Mediation Classes Work on Making West a Better and Safer Place for All

The mediation classes take serious steps to help the school and come together

Riley Ashbury, Staff Writer

  The students at the Mediation Center have been working toward making school a safe and comfortable environment for students. Each hour is working on their own project which focuses on something that the student body needs.

  “All the ideas that we’ve come up with together [are] based off of trying to make the school a better and safer place for everyone,” senior Tanner Motley said.

  The first-hour students are working on creating a safe environment called the Wellness Center where students are able to come and get help if they are struggling or if they just need a place to take a deep breath.

  “This is going to be something at lunch where someone can just come in and take a deep breath and can have that comfortable place for people who need it. A lot of people want to have that place but instead, they go to the bathroom,” sophomore Allison Sheets said. “I feel like it’s really important that students do have that place because having people supporting you is super important and instead of going into a bathroom stall, you can have a place where you can take a break and it’s good for you.”

  Something that may help students come in would be the reassurance that the Wellness Center is trying to be monitored by the mediation students and not completely advised by an adult. If there is a need for the room to be monitored the teachers of the Mediation Center, Genevieve Minor and Megan Olsen, would be looking in on the room.

  “We still have to talk to Mr. Esper about if there has to be a staff member but we were thinking if it does we could do it in the backroom in the library so Ms. Olsen and Mrs. Minor can still check on us, but the mediators depending on their lunches can be in there to talk if the students need that or if they just need a silent place or anything else, that’s going to be the place for them,” Sheets said.

  The process of getting the wellness center together isn’t all that’s all that planned by this program. The mediators during second hour are working on getting more seating for lunch in the athletic wing, but there’s even more to it than that.

  “We’re trying to get seating in the athletic commons for lunch. We want it to be a sign-in thing so that it’s quiet enough that people can do homework but also work on stuff with their friends. It’s kind of like the writing center, but more of an official lunch spot,” senior Alix Thorington said.

  The student body has seen a spike in students being overwhelmed in the commons during lunch, which is the reason the mediation students have taken this on.

  “I know a lot of people are really overwhelmed by the lunchroom so I think that will help some people that are super anxious about that,” Thorington said. “I think it’ll help some people calm down if they’re stressed out about the lunchroom but still are able to be social. I know that we do have another room where you can go, but you can’t really talk in it.”

  The last hour is working on two things, a proposal for new cafeteria furniture and working on adding feminine hygiene products to the bathrooms.

I feel like the students we have this year are great thinkers and doers, and I feel confident that they will be able to implement their ideas and that the rest of the student body will love it and be appreciative and support it”

— M. Olsen


 “I know mediation, as a collective of all three hours, talked about adding feminine products to female bathrooms, and that resulted in us having a quick little discussion with other students on how to improve [the bathrooms]. Some of the biggest feedback from the girls was to add feminine products,” Motley said. “This would result in adding both tampons and pads into some of the bathrooms and just seeing how that would work out.”

  Working on the cafeteria proposal is also something that Minor and Olsen’s third hour is working on. It was brought up that the school furniture isn’t ideal, and principal Joe Esper has been looking into getting new furniture already.

  “Another thing we’re trying to figure out is the proper furniture and what kind will work better for the commons. I know a geometry class is working on how we can make the most out of the furniture that we do have,” senior Sam Glew said. “We’re looking at doing a proposal to the board and looking at grants to help pay for the new furniture. As seniors, we know there isn’t a lot we can do this year, but the goal is to have an impact in the future to help the school.”

  This year the mediation students have done a great job on coming up with ideas to help the school and make it more comfortable for everyone. The students are taking some serious steps to come together and help.

  “I feel like the students we have this year are great thinkers and doers, and I feel confident that they will be able to implement their ideas and that the rest of the student body will love it and be appreciative and support it,” Olsen said.