Second floor of LC gives upperclassmen relaxed study area—but only for those who meet the administration’s requirements

by Matthew Shepherd

The upstairs LC affords students a relatively quiet and uncrowded work area in order to better complete their school work. That being said, there are restrictions as to who can enter and utilize the upstairs LC during their study halls. This includes both a requirement that students maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher, as well as not have more than four unexcused absences.

The administration intends these requirements not to serve solely as restrictions, but moreso as incentives to achieve better grades and attendance, and Principal Andrew Theado mirrors this belief. “We want to make sure that we’re looking at attendance and at grades,” says Theado, “We’re making sure you’re taking care of what’s in the classroom and you’re coming to school, and then we reward you with freedom up in the learning center.”

Some students, while they understand the administration’s intent with requirements, find that they may not be the best way to handle admittance into the upstairs LC. Senior Skyler Hunt has been a student at UAHS for the past four years and has seen the development of the LC into what it is today. “I believe the limitations were set to use the LC as an ‘incentive’ to reward students who already excelled in their classes,” said Hunt, “Even though UA is a well-educated community, there are still students who struggle in school or may not have a 3.0 GPA.”

Hunt believes that a more personalized method of determining admittance would better serve the student body. “I believe the counselors should be the ones who decide, not a student’s grades,” he says, “The counselors are the one part of the administration that really understands the students on a more personal level, and deciding who receives this privilege would be easiest for them.”

Luckily for dissatisfied students, Theado and the rest of the administration are both receptive to constructive criticism, and willing to change if students see fit. Theado says, “Student feedback is important. If students feel that the upstairs learning center is a positive thing, we want to make sure we keep doing it. If it’s not, if something’s negative about it or if it has not been a positive experience, we want to hear about that too.”

The upstairs LC benefits the student body in a plethora of ways, but in order to access it, the school’s requirements must be met. For some, this doesn’t seem to matter, due to already having been able to ascertain the necessary grades. For others, such as those Hunt mentioned, ascertaining that grade point average is a difficult task, and the requirements may serve more as restrictions than incentives.