For the first time, school doesn’t assign lockers

Students don’t use lockers as they find it easier to carry materials in backpacks

Some+halls%E2%80%99+lockers+have+been+removed+%28left%29+while+others+are+still+filled+with+mostly+empty+lockers+%28right%29.

Lucas Eisen

Some halls’ lockers have been removed (left) while others are still filled with mostly empty lockers (right).

The majority of students—85%— do not use lockers on the Winnetka Campus. So this year, New Trier made lockers optional.

Locker use was already declining before the pandemic. Mike Lee, assistant principal for administrative services, said “Prior to the pandemic, a student survey indicated that less than 30% of the students at Winnetka actually used their lockers during the year.”

Lee said that 443 students requested lockers so far this year.

“I think they’re a little outdated just because I think everyone has grown used to carrying around their backpacks all day and I think they’re more of an inconvenience than a convenience.””

— Abby Boyle

Junior Abby Boyle does not have a locker. “I think they’re a little outdated just because I think everyone has grown used to carrying around their backpacks all day and I think they’re more of an inconvenience than a convenience,” she said. “I think it’s easier to organize my belongings without a locker because I don’t have to keep track of where which of my binders are at any given point in time.” 

Students who want a locker should request one through administrative services in Room 213. The sign-up period is during the first two weeks of each semester. Lee added, “If a student truly needs one after the first two weeks, we would not turn them away.”

Some students who chose to sign up for a locker did so to store equipment for the sports they participate in. 

Sophomore Bailey Corneliuson, who signed up for a locker this year, said “I wasn’t really sure if they were going to stop the locker sign up at some point and also I usually do sports, which requires a lot of carrying stuff around.” 

Sophomore Lilly Lipford also chose to sign up for a locker for her sport. “I use it twice a week for my sport…I just have a lot of supplies for sailing and there wasn’t really anywhere else I could store it.”

She finds her locker more convenient for her sailing supplies than school supplies. “Sailing-wise, it’s easier but like using it for actual school supplies, I don’t really use it.”

Senior Grace Houlihan has two lockers for her sport and gym, and found that she didn’t need an additional locker. “I have a gym locker, and I’m currently on the swim team, so I also have a swim locker. I use my gym locker and my swim locker mostly and it doesn’t make sense for me to have three lockers.”

Houlihan finds that the choice is dependent on what students need. “If you aren’t really using your gym locker, you might need to put your coat away. But if you’re not using a winter coat then I’m not sure what else you would put in a locker, because we do carry around all our stuff.”

As a result of the block schedule, students find that they don’t need to carry as many class materials in their backpacks. 

Senior Emma Curry finds it easier to carry her supplies without a locker.“Especially with the block schedule I don’t need stuff for all my classes at one time. I just take all the stuff I need for one day in my backpack.”