Opinion: Don't sit on the arms of the Quad chairs

Spencer Carlson and Kate Marinkovich

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This is us, demonstrating how to properly sit on the new chairs on the Quad. Sitting this way is both easy and fun. Please, don’t rob other students of their enjoyment — use the chairs correctly. Photo by Callie Walker.

Students: Don’t sit on the arms of the plastic chairs on the Quad. Don’t do it because when you do, the chairs break.

When the Associated Student Body bought the first set of Quad chairs last spring, it cost them about $2,000. The students of Palo Alto High School, by failing to sit normally and engaging in other foolhardy behaviors, managed to reduce the set of 100 fully functional chairs to a set of roughly 10 chairs at varying levels of functionality.

Now, Principal Phil Winston has bought new chairs — roughly 70 chairs at $20 a piece for a total of roughly $1,400 — for the student body to enjoy on the Quad, and we have a choice. We can either make waste of his investment as we did with ASB’s purchase last time, or we can prove that we deserve the dignity of sitting in chairs, by sitting in these chairs the right way.

Remember, if you break these chairs, you will be reduced to sitting on the ground again. Maybe that’s not a problem for you. If that’s the case, don’t bother sitting in the chairs at all. Let the people who appreciate the privilege use the chairs, because those people are sure to take better care of them than you.

It’s excruciatingly obvious: Don’t treat things given to you carelessly, because it’s incredibly rude and obnoxious. And yet somehow, students have trouble with the concept.

“The longer we take care of the chairs, the longer we will have them to use,” said Student Activities Director Matt Hall. “ASB budgets — and school budgets in general — are not bottomless, infinite pools of money, even in Palo Alto.”

That’s right — even in Palo Alto. It is not unreasonable to believe that the student body has been treating these chairs so poorly because they have no concept of value, because they are spoiled kids from Palo Alto. That’s the message that’s being sent when you break chairs because you can’t figure out how to sit properly. That’s not a message that you want to send.

So come on, people. Don’t do that. It makes you look unbelievably foolish.

Then again, if simply wanting to be a respectable person isn’t enough to convince you to be careful with school property, maybe the following new policy is.

Principal Phil Winston said: “This time, if a student breaks one, we will be asking them to replace the chair.”