Seniors: make this year 'in tents'
To the Graduating Class of 2013: We, the underclassmen, apologize. When work started on the new Sullivan Center in June, the Upper School Library Building was demolished along with the lanai space that used to house what are affectionately and simply known as the Senior Benches. While the construction will bring a new facility to provide much needed class, office, and library space in the center of the `Iolani campus, it also means, at least for the time being, that the senior class will be living in a tent.
`Iolani has its fair share of traditions centered around one’s senior year – Homecoming, Senior Prom, and white dresses and red neckties at graduation – but the year officially starts with the annual early morning rush to claim a spot at Benches. As tradition goes, on the first day of school, excited Seniors line up as early as 4:30 a.m. to claim a spot in line for this annual land grab. At 6:15 a.m., like the bulls at Pamplona, they’re off, running to secure a piece of coveted real estate that they can call their own at least
for the rest of the year. And, once they have it, it’s theirs: the one place on the `Iolani campus where they’re guaranteed a reserved spot.
For many, the Benches are a dedicated place other than the College Counseling Office where the senior class can hang out, eat lunch, study, and, perhaps most importantly, bond. Senior status represents the culmination of years of hard work and studying; as a hard-working junior I know that by this time, the seniors have earned their status as “top dogs,” “big men/women on campus,” and “The Graduating Class.” Granting the seniors their Benches is the school’s way of setting them apart and giving them a space to enjoy what’s left of their high school experience.
However, there’s no opportune time for construction, and this year’s graduating class was given the short end of the stick. As a member of next year’s graduating class, I know that I stand to benefit from their discomfort. All I can do is apologize for the inconvenience, hope for a year of good weather with no rain, seeing as there are holes in the tent, and offer this reminder to the rest of the `Iolani community: remember what Benches must mean to this year’s seniors. Respect the space and their earned right to be in it. To the graduating class: we apologize. You have the distinction of being one of only two senior classes to be housed in a tent. Meanwhile, enjoy your time under the big top as best you can.