No longer for studying: Huss lacks student maturity

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Mimi Geller

Recently, in Huss, students take naps, leave a mess and do not clean up after themselves.

Walk into the Huss Center for Performing Arts in the morning, and surely a crystalline space filled with dangling glass lights and monochromatic coloring will dazzle the eyes. A friendly security officer will wave on your left. A list of donors will stare from the right. This is a typical morning entrance for many St. Paul Academy and Summit School students.

However, come mid-day, the Huss Center manifests the crumbs, wrappers, and immaturity that students shed during their free periods. For most students, the Huss center is a quiet space to finish homework, but recently, it’s become a place to sprawl one’s body and belongings without care. It seems that SPA students have collectively forgotten preschool age responsibilities: cleaning up after oneself.

What is wrong, however, is treating a space as nice and comfortable as the Huss Center like it’s a right instead of a privilege”

There is nothing wrong with taking a necessary break during free periods and chatting with friends. That’s healthy. Additionally, there are many health benefits that come with maintaining friendships. What is wrong, however, is treating a space as nice and comfortable as the Huss Center like it’s a right instead of a privilege. Instead of eating chips with friends on the couches, consider moving to the cafeteria, where food is actually allowed. Instead of shoving wrappers in between the crevices of seats, walk a mere 15 feet to the garbage bin and properly dispose waste. The issue of cleaning up one’s garbage isn’t simply something students should do by nature, it helps student practice for real-life when there won’t be a maintenance staff to clean up the mess.

Although it may seem harmless to leave a few things here and there, like an empty bag of popcorn, there is scientific evidence that a messy space can cause stress. A cluttered space makes it more difficult for students to feel at ease, both mentally and physically. This is particularly problematic since Huss is supposed to be a productive space, not one to induce more stress.

The second and similarly visible issue that presents itself with the Huss Center’s use is the sprawling of students on couches. Some students act as though the couches are their beds at home, and choose to take a nap. The most prominent issue with this behavior is that it sends a signal of sloth and indifference to others when laziness has no place in school. Likewise, to anyone entering or exiting school through Huss, the sight of a sleeping student is the sight of a student who doesn’t care about embodying their best self. Napping in a space so public damages SPA’s reputation, and the students themselves. In addition to looking sluggish, students who sleep on the couches take up the entirety of the space, preventing students who genuinely wish to sit there and complete homework. Instead of taking a snooze in the Huss, consider going to the infirmary if sleep is so necessary, or try to wait until the school day is over.

Perhaps the immature behavior in Huss is due to the lack of teachers within the space. If so, this is pathetic, as many students are nearly adults and shouldn’t need adult supervision to act in a responsible manner. If SPA students are, as the mission statement states, the “hearts and minds of the students who will change the world,” students owe it to each other to practice basic responsibility and sophistication.

When that urge to lay down and dump Goldfish wrappers on the floor arises, recall the space, time, and setting in which that behavior would take place. Make the choice that will better serve SPA, and better reflect the gratitude students should feel for state of the art study spaces like Huss.