The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

So, Where Did the Senior Lounge Go?

Lucia Martinez Pelaez
The old Senior Lounge, now the Teachers’ Lounge

Have you ever wanted to study in a quiet place during the school day? Chances are that you went to the Tiger Study Den next to the weight room to do so. But now, as we start the new year, you come to find out that the weight room is in the Tiger Study Den, the Tiger Study Den is in the Teachers’ Lounge, the Teachers’ Lounge is in the Senior Lounge, and the Senior Lounge is…non-existent. Why?

 “Over 10 years ago, the Senior Lounge was a staff cafeteria,” Gia Shin, former Echo Editor-in-Chief, wrote in her article “Seniors Challenge Principal Morrison on Lounge”:  “When Mr. Morrison advised the Student Organization (S.O.), he decided to turn the space into a Senior Lounge. Seniors would visit the lounge during their free periods and lunches to socialize and play games.” Last year, the S.O. worked tirelessly to get the Senior Lounge up and running again, but the effort seemed moot. Some seniors did use the room, but it always seemed to have a gray cloud of “possible storage space” looming over it. This lack of student participation, along with the limited number of rooms in our building, prompted Morrison to move some rooms around. But at what cost?

The old Teachers’ Lounge, now the Tiger Study Den. Photo: Lucia Martinez Pelaez

“I decided to move the Tiger Study Den and the Teachers’ Lounge due to the lack of space in our school, but mostly to optimize the weight room and upgrade our school facilities,” Morrison said. His plans include moving the squat racks, free weights, and all machines except cardio ones into the Den in hopes of making the old weight room a place with an indoor turf for soccer. By knocking down the separating wall, he aims to open up the room and improve ventilation in the old weight room.

“Overall, the Senior Lounge was not getting used enough by the senior class, so Mr. Morrison decided to fix it,” S.O. President Zachary Shammash said. If you also consider that the Tiger Study Den and Teachers’ Lounge were both in need of downsizing and that the weight room has been outdated for years, the change makes sense. “I agree with Mr. Morrison’s decision to get rid of the Senior Lounge,” he said. However, the question remains, were we supposed to see this coming?

The old Tiger Study Den, soon to be the Weight Room. Photo: Lucia Martinez Pelaez

The day right before holiday break, the S.O. found out about Morrison’s plans. It was pretty disappointing news to hear about, since we all knew that the last S.O. worked very hard to get the Senior Lounge up and running again. After the meeting, I proceeded with my next classes, wondering if my teachers were told about the new changes. Much to my surprise, many of them weren’t.

“To the best of my knowledge (and I did an advanced search of my email), I don’t remember receiving an email or being told (until I spoke with you) before Winter Break that the Senior Lounge would become the faculty lounge, which would become the Tiger Study Den,” said Mrs. Malanka, an AP Seminar and Senior English teacher. 

Senior Lounge couch in the library. Photo: Lucia Martinez Pelaez

When I came back from break, I saw the couches that were purchased for the Senior Lounge in the middle of the library. I asked the library staff if they were given a warning about the change, and they all stated that they heard rumors but no official announcement was given.

The main issue on the table is simple: why was no one told? Most students and teachers didn’t know these changes happened until they came back from break and either saw the changes in person or read Principal Morrison’s email about them. We have organizations like the Big Cabinet, the Little Cabinet, and the S.O. to better the communication between the administration and students, but they don’t seem to be working. 

The bottom line is simple: communication should be more clear. Though I am just a student and subordinate to Mr. Morrison and the rest of the administration, I believe that students, as much as teachers, deserve a right to know if and when changes will occur to the building. Therefore, I am proposing that Mr. Morrison start a principal’s newsletter. This could be a bi-weekly or monthly letter with the intention to update students, faculty, and administration on any changes that are being taken into consideration in our building. Having a clear line of communication will bring the school community together as well as keep everyone informed on the issues that will be affecting the space they spend the majority of their weekdays in. 

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About the Contributor
Lucia Martinez Pelaez
Lucia Martinez Pelaez, Guest Writer
Lucia Martinez-Pelaez ('25) is very excited to be a guest writer in The Echo. She is an avid reader and loves to keep up with international as well as school news. Outside of school she loves to run, sew, and hike as well as hang out with her friends and dog.