Cubby controversy

Opinions on cutting bolts on cubbies


Sean Nguyen

squeezing a clamp against the metal, a janitor cuts a lock placed overnight in audlob.

Eric Feng and Aidan Harbison

Free the cubbies

At Jefferson, on-campus storage space is limited to backpacks and both lockable and open cubbies, so secure storage space can be a struggle. Therefore, by restricting overnight storage, cubbies would be available to more people. When I bought a design and tech project for school, I had to carry it for the whole day because the secure cubbies were all occupied. Often, students lock cubbies without any items or with items that they rarely use — this new policy would prevent such activities and enable students to secure items that they actually need during the day. Additionally, the policy of not allowing locked cubbies overnight is beneficial because it will prevent individuals from storing food that could spoil and thus avoid big messes for the janitors to clean up. 

It is important to note that under this policy, the cubbies would still be available for storage over the school day, so one could still put cumbersome items in there for temporary storage. Furthermore, many students counter that locking cubbies overnight is needed to store heavy sports equipment, but student athletes can just use locker rooms for this purpose. Ultimately, cutting locks placed on cubbies overnight at school may sound drastic, but it is the best way of discouraging irresponsibly using storage space. 

Keep the locks

Recently, Jefferson’s security implemented a new policy on the cubbies located throughout the school. Starting Jan. 20th, securing cubbies for more than a day will no longer be allowed; all personal locks on cubbies remaining at the end of each school day will be removed. The most prominent motivating factor behind this policy was food lockers, which attract mice and other pests, worsening the vermin problem at Jefferson. The other reason was to make cubbies fair game for all to use during the school day.

However, removing the ability to lock any cubby for longer than a day only makes life harder for Jefferson students. Removing locks from cubbies prevents long-term storage of items students need on a daily basis, which are often too unwieldy or difficult to bring back and forth to school everyday. I know that during marching band season, having a long-term locked cubby to store my practice items saved me from the awkward trip of bringing a pair of sneakers and a water jug to school every single day. It also saved me from finding an open locker for my backpack in the bustle as school was ending. Sure, I could store this in an unlocked locker, leaving it unlocked at the end of the day, but this just leaves it open for others to just pull out my belongings and relocate them to god-knows-where, putting their own items in its place – a problem that other students have complained about through social media posts in the past. Even worse is simply the possibility of stealing, especially if the item is more expensive. Besides, this policy isn’t required in order for there to be an equal right for all to a cubby – there are plenty of cubbies throughout the school that are unlocked and empty every single day.

Ultimately, this policy is unlikely to put a complete end to food lockers, even though that seems to be the end goal. Nor do I think they will they solve the vermin problem, due to the amount of food throughout Jefferson everyday. And Jefferson food lockers are well-kept – there’s no great excess of unsealed food in these lockers that would seem to attract anything. Solving our pest problem simply requires vermin control services, which in the end, seems to be the more effective solution of the two – and does not end up making Jefferson students’ lives more difficult than they already are.

For more insight into this topic check out the articles “Cubby Controversy”, “Food Lockers: Yes or No?”, and “New Policy Bans Overnight Lock Usage”.