YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Hot Topics

HIGH LIFE : Senior Privileges: The Haves and the Have-Nots

January 16, 1988

High school students, by the time their senior year rolls around, come to expect certain advantages over the rest of the school's population. Life at the top, they reason, should include certain privileges. But not all schools cater to seniors in the same manner.

Here's a look at some of the responses to this week's Hot Topic: "What special privileges do seniors enjoy at your school?":


One of our privileges is a seniors-only food line, both at snack and lunch. These special service counters will not sell food to underclassmen. Another senior privilege is a special place to park, called "Senior Lot," which is specifically marked and a good 100 yards closer to campus than the junior parking lot.

--Craig Campanero, 16, junior


By obtaining a special sticker at registration, any senior may park his car in the 300-space senior lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Though the senior lot fee is slightly higher ($5 compared to $3 for the regular lot), its use is popular because of its shorter distance to the campus. Another privilege is having one of the six lunch lines reserved for seniors.

--Lynda Kim, 16, junior

El Toro

Leaving campus for lunch is a privilege shared by seniors and juniors. Seniors, however, are the first in the school to receive identification cards and yearbooks, and are the first to take finals at the end of the year--a full week earlier than other classes so they will have time for graduation practice and the senior picnic.

--Dawn Stone, 14, sophomore


Senior privileges include the ability to go off campus for lunch, to be the first ones served in the school cafeteria and to have a seniors-only quad. Some underclassmen have managed to leave school at lunch with the off-campus crowd, frustrating many seniors.

"I think it's kind of funny (that) the seniors even care," junior Dave Jensen said. "As long as they're off-campus, I don't think they should worry. I wouldn't."

--Michele Mitchell, 17, senior


Seniors enjoy several privileges granted last September by the Principal's Advisory Council in response to a petition by the senior class council. These include an open campus at lunch, a seniors-only parking lot and five-minute early dismissals for both snack and lunch.

--Joanna Brooks, 16, junior

Garden Grove

The only senior privilege is the ability to leave the school's closed campus for lunch.

--Julie Cosgrove, 17, junior


The Senior Circle--a round, bricked-in area near the front of the campus--is accessible only to seniors. The circle has a mock Blarney Stone, in keeping with the school's Irish tradition. There is senior-class parking and a senior section at pep assemblies.

--Soojin Kang, 16, junior

Liberty Christian

Privileges include senior parking, first choice in class scheduling, and a once-a-month senior-class extended lunch period at a local restaurant.

--Cathy Hills, 16, junior

Los Alamitos

Seniors have enrollment priority, receive a half day off for a spring luncheon, and are given the best seats for pep assemblies.

--Laurene Harding, 17, senior

Mater Dei

On-campus parking is limited to faculty members and seniors, and seniors are the only ones permitted to be student body officers and representatives. Seniors also get a day off from school to visit colleges and they finish school two weeks before everybody else.

--Tonya Diaz, 16, junior


"If you compare seniors to freshmen," senior Rudi Polak said, "you can't really tell the difference. We don't have any priority parking or designated eating area like a senior lounge."

Said senior Urvi Dalal: "We don't have longer lunches and we can't go off campus. We have a senior line at the snack bar, but the other kids use it. We didn't even register first."

--Monica Neal, 16, junior


Other than three excused days for college visitation purposes and a small area called "Senior Tables," privileges for seniors at Troy are lacking. Seniority means nothing in the battle for a parking spot, especially in the first rows where the word SENIOR can still be faintly read but is entirely ignored.

--Margaret Suchan, 18, senior

Next Week's Hot Topic: Does your school have a dress code, and if so, what are its requirements?

Los Angeles Times Articles