Students from Ramapo High School filled the stands, on the night of September 8th, to watch the home opener for their very own football team. Everyone was at the edge of their seats – but this wasn’t due to excitement. The new bleachers that were so generously given to our school have wrecked havoc in the student section. During the game, students were pushing one another, trying to find a place to stand. Those who attended the game were outraged, specifically seniors. The tradition at Ramapo is that the seniors stand in the front portion of the student section, including the walkway. However now, with new bleachers, this is no longer allowed. Senior Gracie Dohrmann describes her frustration towards the new and improved bleachers. “I have been looking forward to the senior privileges of standing in front of the bleachers. Now that we are not allowed to stand in front I’m angry and have resentment towards the staff.” Yet if we look closer in the problem, the administration has no affiliation with the bleacher regulations. When interviewing Principal Mancino he brings light to the controversy, “The old bleachers were not ADA (American disability act) compliant and [they need to meet] other codes whether it be local or state. One [issue was] they were unsafe, also they needed to be brought [up] to code if we were going to put new bleachers in.”
The construction was done by Rochelle Contracting Co. and began on the last week of June in 2017; the total sum of the project was $533,000. The renovations include a handicap ramp on the left side providing easy access onto the walkway and also sitting space for disabled persons in front of both sides of the bleachers. These specific spots were not present on the old bleachers, which is why there was a push for remodeling. As a school it is mandatory to provide a place for the handicapped to sit, even if it is surrounded by hundreds of screaming kids. Regardless, students still believe that it is unfair to have the walkway barricaded. Colin Boel, a member of the football team, illustrates how school spirit affects the player’s ability. “It kind of derails some of the fun that we have [as players] because people in the front row aren’t allowed to stand on the railing [so] they don’t start chants and its not loud, its not as fun, and its kind of just quiet in the bleachers.” In response to students’ frustration, Mr. Mancino says, “If the most important reasons is to stand on the railing then they really need to revisit why they are coming to the game.” s this a tradition that we must move past, or is it a quintessential aspect of Ramapo High School football? Wherever we stand, we must support each other as a school community.
By: Sara Williams ’18, Life Editor