Opinion: The idea to switch House to the end of the day has been a disaster


Isa Quilter

A person runs away from a burning house. This is akin to the choice that many seniors have made this year to opt out of the House system.

Noah Sparkman, Editor-in-Chief

House’s switch from the middle of the day to the end of it has been disastrous.
The intentions behind the switch were noble. The thought of having a period to relax or have fun with friends after students had slogged through the day seemed like a legitimate innovation.
In addition, the prospect of having every single person in the school in House at once was an idea that bred a lot of hope, especially after a year in which Hayes had been split in half.
With all that the switch had going for it, there seemed to be room for optimism. Many, including myself, believed that this would be an evolution for the House system.
In reality, though, that has proven to be far from the truth. Rather than the unity that we had hoped to create, House feels more distant than ever before, and I’m not sure how many ways there are to repair that damage.
Problems became apparent almost immediately with the policy put in place to manage students who wouldn’t be there at the end of the day. The deal is essentially this: either you’re here everyday for House, or you don’t have it at all.
This all-or-nothing approach proved to be extremely frustrating for many students, particularly upperclassmen. Students who had waited years to have 9th period option were now forced to choose between either that or House.
What if a student played a fall sport and wanted to use that extra time to go home and get their gear? What about DACC students who weren’t here for the latter half of the day?
Now, they would have to decide whether to completely drop House in order to accommodate those priorities, or to sacrifice those opportunities to keep it on their schedule. It’s not like skipping was an option either, as the threat of detention loomed.
The decision came pretty easily for most people. Many upperclassmen, particularly seniors, got rid of House on their schedule, and took their opportunity to leave at 2 p.m. rather than 2:30.
This had a massive ripple effect on the system as a whole. Keep one thing in mind: the upperclassmen are the only students who knew how House was supposed to be.
There are two whole graduating classes that have no concept of how House is supposed to look. In the past, underclassmen have had the upperclassmen to guide and lead them, but now many of the older students have been removed from the equation.
That absence has resulted in a version of House that is often confusing. Students forget their shirts on the days of events, not being allowed to compete. Even more students simply don’t sign up for events because they don’t know what they are supposed to do.
Amidst that confusion, many students have simply started to not care. The upperclassmen that remain get frustrated with the lack of spirit in the underclassmen and start to treat them differently, making those younger students even less likely to participate.
The turbulence has led to House essentially becoming a free period at the end of the day that students want to get out of as soon as possible.
While this problem is clear, the solution is not.
The switch back to periods 5 and 6 feels like it would work, but with a student population that warrants four lunch periods, that doesn’t even really feel viable at this point.
There is optimism that the schedule may be changed again for next year, but even if they do, it may not even help.
The reality of the situation is that Hayes now has two classes who don’t particularly care about House. When they likely transition that attitude to next year’s freshman class, I don’t know how the system is going to come back from that.
When everything is taken into consideration, it’s hard not to ask one simple question:
What is the future of House?