As every one of my fellow male athletes knows here at Oswego High School, the athletic locker room is always locked for some unknown reason. This leads to a very annoying crowding of the hallway every day at 2:26 p.m. when all of us have to get into the locker room. Some days, we stand there for 10 minutes, waiting for one of the many coaches to come and unlock the door for us, which gives us less time to change, which makes us miss the starting time of practice, which lessens productivity, which lessens the quality of our teams.
So, as you can see, this problem is more than just my frustration. But why does a locker room even get locked in the first place? The only way anything can possibly get stolen is if someone is filled with stupidity and doesn’t lock their locker. A used lock for three dollars is not going to break the bank.
People may also fear vandalism of our pristine locker rooms—a fear created by the incident committed by members of the track and field team who threw paintballs at the lockers. But also made evident here was the punishment someone receives when they do participate in vandalism. Trust me, I would know. I am on the track and cross country teams, and I had to sit through multiple speeches by the coaches on the importance of respecting our locker rooms and equipment. The athletes were given suspensions from athletics for an extended time. In that situation, it was necessary to teach us all the importance of respecting the locker rooms, but treating us like children who don’t know how to appreciate something we use every day to get ready for sports we have burning passions for is just condescending.
It’s not like they leave it locked all the time. In the morning, it is unlocked to allow people to drop off their equipment, and not once have I ever heard a story of a theft at this time, or any vandalism going on. So why not keep it like that the entire day? Why not unlock the locker room? It gets very frustrating when I have to stand for multiple minutes after practice waiting for someone to walk by to unlock the locker room. Yes, vandalism may happen once in a blue moon. But doesn’t the happiness and further productivity of our athletes outweigh those very rare occurrences?