New Book Return Policy Leaves Students In For Lunch
October 28th, 2004
The book return policy at Stuyvesant has been the same for as long as anyone can remember. At the beginning of each semester massive hardcover textbooks with 1,200 pages, large paperback anthologies, tattered novels from the English Department, and everything in between are schlepped to students’ homes where they serve as a study guide, a homework aid, and, for some, a handy doorstop.
At the end of the semester the students are required to return books to the department to which they belong. Many books, however, are never returned, as some students lose the books or never get around to returning them.
The previous book policy required that students clear their book records in order to graduate. Consequently, many students chose to wait until the end of their senior year to clear their book tab.
This procrastination in returning books, along with the large amount of books lost by students, has resulted in over 6,000 books missing from the school, according to an announcement by Principal Stanley Teitel. According to Teitel, students who had not cleared their book records would not be permitted to leave the building during their lunch period, starting Monday, September 27.
Many students were initially skeptical about whether the administration would enforce the new lunch policy. “I thought [the policy] was stupid, and that it wouldn’t work,” said junior Shahriver Hossain. “I figured that they would enforce it, but it wouldn’t work and after, like, a week they would stop.”
Skepticism quickly faded on Monday, as students going out to lunch found two white tables set up in front of the second floor entrance. School faculty members sat at the tables with lists of all students who owed books. Students whose name appeared on the list were prohibited from going outside. Students whose names were not listed received small red stamps on their program cards and were permitted to go outside by showing the security guards this stamp.
This policy continued until Tuesday, September 28, when it was discontinued for the rest of the week
On Tuesday, October 5, Teitel announced that the new lunch policy would be reinstated.
According to Secretary to the Assistant Principal of Technology Angela Figliolo, the new book policy has been very effective in ensuring the return of books to the school. “It was unbelievable all the books that came back,” said Figliolo. “There are students who have come in here with suitcases full of books.”
Some students who owe books have found ways to finagle their way out to lunch. “Everyone finds a way to fake the stickers and stuff,” said Hossain.
Many students are concerned that the administration is penalizing those students who have returned their books, but still have missing books on their book records.
“I think that it isn’t right that they are enforcing this without checking up,” said junior and Student Union Chief Financial Officer Josh Seigel. “Hundreds of people who are on the list don’t actually owe books.”
Though many students are angered by the revoking of their lunch privileges, and many students have found ways to go outside for lunch anyway, the numbers show that the new policy is actually quite effective. According to Assistant Principal of Technology [?] Edward Wong, 2,400 books of the 6,900 missing books have been returned. This will obviously save the school a huge sum of money, and despite the negative feelings towards the policy, it has done almost exactly what it had been intended to do.