Closing a door and having a private room with your friends is a rare occurrence in Wilson Hall. Once known as a relaxing place to get some work done and relax with friends, the Enrichment and Learning Center had tightened restrictions on the “Tank.”
“I always enjoyed the seclusion and quietness of the room,” Sixth Former M.J. Atkins said. “As last year progressed, rules became more strict, and getting kicked out became a normal occurrence.”
Atkins, a tank regular during his first three years in the Upper School, has only been in once this year. Instead, he has begun to spend his free time in the library, a move mirrored by many other students.
Students feel that the Tank’s change to a quieter, more isolated area began towards the end of last year, but the rules restricting usage of the space came into effect this past September. Many students did not agree with the new rules, causing attendance in the Tank to drop and forcing students to find new spots around campus. These places include the library, the Big Room, the Durham Community Room, and many others.
The ELC staff feels strongly about the decision to switch up rules in the Tank. Learning Specialist Mr. Stephen Cloran said, “When you look at enrichment and learning, we have a great deal of respect for that part of The Haverford School experience and that process.”
Mr. Cloran and his ELC colleagues wanted to make sure that students had a quiet space to work. In recent years, the Tank drifted from its original purpose.
“We felt at certain times the use of the Tank kind of crossed over into something that was contradicting the mission of this space,” Mr. Cloran said.
Loud videos, fights, and noisy students interrupted students and staff working in the ELC. Turning the Tank back into what it was meant to be has proven effective for the teachers and students who need to get work done.
“Faculty in the ELC began to dislike having a large amount of people in there,” Sixth Former Mitchell Hark said.
After all, the Tank’s name reflects the new rules that have been instituted.
Mr. Cloran said, “The word ‘Tank’ came to me because my image of a tank is quiet, solitude — a place where you can concentrate and be alone or with someone else to process, collaborate and be productive.”