ style. As far as I know, we only have one exception to this rule which is the student internship program, which allows a handful of seniors to leave after 8th period a few times a week to go intern at a company in the field of their interest.

One big idea for not having open campus is that there are legal reasons behind this rule. After talking to one of the teachers I found out that since most of us are minors, the school is legally responsible for us for the entirety of the school day, so if someone gets hurt off campus there could be liability issues. For example, if someone were to leave during the day and then get in a car accident, the question would be ‘why aren’t they in school?’.

This makes a lot of sense, but if that’s the case why are other schools an exception to these legal reasons? Surely they would have to deal with lawyers to be able to have open campus. As an alumnae of Sacred Heart, my mother had open campus when she was a student and was able to go get food throughout the day or leave for lunch.

Another issue with having open campus is the class scheduling; if we were allowed open campus, I’m sure a lot of us would not schedule 8th or 9th period so that we could leave early, causing some teachers to have free periods during those times. While this could be a con to this situation, it could also be a pro and very beneficial because teachers could be available to us for extra help, counseling, and getting their own work done, so they don’t have that big of a workload when they go home after school. This would help many girls be able to get the extra help they need due to the fact that many girls cannot come before school due to transportation issues or stay after due to bussing or sports.

A big pro to having open campus is that some students who work would be able to pick up more hours if they wanted to, due to how expensive everything is nowadays such as cars, gas, clothes, and food. I know for me personally I would be able to afford gas prices if I picked up some extra hours at work, and I’m sure many other SHA students feel the same way. Another pro is that as much as adults would like to believe, many prospective students look at the “amenities” of a school, such as good parking, good food, and open campus. So having an open campus could be intriguing to a new student.

Another benefit of having open campus is that instead of all the seniors sitting around sometimes leaving messes for other people to clean, they could be out of school leaving the campus cleaner with less work for the janitorial staff to tend to.  All in all I’m sure a majority of us students would like this situation to be looked at again by SHA with due consideration of all the pros and cons.