Students Disappointed with New Campus Center Colors

Nick Jain , Staff Writer for Spokesman

The Campus Center is one of the few places at Princeton Day School that hundreds of students use each day. As a result of this, the unexpected bleaching of the Campus Center has affected many lives, and has become the source of much complaint. Many people find the new white walls to be bland and depressing, and the majority of students questioned said that they did not think that the school should be allowed to make changes such as this without talking to students first.

The primary purpose of attending school is to learn. However, many students believe the newly painted Campus Center has been detrimental to both their learning and their happiness. “All the white suppresses my creative thinking. It makes me feel sad and depressed because lunch is supposed to be a happy time and now it isn’t,” said sophomore Daniel Burwell. This disservice to the student body has even carried through to the middle school, where sixth grader, Katie Jain, revealed that the painting of the Campus Center, makes her “feel cold and confined and as a result of that, doesn’t allow [her] brain to open to the extent which it is capable.”

The painting of the Campus Center has inhibited student life at Princeton Day School. The recent painting of the Campus Center does not simply affect learning; it is also completely unnecessary. The Campus Center was just fine-arguably better, before the painting, and PDS poorly allocated money by choosing to change it. Said Upper School history teacher Christian Rhodes, “I liked it the old way.” Every single person interviewed said that they liked it the “old way,” and that there was no need for change. Sophomore Daniel Mahmoud said that the Campus Center actually looks worse after the recent painting, and pointed out that, “Now the floor and the cushions don’t even match the walls.” Many students proposed better ideas about how the money spent on painting could have been used to actually improve the Campus Center. Sophomore  Zoe Lett suggested that “They should have spent the money on reupholstering the cushions in the campus center because they are stained and gross.” This is just one possible improvement among many suggested, but all made the point that PDS should not waste money on making negative changes, but should instead use that money to positively affect the community.

The poor decisions and changes made by painting the Campus Center raises the question of whether the school should consult the students before making changes such as these. Freshman Rahul Bhatia said, “The school should have asked us before painting it,” and senior Alex Mahmoud echoed this idea by saying that “it wouldn’t have killed them to at least ask our opinion before they radically changed something.” There needs to be communication between the school and its students, or else negative responses such as these will continue to arise. The student body has many good ideas for changes, and it is in the school’s best interest to listen to these thoughts.

Sophomore Jack Dallessio accurately described the overwhelming opinion on the recent painting of the campus center when asked his thoughts: “I hate it. I liked the old one, and the new one is boring and depressing. They should have talked to us, but it is their legal right to do it without talking to us.” He is not alone in this opinion. Many have said that it has hindered their learning capabilities and made them feel overwhelmingly stressed.

Moreover, many students have proposed other allocations of money that would have been more effective in benefiting the PDS community instead of making our Campus Center look like “something out of Frozen,” as tenth grader Daniel Burwell put it. Additionally, the student body has expressed its desire to be consulted on further changes that impact their lives in order to prevent negative changes from occurring, and I hope that Princeton Day School respects this request.