Carter student union unveils a new look at the onset of the school year. Concerns over the use of the common area led to changes to the union. Claudia Gomez-Perez, the principal, said the idea behind the shared space was for students to have access to a study area and collaborative work space.
“We had students that were leaving trash. Who were moving tables around,” said Gomez, “students not respecting their surroundings.”
Additionally, Gomez said that those actions were disrespectful. If someone uses a table and leaves their trash behind the next person who wants to make use of the space is not going to want to sit in a dirty or unkempt area. Carter custodians were first-hand witnesses to the disarray and mess that was left behind throughout the school day.
Carter custodian Petty Medina said that the use of the union previously amounted to more work. As a custodian to the school Medina would often tell students that the tables in the student union were a privilege and that they should take care of that it. Some of the staff agree with the custodian, but also feel that the change affects students.
“I think it might start affecting when you guys start getting more college work,” said Jessica Torres
Torres also mentions how she thinks that this change is of more significance to those that experienced the student union in past years. For those who did not have the opportunity, the impact is minimal.
The collective actions of the student body led the administration to modify the student union.
“What we want to do is set up desktops, so students have access to working on homework,” said Gomez.
Part of the modifications is to add new desktops, so students have them available at all times. Especially those who get to school early and to those who leave school late. Students have a different outlook on these modifications, though.
“I feel sad because when I pass by it gives me the sense of loneliness,” said Cristian Ramirez.
Cristian goes on to explain how seeing the area where the tables used to be made him upset because the student union now is bare. Students that experienced how the student union was in the past years are displeased.
“I like how it was last year because it was a lot more comfortable,” said Genesis Hernandez, “for me last year — I would go and do homework and sometimes eat lunch there.”
Genesis says that the removal of the tables from the student union has caused a negative change because the cafeteria is a lot more packed now.
Junior, Sergio Cantu, said that the student union was where he would typically go to spend his free time.
“I don’t know where to go,” said Cantu.
Cantu is not the only students that feels displaced.
“I am tired of sitting by the door,” said senior Jorge Reyes, “that is why I want the tables back.”
The second part of the modifications plan is to turn the area into a gallery.
“We want to display some of the student work that is being done,” said Principal Gomez.
The administration already had the idea of turning an area of the school into a place where all the students’ work could be displayed. They decided that the student union was the most appropriate place to do it.
Betsaida Rivera said that teachers already display students work around the classroom and school, so it is unnecessary to turn the area into another gallery.
The student union was created as an academic space, but it was not used in that manner, and the administration took a step to modify it.
Reyes said that although he wants the tables back, he does believe that a gallery being formed is a good idea for the school. He says it will be nice to be able to display the works that have led this school to achieve.
Reyes sees the new modifications as a good thing yet Sarahi Hernandez doesn’t. The opinions of the student body are mixed.
“Well let’s be honest, how many people are going to be interested in the gallery? I guess it’s a good way to show off, and we’re going to be amazed by it the first week, but from there we’re pretty much going to ignore it, so I guess the tables would be so much better” said Hernandez.