“Why is Woodstock being so irrational? This is just messed up and it makes no sense,” Anirudh Aggarwal, Class of 2020, said when he first encountered the locked gate at dorms.
Starting the new school year, students were perplexed to see the Hostel shortcut gate locked.
This shortcut served many conveniences to students like Carlos James Rodrigues, Class of 2020, who said, “It could have been so much easier to get to dorms.”
Last year, the school came up with a security committee to get accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). As part of the CIS protocol, the school must put an emphasis on the “student’s well-being [including] their protection, safety, security and overall wellness.”
Mr. Jeffrey Doerfler, Dean of Student Life and member of the school security committee, said, “We have to examine safety standards in order to get accredited internationally.”
The committee felt that the gate was potentially dangerous to students because it was difficult for the guards stationed at the main dorm entrance to monitor two access points thoroughly. This created the need to have only one access point.
The locked gate is not the only change that the newly formed security board implemented.
This is also the same reason as to why food delivery couriers can no longer directly go to dorms to deliver food and why the out-of-boarding system is completely changed.
The out-of-boarding form has been completely rewritten. It has become a waiver, stating that “The ward is completely [out of any] supervision and guardianship for all purposes. The school is absolved of any responsibility/liability [of the child/student] whatsoever during this [out-of-boarding] period.” Also, to take any student out-of-boarding, the adult has to check him or her out via dorms (previously, parents could check out their children through school).
Walking down the ramp from New Road to Ridgewood, an open gate in the middle of this ramp puzzled Harssh Tanwar, Class of 2020, who said, ”They should at least open one of the gates. It seems unreasonable that the gate to Hostel is locked while this [midway gate] remains open.”
This midway gate serves as an entrance to employee quarters situated behind Hostel. Due to the school security committee, Hostel has been fenced off in every direction from the employee quarters. Employees, just like staff and students, also have to go through the main guard post at Ridgewood.
Everyone had to adapt to the new changes; while the new gate served as a tedious addition to the walk to school, security staff now have better control over the safety of students.
Photo by Faisal Qadir