Written by: Lucy Oyer
All too often, Tuesday’s tutorial period is eliminated to make time for a riveting mandatory assembly, interrupting students’ scheduled activities. This could be forgivable if the assemblies’ contents were of any sort of urgency or necessity, but when the entire purpose of the assembly is to watch a preview of the theatre musical or screen the Prom video, which is ever so easily accessible on YouTube, one must question whether his or her time might be better spent studying or doing just about anything else. There is rarely any information communicated that could not be just as effectively passed along through other mediums, such as e-mail or the morning announcements. It would be in students’ best interests for the administration to pursue these alternate avenues of communication.
An assembly schedule on Tuesday automatically cuts out the week’s tutorial period. For those who were hoping to talk to a teacher or get extra help, tutorial can be crucial, and having to wait another week can disrupt studying, especially if a student has an upcoming exam. When the reason for a student not being able to seek help during tutorial is that they had to go watch a humorous video about Prom as an underclassman, he or she is often understandably upset. Additionally, assemblies are often poorly publicized, so students are unable to plan ahead.
The later class release time on assembly days can also have a negative effect on planned after-school activities. Athletes who would usually not have to skip any class due to Tuesday’s 2:29 p.m. class release time end up having to skip part of G period in order to be on time. Other extra-curricular commitments can be affected for sports matches, too; all for something that is often not beneficial, such as a choir performance or the Homecoming video. Even though tutorial is technically required, there are fewer negative effects to missing tutorial than missing G period.
With all the inconveniences that the assemblies cause, one would assume that they must be extraordinarily important, and the only option for communicating the content to the student body. This, however, is rarely the case. Most of the assemblies’ content is irrelevant to a majority of students, and the content that is important could easily be communicated through any number of alternative mediums. Prom and Homecoming videos are definitely fun, but it would be better to instead just post them on YouTube, Facebook and the Gunn website and not interrupt an entire Tuesday schedule. And, if one insists that it is only fun to watch those on the big screen in the Spangenberg theatre, an optional assembly could be held during tutorial. Similarly, though the speeches are no doubt engrossing, it seems unnecessary to hold an election assembly, when students could find all the same information on an easily-constructed webpage.
It would not hurt to reconsider whether or not all of the assemblies are truly worth the extra stress they cause by interfering with student’s plans. There are many ways to cut down on the number of assemblies by seeking alternative ways to communicate the information to students. Every time an assembly rolls around, complaints are heard across campus. Rarely, however, has anyone lamented that there are too few assemblies. Eliminating some of the “fluffy” assemblies would be a widely welcomed change and the Student Executive Council and the administration should thoroughly consider this possibility.