Freshmen and Seniors Share Gym Lockers: A Bonding Experience or an Inconvenience?

Starting this school year, Stuyvesant freshmen and seniors will be sharing their lockers in the Phys Ed locker room.

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By Sasha Ruinsky

Several Stuyvesant freshmen and seniors received e-mails introducing them to their new “gym locker buddies” on September 8. In an effort to increase accessibility to gym lockers, starting this school year, freshmen and seniors will be sharing their lockers in Physical Education (P.E.) locker rooms.

This decision comes as an effort to address the insufficient number of gym lockers, which has caused seniors in past years to not have gym lockers at all. “Traditionally, seniors didn’t have lockers in the locker rooms. This is the first year that seniors have lockers. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough lockers for every student at Stuy, so we decided to try this, similar to what we do when freshmen share a hallway locker,” Assistant Principal of Security, Health, and P.E. Brian Moran said. “The reason we picked seniors and freshmen is so that the freshman who has a locker that they’re sharing will only have to share for one year, and then they’ll have their own locker for three years, once the senior graduates. [And] because seniors and freshmen don’t have P.E. together, there’s [a lower] likelihood that they would be in there at the same time.”

Many seniors expressed positive feelings about the change, indicating that they’d prefer sharing gym lockers over not having one at all. “[The change] doesn’t bother me since our periods don’t overlap, and we don’t leave stuff in our gym lockers anyway,” senior Rui Dong said. “It’s definitely a good thing. I would hate to have to change in the bathroom every time.” 

Others, while happy to be able to continue using their gym lockers for another year, have mixed opinions on the prospect of shared storage. “It’s nice we get to use the lockers again, but it’s a little annoying that I can’t keep my stuff in there. So far I haven’t seen any clothes in my locker, so I don’t know if the freshman is even using it,” senior Owen Chan said.

Some seniors disagree with the decision, believing that the gym locker assignments should be prioritized for seniors. “I think gym locker sharing is better than seniors not having any lockers,” senior Raihan Zaman said. “But I feel less comfortable keeping items like my gym clothes in my locker because of privacy. I feel that the locker system should be that freshmen enter with no gym lockers because [though] it would be tougher for the freshmen, realistically seniors should have an easier quality of life than freshmen.”

Nevertheless, both freshmen and seniors have been making efforts to make the most out of the experience through active communication to prevent any conflicts with locker-sharing. “It felt a little unhygienic sharing a gym locker since my locker buddy always left used clothes in there. After I asked them about it through an e-mail, they stopped, though, which was nice,” senior Chenkai Shen said.

Similarly, taking their locker buddy into consideration, some students have made decisions to alter the way they use their lockers. Out of respect for their locker buddy, students have expressed that they will refrain from leaving their uniforms in their gym lockers. “I was planning on using [my locker] to store my gym clothes, but with another person sharing, I altered my plan and decided not to. I didn’t want to be rude to the other person I’m sharing with,” freshman Justin Lo said.

As a result, many students have been negatively impacted by the locker situation. “I might [have to start putting] my gym uniform in my actual locker now, even though that might be a bit bothersome, since my locker is on the ninth floor,” freshman Amanda Lin said.

The administration is still looking to experiment with shared lockers and is continuing to make changes to make gym lockers more accessible. “We’re still testing it out and seeing if it will be successful. So far, from the information I’ve gathered from teachers, the seniors are utilizing the lockers and are pretty happy to have the ability to use a locker [...] We’re looking to purchase additional lockers so that fewer kids will have to share,” Moran said.