Stay to the right

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Jenna Ariza

Stay to the right

Many students would agree that the one (and only) staircase that students and staff use is not enough to accommodate the number of students that attend UACHS. Would building another staircase be possible and be the best solution?

Students nowadays crowd around the staircase and line up to go up and down the stairs. With students saying that the crowded staircase is an issue, several staff members looked further into the issue so that people who use the staircase could flow more smoothly.

Joseph Timpanaro, the Director of Grants & Special Programs, was amongst the staff members to hear about the slow transition that students have to endure to get to their classes by using the staircase. When hearing this news, Timpanaro proposed some solutions, such as: letting a staff member make sure to check if students are staying on the right or painting the stairs so students could stay between the lines.

Due to UACHS being owned by NJCU, some of the alternatives/solutions for the school to consider was difficult to incorporate into the school. Instead, today, students hear announcements of and see print-outs reading: “Stay to the right on the staircase.”

Freshman student, Meryline Aguilar, has two classes on the second floor and six classes on the first floor. Although she does not find getting to class difficult for her, Aguilar thinks that the overcrowding of students is an issue based on the continuous acceptance rates.

“Maybe next year, two hundred,” said Aguilar. “Not too much because we won’t even fit [fit on] the staircase.”

Senior student, Michael Pacheco, has a diverse schedule. Like some students, he has the firsthand experience of dealing with a schedule that requires him to often go upstairs and downstairs.

“For senior year, it’s like every other class I’m moving now,” said Pacheco. “My first three classes I’m going to three totally different areas and then after another class I’m on the same floor with, I’ll have to go up the stairs again for my last three periods and it’s a headache.”

For years, UACHS has tried to keep the grade levels separate meaning, the freshmen and sophomores would mainly stay on the first floor while the upperclassmen remain mostly on the second floor; this year, the grade levels seem to clash. Yet, Timpanaro has not observed that the staircases and hallways are more crowded than usual.

“I would only be able to assume that people are changing floors; there are more freshmen on the second floor when they should be on the first floor, more and more upperclassmen on the first floor taking classes,” said Timpanaro. “I think because our school is so small, we can’t keep all the freshman on one floor.”

Aguilar expressed that the school should make time to think of possible alternatives to the situation at hand.

“They should have at least make it less crowded or make it a different way,” said Aguilar. “Such as giving students extra minutes to go to class.”

From personal experience, Timpanaro believes that students should accept the fact that although the staircase is crowded, it does not take four minutes in total to get down or up the stairs.

“[For example], if you’re aware that you have to go from room 220 to room 115 with four minutes to do that then you have plenty of time because as long as you don’t go to your locker or go talk to your friends, you can make it on time,” said Timpanaro.

Pacheco disagreed with building another staircase since he believes that the students play a part in the issue. He thinks students should recognize and remember that it is a small school.

“I’ve noticed that when I’m on the staircase, people would try to go through the middle; nobody really stays where they’re supposed to stay so that everyone can move smoothly,” said Pacheco. “Everyone’s just trying to butt heads and pass their way through and it kind of creates more congestion than it needs to be.”

Student acceptance/admission into UACHS is continuous throughout the year; some students may blame this action as one of the reasons why the hallways and the staircase is more crowded than usual. Last year, there were about 430 students last year. This year, there are around 444 students attending UACHS.

Timpanaro feels that the acceptance rates are not the cause of the supposed crowding of the staircase and hallways.

“I know five freshmen who were supposed to come but didn’t come,” said Timpanaro. “We take them off the list and go to this one so the numbers are the same. So it’s not extra students, it’s just replacing students that didn’t show up.”

Although the staircase has been more crowded to students, it is evident that staff members have looked into and thought of possible solutions in order to solve the issue at hand.

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Stay to the right