Perceptions between upperclassmen and lower classmen

Does the stereotype of upperclassmen taking advantage of lower classmen still exist? It seems as if everyone has heard rumors of “pool keys” or “secret elevators” from a personal experience or someone else’s. When asking members of different clubs and different grade levels at Desert Vista High School what their opinion was, they shared their views.

In an interview with Chloe Worthen, a junior, and member of girls cross country, she described the relationship between upper classes and lower classes on the team: “It’s like big sister to little sister, but in a nice way,” Worthen said. “When I was a freshmen all the older girls would come up to me and ask “What’s your name?” and stuff like that.” When asked if the stereotype between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen exists, she answered “No.”

On the other hand, freshmen Hayley Clithero and Hannah Sanders of the Thunder theatre company had very contrasting views. When asked how the upperclassmen acted towards them Clithero answered “Bad, very bad.” and “The upperclassmen are rude,” Sanders said. “They act entitled and think they’re exclusive.” After being asked why the would act this way Sanders answered, “They think they are better than everyone else just because they have been doing it longer and act like the freshmen “owe” them something.”

Clithero told about an experience she had at the club’s carwash: “They called us “freshmen slaves” and cussed at us even when we did what they said.” She also said the upperclassmen “never thanked us” and “were very demanding.”

Clithero also shared that: “Upperclassmen should know, just because they are older, they shouldn’t treat us differently.” and added, “We are all [in] the same age range, stop thinking

you’re superior, it’s stupid.”

Hayley makes a good point; why do certain clubs members have class inequality? What makes cross country different from theatre? Maybe it is about the environment from years before? Like Chloe said, the upperclassmen were nice to her when she was a lower classmen, so maybe the older theatre members are to blame? Is it the circle of privilege?