Senior lounge: Loud, mostly guys and not very clean


Emerson Wright

GAME FACES. Seniors Bassem Noghnogh, Shiva Menta and Mitch Walker play “Super Smash Bros.” in the Senior Lounge on the communal TV.

Jacob Posner, Editor-in-Chief

The senior lounge is loud. Thirty guys pack into a room with video games and ping pong. There’s yelling, crashing and swearing, which often reach an unbearable pitch during lunch periods, when eight guys will surround the table to play hand ping pong, according to Alec Wyers, who frequents the lounge during lunch and free periods.

Dean of Students Ana Campos said one of the functions of the senior lounge is to help seniors transition to a less-structured atmosphere, like they will encounter in college.

“Unlike here, where we’re taking attendance in every period, in college there are some places where if you don’t show up, class moves on, and if you don’t know what’s going then that falls on you. And so I also think that it’s an important opportunity for seniors to begin to really be able to monitor themselves.”

Alec said he’ll leave the lounge if he really needs to get work done, but otherwise he enjoys spending time there. He likes the people.

“There are outlets everywhere, and it’s not cold. The rest of the school is freezing. There’s couches so it’s comfortable,” he said, “and there are video games.”

According to Sammer Marzouk, part of the reason guys dominate the lounge is the video games.

“The girls could have come here, but there was a certain point when it’s just like, ‘We should just go somewhere else’ because it just became known as a place guys go — it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once this place is known as the place where guys go, then people don’t bother coming if they’re not guys. Its own reputation made it so that it’ll always be only guys.”

Alyssa Hannah said the biggest reason she and her friends don’t go to the senior lounge during lunch is that it’s dirty. They would rather just sit in the cafeteria. Plus, she usually has work to do during free periods and doesn’t think it’s a good space to study.

“Last year it was a very male-dominated space, and it was very obvious the moment you walked in there, but I don’t feel like it’s the same this year,” she said. “It might just feel like that a little bit, and that discourages.”

Celia Garb, who goes to the lounge to do work or hang out, doesn’t think the space is unfriendly to girls — this is just how things happened.

Fewer girls go “because friend groups are usually divided by gender,” Celia said, “and I guess groups of friends that are girls found other places they enjoy more than this place, and the people that enjoy this place are mostly boys.”

Senior Class officers changed the layout of the lounge to make it less focused on video games, according to Ms. Campos. She said she thinks it’s had a positive effect, and the space is serving its role to help seniors transition — despite the noise.