New Rules: A Love-Hate Story

By Betsabeth Cacho Lopez

Many rules have changed this year, from electronics to dress code to dorm tutorials, and students believe that some of the rules need to be modified.

Cell phone rules are causing the most dismay. No cell phones are allowed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including during lunch or breaks. In addition, this year, the rules regarding cell phones apply to smart watches, so some teachers are checking students’ wrists and asking that smart watches be put in backpacks during class. Students whose electronic devices are confiscated can pick them up at the end of the day from Vice Principal Helen Kim.

Math teacher Hai Tran said that when he was in high school, cellphones had a negative impact on his learning.

“(Cell phones are) designed to be addictive, and we often don’t have full control over that,” he said. “I really appreciate the no-cell-phone policy.”

However, many students don’t appreciate the policy and say that it is too restrictive.

“In an emergency, we might need to get in contact with our parents,” said senior Gilberto Virrueta. “It’s faster, and there are some emergencies you don’t want other people to know about.”

While cell phone rules are stricter than last year, the dress code has loosened up. Before COVID, students were required to wear Eastside gear as their outermost layer, and some kinds of shirts and shorts were prohibited. Now, only a few restrictions remain, such as no inappropriate graphics or writing on T-shirts. Instead of rules about the length of skirts or no bare midriffs, the guidance is to “dress appropriately”.

Senior Isabel Bustos believes that there shouldn’t be a dress code.

“People should be allowed to wear what they want,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to limit what we wear for the sake of others, I’m happy with the school’s dress code this year.”

The dorms this year have also reinforced many rules regarding academics. Freshmen have tutorials in classrooms for two hours after dinner and if they don’t finish their homework then, they join a tutorial in the dorm. Freshmen are also required to complete Beyond Minimums, which are projects that prove a student has mastered the content in Physics class.

As for upperclassmen, they may work in their rooms during the week if they had completed their weekend homework before arriving back on Sunday evening. The dorms offer support for completing homework on weekends, such as a Friday afternoon tutorial from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., which gives students a quiet place to work before going home.

The dorms have also strengthened their cell phone rules. Students must leave their phones in the dorms during the school day and retrieve them at 5:30pm, when the dorms open. Students who have electives that require using cellphones may keep them during the elective, but turn them into Office Manager Janelle Fine before and after the elective.