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Admin rebrands “Wall of Rejection” as redirection

Art by Rachel Lee

Principal Brent Kline has changed the name of the usual Wall of Rejection to the Wall of Redirection. The Wall of Rejection is a tradition where students post their college letters of rejection on the Haymarket Theatre wall, and often annotate them with responses to the college’s reasons for their rejection of the student.

ASB President Ashley Meyer said despite administrative concerns, the Wall of Rejections is meant to unite seniors.

“Rejection is tough and everyone goes through it,” Meyer said. “It’s to have that outlet of putting your feelings onto a wall and feeling connected towards other students who also were rejected,” Meyer said.

Kline, who initially had the letters removed from the wall, said students didn’t follow school policy when it came to the Wall of Rejection, and he also said it didn’t promote a hopeful message. 

“You can’t just put stuff up here at school without going through the proper channels,” Kline said. “To me, it felt like it had a very negative connotation, and I thought ‘Why would you want to do that?’”

But after talking with ASB, a joint decision was made to reinstate the wall under the new name, the “Wall of Redirection.”

“It was just a communication thing that worked itself out,” Kline said. “When I brought students into the conversation, they made me see it differently, and that’s why we revised it.”

The name change sparked controversy, though, in part because of a rumor that the wall would also have to include acceptance letters which senior Anjali Bhattacharya said would contradict the uniting purpose of the wall.

“It could actually have the opposite effect, because then someone who got rejected from a school might see someone’s acceptance, which defeats the point,” Bhattacharya said.

But Kline said the only change he wants to see is the name change.

“It’s the same thing, but we are trying to make it more positive this time around,” he said. “With this rejection letter is an opportunity to pursue something else. There’s something else meant to happen, (and) that’s when the conversation moved to the idea of turning it into a Wall of Redirection versus a Wall of Rejection.”

In the end, Meyer said she is satisfied with the compromise.

“Now it’s looking at the wall as redirection instead of rejection because rejection is redirection, leading you to different opportunities,” Meyer said. “Now it’s rejection on a more positive note and not seen as negative.”

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