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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Huss couches removed due to informality

Juan Miguel Adams
COUCH CONNECTIONS. A group of students talk after school at the new tables and chairs in Red Leaf Commons. The Huss couches were removed after winter break to create a more formal space. “We did not do the work to keep [the couches there,” said senior Poppy Ploen.

Before winter break, many students began their day by shedding their backpacks and sinking into the familiar gray couches in Huss.

Sophomore James England used the couches as a space for relaxation: “I usually go lay on the couches and work before school starts. For me, it was somewhere to rest.”

Redleaf Commons is now rid of its couches and instead is filled with tables and chairs. The furniture change brought mixed emotions; some students miss the couches, while others are glad to bid them farewell.

Sophomore Murray Goff thought the couch removal was due to a lack of decency in respecting the space. The space was littered with food wrappers, spilled drinks, jackets and bags, and even sleeping students.

“I am not sure exactly why they got removed, but they seemed like they were being misused and getting dirty,” Goff said.

Jeff Radtke is responsible for monitoring surveillance cameras and overseeing security at the Huss entrance, where he observed a lot of activity on the couches: “Wrappers left, drinks left, people would forget where they are at.”

While some inappropriate activity in the area contributed to the replacement of couches with tables, the overarching reason was to create a more formal space.

Dean of Students Stacy Tepp and US Principal Minnie Lee were involved in making the decision.

“By having the couches there,” Tepp said, “it was almost like we were inviting students to act informal.”

Radtke believes the recent change to tables created a positive shift in students’ behavior.

“It is substantially better with tables … people [are] just conducting themselves appropriately for the space [and] not leaving garbage … treating Huss like a public space,” Radtke said.

Senior Poppy Ploen agreed: “The Huss Center got gross and we did not do the work to keep [the couches] there,” she said.

The natural inclination to act informally on the couches did not align with the administration’s vision for the entrance to the school. But, students embraced this informal space.

England said, “It made me sad when they removed the couches. They were really comfy and connected the 10th-grade community.”

Sophomore Sophie Nguyen wants to return to routine.

I feel like a lot of people want them back, including me.

— Sophie Nguyen

“I feel like a lot of people want them back, including me,” Nguyen said.

Despite the furniture change, students continue to connect in Huss. The couches may return, at some point, but likely not in Huss.

“We [the administration council] are actually thinking of somewhere more informal where those couches can live,” Tepp said. “A few years ago they were in the world history commons, so that’s an option.”

Re-introducing the couches is still a new idea and has not been finalized.

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About the Contributor
Juan Miguel Adams
Juan Miguel Adams, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Juan Miguel Adams (he/him) I’m a Sports Editor for The Rubicon this year. At school, I’m involved in playing ultimate frisbee. I also love to play the saxophone and travel. You can reach me at [email protected].

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