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EDITORIAL: Boys rule and girls drool in MHS locker rooms

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MHS should improve the girl's locker room to match the quality of the boy's.

MHS should improve the girl's locker room to match the quality of the boy's.

Kaitlyn Lucey and Tim Keuchler // The Chief

Kaitlyn Lucey and Tim Keuchler // The Chief

MHS should improve the girl's locker room to match the quality of the boy's.

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Few districts repeatedly and remarkably put forth athletic excellence like Massapequa.  It makes sense that these athletes need a facility to store their personal belongings— including uniforms, equipment, and books.  However, do the differences between the facilities reflect the differences between the caliber of athleticism demonstrated by male and female athletes?  We posit that both boys and girls athletics continually excel equally and therefore deserve locker rooms of equal quality.

However, various differences exist between the boys’ and girls’ locker room.    

One such difference is the addition of a team locker room for the boys, which is used extensively during the football season in the fall.

“Girls don’t have football…[and don’t need] extra space for 100 people,” Director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation Mr. John Piropato said.  

Although the fact that the football team is exclusively male is certainly true, female athletes are just as active as male athletes during the school year. During the girls fall season alone, there are five varsity and junior-varsity sports which require full-sized lockers.  Yet, there is no designated team locker room for athletes in the girls’ locker room at this time.

“I think the girls should have a redone locker room because we barely have any space,” senior Sydney Tamburello said. “There’s no school spirit…the color scheme is baby blue and pink. It’s like a baby shower in there.”

In addition to maintaining the same amount of participation in athletics as males, females at MHS are just as successful. For example, the girls varsity soccer team won the State Championship the last three years and are striving to make it a four-peat next season. Additionally, the girls varsity volleyball team won counties for the sixteenth time this year.

It is only fair that these top-notch female athletes that contribute to Massapequa’s athletic tradition receive equal amenities, such as a more organized layout, benches, larger lockers, more spirited decor, and a locker room that matches the quality of the boys’.       

“I think that the girls locker room should be done because it’s in bad condition and the girls deserve just as much as the boys,” senior Sarah Woods said.

Perhaps the girls’ locker room is “in bad condition” compared to the boys’ locker room because of the lack of variety in locker sizes available. Due to a lack of full-sized lockers, many girls must share lockers with teammates in order to store all of their equipment.  This creates a nuisance when getting changed after school.   

It is evident that the amenities available to females do not reflect their success as fairly as the boys’.  “Girls have to bring their own locks…unfair…Guys don’t have as much stuff that they need to store,” senior Pat Modica said. “Girls have backpacks and bags, guys usually just have backpacks.”

Although nearly equal in square footage, the two locker rooms also differ in terms of amenities.  This includes the little details that make a big difference, such as the lack of benches in the girls’ locker room.

Currently, female students struggle with taking off and putting on boots or tying a pair of sneakers with no bench to sit on. Others must deal with conjuring up a way to put down books before getting changed.  

Unfortunately, there seems to be no plan for improving the girls’ locker room, at least for the near future.   

“There are some recommendations regarding the boys’ locker room but nothing in the docket for the girls’ locker room,”  Dr. Williams said.  

Obviously, some aspects of the budget must take priority over others and the district must decide which projects will be addressed in a given year.    

Every fall, Dr. Williams meets with various personnel who suggest and prioritize renovation plans for the upcoming budget year.

“…Once we make recommendations, we can make a five year plan.  Some things are addressed immediately, while others are addressed down the road.” Dr. Williams said.   

Such projects would include overhauls and renovations of locker rooms. The budget allowed for the replacement of the boys’  lockers eight years ago because they “were in really bad shape” according to Mr. Piropato.  

However, the girls’ lockers were not replaced at the same time.  Perhaps there was a lack of funds or natural wear and tear simply hadn’t run its course yet? The true cause lay in the tendencies of male and female students in the past.

“Girls don’t destroy lockers,” Mr. Piropato said.

Although it may be disappointing to some that the girls’ locker room was not repaired at the same time, the undertaking of the boys’ locker room was not done to indulge male athletes and deprive female students on purpose. Those in charge of the budget carefully consider the consequences to every financial decision.

“We’re always looking to improve our facilities whenever it’s cost-effective to benefit our students.  We take great pride in our facilities and want them to look their best,” Mr. Piropato said.  

Though it is obvious that there are difficult decisions to make when choosing which projects to fund immediately and which must wait, the girls locker room could certainly use some improvements. Hope is strong that the next budget meeting includes updates focused on making the girls locker room better. It would be beneficial to female athletes and physical education students for the district to set this issue as a priority when considering renovations and budgets in the future.

All in all, while what happens on the field rather than off of it is most important for these athletes, it is invariably essential that they are fighting on an equal playing field.   

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EDITORIAL: Boys rule and girls drool in MHS locker rooms