The New Gate

Ben Santoro, Writer

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Recently the Cistercian campus has undergone a relatively significant change.  I say relatively significant because considering the school has just renovated the science building and built a crypt, “significant” is a bit of a stretch.  I’m referring to the newly installed gate in between the gym and the main building.  Many students have offered their takes on this controversial issue. Some have speculated that it will maximize security in case of a “lock-down” situation, while others seem to believe that it serves no purpose whatsoever.  This seems to be a major concern for junior Nate “Dirty” Sanchez.  In an interview, he stated “I don’t know why it’s there.  It’s an eyesore and it serves no purpose.  It doesn’t even lock.”  This “atrocity,” as Sanchez puts it, has also been criticized for being restrictive by Sanchez’s classmate and ring speaker, Jack O’Neil.  “A lot of bonding comes from unrestricted movement around the campus.  Guys going places with other guys and ‘bro-ing down,’ and I feel like this gate restricts that.” And students are not the only people who feel this way.  Fr. Ambrose expressed his unimpressed opinion when he said, “The first thing I thought when I saw that gate was, ‘If I were a bad guy, I would just jump over that gate.’”  In case of an intruder on campus, it appears that the gate would be a completely superfluous measure.  Officer Edwards is an extremely capable man, but I doubt he has the ability to get over to the gate to stop an intruder in the four extra seconds it takes to hop the gate.

Officer Edwards was available for an interview about this new gate, and he said that the primary purpose of the gate is for security, and to protect the students on campus. However, the gate is not completely finished being worked on.  He said that the gate will be more of a help to the school’s security once the project is completely finished.

The ordering of the gate and most things about it like design were in charge of Mr.Parker. He ordered it from a company in Florida known as NatureRails after stumbling upon their company on accident. He worked with a senior creative designer named Rob Gerdin to find a design that worked. The vision was to have a secure gate featuring the native animals found around the Cistercian campus.

As for the design of the fence, it looks as if it was designed by an avid outdoorsman.  The gate depicts wildlife roaming all across its surface.  The gate is not an “eyesore” in my opinion. However, it has little to no significance in the minds of the students. What is the point of depicting a group of animals?  Why not use a design that the students can relate to and be proud of, something that will stir in them a sense of community and belonging?

Personally, I think that the gate can only add character to the campus.  This is simply part of the evolution places undergo over time.  In a decade, or maybe even less, there will be upper schoolers who cannot remember a time without the gate.  And as for the usefulness with respect to security, the only thing it can do is help.  At worst the gate will become unbearably dull and be torn down, at best it will be generally accepted by the student body and meld into the students’ perception of the campus.

Whatever the case may be, the new gate helps to continue the process of the campus’s recent enhancements and is a sign of the administration’s mindset of actively improving the school grounds.  It’s clear that the administration is at least trying to improve the campus in some way, which all Cistercian students should look at as a sign of more changes to come.

 

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