Have you ever wondered what goes on inside empty classrooms? What happens after class, when everyone has left the room? Does it stay empty? Or does someone else fill the room? Basically, a thousand things can happen, ranging from the mundane to the scandal-worthy activities” that may or really have happened, inside empty classrooms.
THE CLASSROOM TURNED TECHIE SPOT
One not-so-uncommon occurrence is the transformation of the classroom into a techie hotspot especially true for rooms with strong wi-fi signals like the rooms in the Finster buildings. The students go tapping away like mad on their laptops, completing projects or just surfing the net. Hey, this is the Facebook and Twitter Age, after all. Some students also play games on their PSPs or Nintendos, with very loud human speakers egging them on and “trash talking”. Guys, please do retreat to the internet cafes to play DOTA, or somewhere else where there aren’t classes going on around for you to disturb.
THE CLASSROOM TURNED MINI-LIBRARY
Bookworms and cramming students also find a haven in vacant classrooms. This is where they read their thousand-pages-thick novels sometimes complete with tissues on the side; while others read their hand-outs with feverish looks on their faces obviously trying to cram all information in their brains before their classes start. Well, they’re usually not disturbing people, as reading requires no noise, but we do have the library for these activities after all. So why not make use of the fabulous library on our Wieman Building? Not only will you have more material for research, you’ll also have the peace you need to read your books without being disturbed by students popping in every now and then or having to move because a class will take place.
THE CLASSROOM TURNED TAMBAYAN
Ahh! the sound of happy laughs and fun-filled chatting. Throw in a guitar, some good friends, and a bit of grub, and you’ve got yourself a make-shifttambayan. This is usually the case in most unoccupied classrooms, since students usually don’t leave the room immediately unless they have another class. Unfortunately, the “damak” behavior of most Ateneans leave the room a mess for the next class chairs not in order, junkfood wrappers all over the floor, and remnants of drinks spilled on tables. What is the gazebo for? They’ve all got lovely roofs and seats for every tambay! And the cafeteria? It’s not for display, Ateneans. Yes, we can actually use the chairs and tables for eating! One more thing: floors are for walking on, not for leaving your trash behind. We have trash bins around every corner for that.
THE CLASSROOM TURNED PRACTICE AREA
One who walks by vacant rooms shouldn’t be surprised to hear angst-filled screams or booty-shaking music, as students with projects like dramas and dances usually utilize these classrooms for practices. Again, the room is left in disarray as the armchairs are pushed to the side for the next class to arrange. For practices, we have empty spaces around the campus with outlets for speakers and cd players like the gaps in Finster Building or the spaces between the Del Rosario and Thibault Hall. Just make sure not to disturb on-going classes while crying your heart out or shaking your body to the beat.
THE CLASSROOM TURNED GHOUL FEST
Now this is something that usually happens in the night or during the summer, where there aren’t a lot of students to disturb any on-going parties. The party-goers aren’t human however, but transparent things that float around. Yep, ghosts. We don’t really have proof for this besides stories and testimonies from students and teachers, but who knows really? Calling all psychic doctors!
THE CLASSROOM TURNED MOTEL
Believe it or not, some students take advantage of vacant classrooms for dubious purposes. Someone who has actually witnessed it firsthand related an experience about catching a couple heavily making out with clothes unbuttoned and unzipped oblivious to the world around them. Yes, we ARE teenagers with RAGING hormones. But empty classrooms? Seriously everyone, control yourselves! We go to a Jesuit school where we have individual subjects to teach us values and morals. Do the FYDP guide’s teachings fall on deaf ears? If you truly can’t help it anymore and are ready to face the consequences of a moment’s pleasure, then go get a room and I don’t mean an empty classroom.
Truly, a myriad of things can happen inside unused classrooms. However, these things shouldn’t even happen inside classrooms in the first place since vacant classrooms should not be occupied without a scheduled class or a reservation. According to Mr.Rikki Enriquez, Director of Student Affairs, unoccupied classrooms should be locked by the security guards. However, since there are still classes after activity period, they don’t lock it until after the last class. To check on unused classrooms, roving guards are assigned to go around the campus. But since there are only a few security guards, not all rooms can be checked at all times. So the school has to rely on the student’s ethics and values, and the strict adherence to the set of rules provided in the school handbook.
There are proper facilities for all activities stated above, save for the ghost parties. There’s the gazebo for the net surfing or the internet cafes around the campus for gaming, the library for readers and the study areas for those who need quiet places to understand and memorize, numerous benches around the campus for chatting, the cafeteria along with several eateries around the campus for eating, spaces with outlets for dance or drama practices, and the covered court and the open field for diverting-the-mind and hormone-releasing sports like volleyball or basketball.
However, it is also true that though there are many spaces around the campus for the said activities, these are still not enough to accommodate all the students. Hence, most resort to using vacant classrooms, which are readily available for use, especially during the activity period, where there are no classes taking place. To avoid having conflicts with other students or the security guards, making a reservation at the Office of the Student Affairs is necessary. If your reasons are valid, club meetings for example, then it won’t be a problem reserving the room. You do have to do it earlier though especially in activity spaces like F213 or the Mini-auditorium where most events take place.
It would be quite tiring to make a reservation just for studying or practicing, however. It would be better if the vacant rooms may be used without a reservation if they are available, since there aren’t enough spaces around the campus for everyone to practice at the same time, and not enough chairs in the library to accommodate all the students. The unused classrooms should also be allowed for use by the students to utilize the wi-fi connection they paid for, as the gazebo and the cafeteria are almost always full. Nevertheless, the students should make it a point to arrange back the chairs and clean up the room after using it, not leaving it a mess. The best solution however, would be for the administration to improve the current school facilities or add to them, so that students would not end up in empty classrooms.
In short, it would be great if our school facilities will be improved to cater to the current needs of the students. The next best solution would be to allow students to use unreserved classrooms for their practicing, project-making, net surfing, and studying since not all common areas can accommodate all the students in the campus. Along with this, we Ateneans should also be conscientious in using these rooms. Trash should be thrown in the trash bins, the chairs should be arranged, and only moral– and as much as possible, school-related activities should be done inside the vacant classrooms.