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New Policy Bans Phones in Dining Hall and Classes

New Policy Bans Phones in Dining Hall and Classes

New Policy Bans Phones in Dining Hall and Classes


News Editor

September 9, 2023

Rebekah Oppenheimer '24

The start of the 2023-24 school year brings many changes to campus – new faces, the opening of a renovated Memorial Hall, and the implementation of a new policy on cell phones, which will limit their use in public spaces. 

Finalized last spring and formally announced over the summer by Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, and Mr. Andrew D’Ambrosio, dean of student life, the policy prohibits students from using cell phones in the Dining Hall, during academic classes, and during community gatherings in the Chapel, Walker Auditorium, and Elfers Hall. Students found in violation of the policy may have their phones confiscated. 

The updated stance on cell phones comes as a result of extended conversations among faculty and students, discussions in Stu-Fac, guidance from Health Services, and research demonstrating the negative impacts of social media and technology on adolescent development and well-being. Mr. Bradley’s email to students and their families stated, “The purpose of this new policy is to enhance the conditions for student well-being, learning, and healthy social development.” 

Community reactions to the modification varied. Natalie Bushell ’24 said, “Not having cell phones, especially in the Dining Hall, goes a long way in promoting a more inclusive environment where students are present in the moment and not preoccupied by their phones. I think it lets students form new relationships, as less technology allows for more open and welcoming body language.” 

However, there has been backlash from other students. Will Levy ’24 said, “The phone policy currently in The Almanac takes the wrong approach to an important issue. Students at Hotchkiss need to learn to self-regulate independently of rules enforced by faculty members. By banning phones in the Dining Hall, the administration is trying to combat our negative phone habits with unhelpful restrictions rather than getting at the root of the issue and helping students form healthy relationships with technology.”

Rebekah Oppenheimer is a news editor for The Record

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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