Senior privileges have made a recurrence after their absence last year due to COVID-19.
Last year, seniors were only allowed to leave campus three times a week during the last month of the school year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Senior class officers were swift to implement a contract that every senior was required to sign to receive senior privileges.
This year’s senior privileges contract requires one guardian and student to sign. The student also must not be on academic probation to qualify.
“We talked to previous senior class officers from the past two years to kind of figure out what would be reasonable goals and expectations,” senior Class President Will McDonald said.
Senior class officers were also assisted by Head of Upper School Trevor Worcester while compiling the contract that included the parameters of what can and cannot be done within senior privileges.
Senior privileges are already in effect and began on Sept. 6. For the first semester, they are allowed to leave campus twice a week, and during the second semester, they can leave three times a week.
Juniors can also earn these privileges later on in the year, which will be determined by junior class officers.
“Juniors usually get some sort of privileges in the spring, but I don’t think that happened last year just because of COVID,” said Senior Class Dean April Burns.
Senior privileges are privileges, therefore, they can be taken away.
“Leaving campus without checking, that is very clearly not okay, as stated in the handbook, and it could create a consequence as severe as suspension,” Burns said.
As of this year, there have been no incursions to the contract, and Burns and the senior class leadership expect a year without any major impediments.
Another concern about senior privileges is that there is no way to ensure that students are following on-campus COVID-19 protocols.
Currently, Greenhill requires all individuals on campus, vaccinated or not, to wear a mask when indoors. Seniors are allowed to leave with other seniors in their cars.
After leaving campus, Greenhill COVID-19 protocols no longer pertain. Moreover, there are no guidelines as to where seniors can and cannot go, making them more susceptible to the virus.
Nevertheless, McDonald predicts no breaks in the contract regarding the senior privileges because it would be difficult for them to even do so and would lead to immense repercussions.
“I think they’d have to go pretty much out of their way to violate the guidelines and rules, and I don’t think anyone in the grade would want to do that because they know that it would put senior privileges for the entire student body at risk,” McDonald said.