RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Should Underclassmen Have Privileges?

RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Should Underclassmen Have Privileges?

Romi Chaovat ’24

As a newly initiated upperclassman, I believe sophomores should have privileges, but freshmen should not. As a freshman, my best memories and conversations with my new friends were during lunch. We would all sit in the auditorium, on the randomly placed chairs and atop the stage, and eat our lunch. Lunch was when we were forced to branch out and talk with all the new people in our grade. I feel like if freshmen had privileges, they would be deprived of those awkward, friendship-making moments but rather be faced with the pressure of finding people to go out with to lunch. 

In contrast, sophomores already have a sense of security and familiarity with the school and their grade. Sophomores are fully matured high schoolers. They know the lay of the land and deserve some of the benefits of being here. I remember last year, as a sophomore, wishing I had privileges and not understanding why my grade could not have them.

Although I do believe sophomores should get some privileges, I think the number of privileges they get should differentiate them from upperclassmen and that the seniority of upperclassmen should give them some extra benefit. One of the perks of being an upperclassman is having more freedom, and while I believe that sophomores deserve some of that, it should not be equal to that of upperclassmen. 

I hear upperclassmen talk about how underclassmen should have to endure what they went through without having privileges as freshmen and sophomores. People say it is unfair, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t affect them and is just a nice way for students to have a break in the middle of their busy school days.

Orli Rabbani ’25

Going out for lunch with my friends was a thrilling experience, and I do not mean to be hyperbolic. Not only did we laugh when adults gave us dirty looks for being out of school, but we had thirty minutes to be outside, stretch our legs, and use the city as our classroom. When discussing privileges for the underclassmen, the first thing they always talk about is the safety concern. However, if the school’s main concern is safety, it would apply not only to underclassmen but to every student. I’m sure if the seniors can be responsible and safe during their lunch period, so can students in other grades. The maturity of the grades as a whole is not logical, as a freshman may be more or as mature as a senior. The safety logic that the administration would use to justify not giving underclassmen privileges is irrelevant and illogical since the safety of all students, not just freshmen or sophomores, is important. I enjoyed that half an hour out with my friends, and I hope the administration realizes that underclassmen should be trusted with privileges. 

Stella Hiltzik ’25

Ramaz students spend nine hours in what is referred to as a “silver can.” Ramaz terraces are usually closed, leaving Ramaz students no time to get fresh air other than privileges. Giving all grades privileges is not only fun and exciting but essential for students’ health. According to Harvard Medical School, getting fresh air increases vitamin D levels, a person’s mood, concentration, and a child’s immune system. There are not only benefits from getting fresh air but detriments to a person’s health when they are denied fresh air. These facts do not only apply to upperclassmen but the entire world. Therefore if all people need fresh air, then all students, upper and lower classmen, should be allowed privileges at all times. It increases the overall mood, energy, and spirit of the entire student body. 

Lindsay Chubak ’25

When applying to and attending Ramaz, something consistently repeated is the school’s promise to use the city as our classroom. This promise becomes a reality when it comes to having trips to Central park, visiting local museums such as the Met, and much more. These excursions lead to one final goal: enhancing our time at the school educationally and emotionally, using the city both to connect our everyday lives to our classes and to bring joy to the students during the special time they spend outdoors. So if underclassmen are allowed to go out into the city to heighten their Ramaz experience in class, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do the same during their lunch period? Whether it’s getting food in one of the many exceptional restaurants Manhattan has to offer or just going for a walk around the block with your friends, getting to leave the building and enjoy the city for thirty minutes makes the school day so much more enjoyable.