Senior lounge is a necessary evil


Tom Verdi

It’s been a mystery to underclassmen since they’ve taken their first steps on campus.  Its gates are guarded by sweaty, overbearing, intensely zealous seniors. And no, I’m not talking about MECO. What I’m talking about is huge. It’s what every high school kid at Malvern Prep drools over for years. I’m talking about the senior lounge.

The lounge is a controversial place.  Students see it as a safe-haven, a place to chill out after a stressful class. Nowhere but the lounge can they forget about work, school, and the world for a few minutes during their day to just relax and have some fun. It’s a place where seniors can forget about their troubles and just play a round of Super Smash Bros. with their bros.


Some people, and I’m looking at you Mr. Bohannon, believe it is an abomination, a supernatural being which sucks the life force out of students and causes their grades to drop (search “The Odyssey: Scylla” on YouTube).  A little extreme, don’t you think?

Underachievers, over-achievers, and “average-Joes” alike attend the lounge, some more than others. Whether they budget their time according to their needs or not, it’s not the lounge’s fault if a student fails to keep his grades up. I attend the lounge as much as anyone and I still manage to maintain my GPA.

I’ll admit, I’ve hurled some expletives at Donkey Kong in my day, but I haven’t let my grades suffer because of it.

The cognitive effects of videogames have garnered much attention in the neurobiological field in recent years. According to University of Rochester researchers, people who play action-based videogames make decisions twenty-five percent faster than others without sacrificing accuracy. Most gamers can make decisions up to six times per second, a figure four times faster than the average non-gamer. Multitasking ability is also substantially increased among gamers. University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green says that videogames change your brain in the same way learning to read, playing the piano, or even navigating the streets of London does. With all these obvious benefits, why would anyone want to destroy the lounge?

Some opponents of the lounge argue it is a matter of focus, or mindset. Mr. Bohannon, English teacher and department chair, says, “While I am very much in favor of a student lounge—a place where students can congregate outside of the classroom—I am very much against a student lounge that is centered solely on gaming. I think that neurologically students are incapable of spending an extended time of gaming and then suddenly switching the brain into a phase that allows for serious learning… which after all is why we are here.”

Mr. Bohannon raises an interesting point. Perhaps we should invest in some pool tables for our seniors.

Matt Cornell, a senior, believes the lounge is a benefit to students. He says, “The senior lounge is a good way for seniors to take a break during their day and recover from all the stress going on in the classroom.” Dan Rolfes, also a member of the senior class, believes it provides a bonding opportunity for the class. Rolfes says, “The door is always locked but the window is always open. And what I mean by that is that people always try to take [the senior lounge] away but in reality it opens a window of opportunity to relax and come closer to our classmates.”

Rolfes also brings up an interesting point. I myself have become friendlier with students who I don’t see often outside of the senior lounge. It offers the perfect opportunity of relaxation, mental stimulation, and socialization.

Charlie Edward Leasure IV, a senior, summarizes: “The lounge is a cool place.” Granted, games can become heated at times, but all is fair in the senior lounge.

Whether your fancy is FIFA, Super Smash Bros., Halo 2, or Strikers, all are welcome in the lounge. (Seniors only.)