By Catherine Van Weele
At the beginning of every school year, students at Novato High come to campus a few days before school begins to claim a locker.
Upperclassmen and sophomores find it difficult to find a locker since almost 100 lockers are broken and freshmen have been given priority for the last two years.
Out of 576 lockers on campus, 93 are broken. There are 483 available lockers for students, which is only enough for about one-third of NHS students.
Priana Aquino, a junior, had to share a broken locker with a friend during her sophomore year. Aquino was not able to get a locker in time, freshmen had already taken up of the lockers. She was unable to put a locker on earlier in the summer since locks were being cut off if they were put on before freshman orientation.
“I had to share and there were other lockers around the one that I was using that other people had locks on but never even used which was pretty upsetting,” Aquino said. Aquino uses her locker for everything and visits it about four times a day.
Alexa Bleth and Katrina Horsey, both juniors, agreed that freshmen should not get priority with the distribution of lockers. Bleth believes students with the most AP classes should get priority, regardless of class. Horsey does not have a locker this year. Although she would like to have a locker, she is fine without using one. Horsey believes juniors or sophomores should get priority to lockers.
“Freshmen got to suck it up,” Horsey said. “Juniors don’t have priority of the parking spots so they don’t have anywhere to put their stuff.”
Horsey’s younger brother, Benjamin Horsey, a freshman, believes freshmen deserve priority to lockers since they are new to the school.
“It makes sure it's easier for [freshmen] during their first year,” Benjamin said.
Novato High Principal Matt Baldwin understands the difficulty of upperclassmen finding lockers. However, freshmen get priority in order to help integrate them into the high school community.
“It’s a tough transition for freshmen,” Baldwin said. ”That year is monumental for education so we are trying desperately hard to create a system where it’s an easy transition for eighth graders to come in.”
Providing more lockers is very expensive. To repair the 93 broken lockers, the cost would be $20,000 to $25,000. To add more lockers around campus it would cost $100,000 to $150,000.
“[Companies] don’t have the parts because our lockers are so old. They don’t have the doors that fit,” Baldwin said. “We almost have to just say take those 90 lockers out and put new lockers in which raises the cost even more.”
Baldwin also mentioned the idea of lockers becoming obsolete as technology becomes more advanced.
“If you talk to anyone in the know in regards to textbook companies and just where we are going with digital integration, we are probably moving towards a place in education where we don’t even need lockers at all,” Baldwin said. “I think we need to talk to students and figure out what we want to do and where we want to go.”
Bleth does not think lockers will become irrelevant because their are many other things aside from textbooks that students carry around such as class materials, jackets, and food.
“I feel like lockers won’t become obsolete because students still carry around notebooks and binders,” Bleth said. “Many students prefer taking notes instead of using the computer.”
The issue of not having enough lockers does not seem like it will be going away soon. Baldwin wants to hear what students have to say so the school can have a locker policy that works for everybody.