Open the court for East courtyard

Sydney Gore (’11)/Eastside Staff

The layout of Cherry Hill East is somewhat similar to that of a maze. The only difference is that East’s maze is composed of bricks, and the tricky dead ends are made up of four courtyards. One of the courtyards connects the two cafeterias while the other is located near the Photography and art rooms. The last two have pathways that connect C-wing to A-wing and another from B-wing to C-wing.

At any other school, students have access to their courtyards. In college, courtyards are often used as shortcuts in-between classes to avoid the hectic traffic in the hallways. However, at East, students are forbidden from using the courtyards. In fact, they need to have permission from supervisors to enter them.

For years students have pondered the existence of the courtyards since they are not used for anything. Many freshmen assume that people are allowed to just wander into them whenever they please; however they eventually learn that is not the case.

These freshmen soon realize that the courtyards serve no purpose, a common fact known among the students at East. The amount of area occupied by the courtyards is about the size of four or more classrooms. In general, students do not care about the courtyards, as they only acknowledge them when they admire the colorful cow standing in the center. It would be nice to walk to class outside when the weather is suitable, but honestly, that might take even more time to get indoors from outdoors.

Here’s another thing: Students cutting through the courtyards during school would cause even more traffic. It’s bad enough when people stop in the middle of C-wing intersection to have a brief conversation- can you imagine how much worse it would be in a spacious, yet crowded courtyard?

While using the courtyards as pathways would cause traffic, the courtyards could be beneficial in other ways. Cherry Hill East is not taking enough advantage of them. Students should get together and spruce up the courtyards by planting trees and shrubs. Overall, the school grounds at East are lacking in décor so an outdoor makeover would do more good than harm. Then, if the courtyards were clean, teachers would be able to take their classes outside in the nice weather to give students a break from the classroom.

Students should also be able to access all of the courtyards during free periods like lunch or study hall. Don’t want to eat inside?  Eat outside under a tree!  Want to play your ukulele somewhere peaceful and quiet? Go out to the courtyard! Yes, students can go outside of the lunchrooms, but many times the tables get filled quickly and other students are stuck inside. If students had access to all of the courtyards, more students could be outside during free periods.

There are countless possibilities for the future of the courtyards at Cherry Hill East. If faculty and students alike combined ready to make a change, the courtyards could be one of the most beautiful features East offers.