By Eric Ramirez, Staff Writer
The senior class of Verbum Dei High School enjoys certain privileges based on some longstanding traditions and some relatively recent ones; these exclusive senior privileges are access to the senior restroom, senior jackets, a polo option and tie options for daily school wear, access to Senior square, varsity-level sports, prom, and Grad Night.
Verb has granted the senior class its own restroom.
The senior restroom is arguably the most well-appointed on the entire campus. It made its debut in as a part of the renovation of the 100 Corridor classrooms.
“They separated [seniors] from the other grades because it is showing that they are adults, and they are not children anymore,” said Ken Stevenson. “The restroom has three toilets, three stalls, three sinks, and three mirrors.”
“The only [visible] difference between the restrooms is that there are mirrors in the senior restroom,” said Stevenson. The bathroom accessible to all other students does not have mirrors because, as Stevenson said, “We trust our seniors with mirrors; they are very easy to break, and there have been a lot of incidents happening in the other restroom.”
Seniors design their own class jackets.
“Seniors have their own jackets as a memory of their senior year,” said Stevenson. Privilege comes at a cost: the senior jacket costs $100. This year’s jacket colors are blue, gold, and white. The jackets were ordered in October and are expected to be delivered by the students’ return from the Thanksgiving break.
This year VDHS administration awarded a new privilege in that seniors are now permitted to wear polos on any day except work days.
“Seniors are grown, and we are not trying to have lots of rules on what to wear cause,” said Stevenson. “They are seniors and in the [near] future they can wear anything they want.” All underclassmen can also wear polos but only on Fridays. Again, privilege comes at the cost: approved polo shirts are $25 each.
Seniors may wear professional ties of their choosing to school daily.
All VDHS students have the option to wear professional ties of their choosing on their work study workdays; however, seniors exclusively are granted this option daily. There is a great variety of colors and patterns in evidence in senior neck wear during typical school days.
Access to Senior Square is the most tenured senior privilege of VDHS.
“This square was [instituted] so that seniors have their own space in the school,” said Stevenson. “If any kids from the other grades come inside the square, they will receive a Saturday JUG.” Stevenson seems intent on reinvigorating the Senior Square tradition that has been neglected in recent years.
Seniors have access to varsity-level sports.
The Athletic Department has a rule that seniors have guaranteed varsity-level placement in their senior year. Any sport that has a both a varsity and a JV team allows seniors automatic placement varsity. They are guaranteed to be placed on varsity squads, but senior athletes are not guaranteed that they will be starting players. Seniors must work for those coveted starting spots, while other grades levels must work for both team level and starting spots.
Seniors also enjoy two exclusive special events near the end of this final semester: Prom and Grand Night.
“Prom is to give the students time to develop their social skills, and on Grad Night, seniors celebrate their achievements,” said Stevenson. Only eligible seniors are permitted to attend Prom and Grand night. These privileges come at a cost: Prom is $225 for two people (an individual is $125), and Grad Night is $100.
“Theses privileges help me to stay focused and not get in trouble,” said senior Carlos De’Leon.
Students from other grade levels are aware of the status and privilege that seniors are afforded.
“I can’t wait until my senior year [when my classmates and I will] be the big dogs of the school and teach other students how to act,” junior Jonathan Soto said.
Just as privileges can be earned, they can also be lost.
“The only way a senior can lose his privileges is by fighting, having excessive tardies, having chronic behavior issues, having two academic integrity incidents, a CWSP termination, a grade point average below a 2.0, or having more than one F on transcript,” said Stevenson.