By Ashley Xu
What is your favorite space at the Winsor? What is your least favorite? These are some of the questions asked in a recent student survey sent out by the Wall Committee. For many of us who have walked down Winsor’s numerous hallways perhaps hundreds or thousands of times, it is easy to tune out the displays and decorations we pass by. However, Winsor’s walls actually play a subtle, yet significant role in the experience of Winsor students. Established last spring, the Wall Committee is a group of Winsor faculty volunteers who aim to rethink how the appearance of Winsor’s walls best represent the student and reflect our school values.
In a recent interview with Ms. Labieniec, a member of the Wall Committee, she shared her thoughts about the committee’s mission. She noted how Winsor’s student body is incredibly diverse, not just in culture and identity, but also in thought and interest. She explained that although “Winsor has a reputation of being very focused on academics,” its students also have a broad range of other passions, such as athletics, music, or community service. Therefore, she believes the Wall Committee should focus on “captur[ing] the diversity of people and culture and backgrounds that [Winsor] has.” Moreover, Ms. Labieniec pointed out the importance of the specific messages conveyed by the walls. According to her, the walls should represent Winsor’s core values: belonging, empowerment, and shared love for the Winsor community.
The Wall Committee will tackle these important issues during monthly meetings and aim to have a structured renovation plan by January. Some of their changes, such as picking out new paint colors, will be enacted more rapidly, while others, such as commissioning a mural, will be long-term projects. However, for the time being, we have some ideas of our own.
When asking students about the spaces in Winsor that they would like to improve, Alaina Cai ‘23 mentioned that “especially in the Upper School hallway, the club posters, and things were falling down and weren’t uniform. It didn’t look clean and felt busy and chaotic.” When asked about what she would add to the space, she suggested allocating specific wall spaces to different clubs. This way, the displays would be more organized and accessible to passersby. Furthermore, it would promote student voices by giving club members a more active opportunity to showcase their club’s activities and interests.
Another possible change is to include more interactive displays throughout the school. The first floor of the library is a great example of this, with its puzzles and pixel pictures that students can collaborate on to take a break from their busy school days. This concept can be extended to other spaces, such as the science hallway in particular, by including educational displays and puzzles to promote student engagement and learning outside of the classroom.
Finally, we hope to see the student representation on the walls updated more frequently. While the LOC and Wildcat room are adorned with photographs of Winsor sports teams and performing art productions, the photos feature the same students that have now long become alumni and are unfamiliar to many of the current student body. We think it would be helpful to renew these pictures to better capture the current Winsor student experience, from the various recent play productions and sports games.
In all, the Wall Committee is working hard to implement all different kinds of new ideas for improvements to Winsor’s walls. We are excited to see the committee’s changes soon, and, the echo Ms. Labin, hope to have Winsor feel more like home.