The implications of the Mustang Roundup

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Imagine being punished during tutorial for going to your locker or using the restroom. You are taken to the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), unable to leave or collaborate with others. This is what happens when you get rounded up.

The Mustang Roundup is a system in which students found outside in a ten-minute period during tutorial are gathered inside the MPR by Grade Level Coordinators (GLCs) to ensure that all students are productive. This rule was implemented with good intentions, but instead of helping the students stay productive, it has ultimately been forcing students to waste time.

Many students use tutorial time to get work done, but the fact of the matter is that tutorial is so much more than just a study period. Oftentimes, a student will make up a test, work on a group project or turn in late work. A student who is on their way to take a test during tutorial but gets rounded up may risk hurting their grade. These activities require a student to move between classes or their locker.

The aim for the Roundup is to motivate students to stay in class and out of trouble. However, being in class and being unproductive are able to coexist, and a student who wants to waste time could end up disrupting the rest of the class. Forcing students into classrooms is simply hurting the students who chose to go to a class and work. It only makes students sense a lack of regard for their own personal needs. 

In addition, students who drink healthy amounts of water must use the restroom regularly but are unable to go during the Roundup. To use the restroom, a student must walk there and wait in a long line and then do their business. This sequence of events occurs every tutorial to many different people, and it does not take just ten minutes. This time constraint causes students to wait before going which may lead to accidents.

Students who are caught are sent to the MPR where there are no chromebooks, little specialized homework help and strict rules that prevent you from using your phone or even talking to other students. No talking. No leaving. No exceptions.

A much better alternative to the Roundup could be to send students to classes if they are seen outside often. This would offer a much more casual and relaxed way to keep students inside a class that they need to be in. It would allow the student to decide what resources he may need based on their own responsibilities and necessities.

The roundup period lasts 10 minutes, which forces a student who finished their business in one class to stay in the class and waste time. About 20 students get rounded up every tutorial. This means that every minute, two students are caught and taken to the MPR.

One of the biggest issues I have with the Roundup is that when a person gets rounded up and sent to the MPR, an email is sent to their parents stating: “Your student did not utilize the opportunity to receive additional support through Tutorial today. Please reinforce the importance of maintaining good grades and using every opportunity offered to do so here on campus.” 

This email is sent to the parents of any student who is caught regardless of whether they were at their locker, at the restroom, going to the next class or actually causing trouble and wasting time. The claim that a student does not prioritize maintaining good grades is highly assumptive and generalizing. It is actually a sweeping generalization to assume that all people who are caught are students who need emphasis of education.This logical fallacy can be seen as insulting or offensive to many students. While this email tries to involve parents in the life of their kid, it actually causes parents to overreact because of how strongly worded the email is.

Tutorial used to be a way for students to care for themselves. With all these new regulations such as student ID check-ins and the Roundup, I can’t help but feel restricted study is being forced upon them. Just last year, it used to be an event that I personally would look forward to, but today, I find myself dreading it because I can no longer accomplish everything that I need to.

By Abrahim Asmaiel, Guest writer
Editorial cartoon by Daniela Marquez