iStaples harms student mentality


Photo by Audrey Bernstein '20

A Staples sophomore checks the schedule of a peer during class. iStaples is not beneficial in the long term because it’s an invasion of privacy and it prompts unnecessary comparisons between members of the student body.

Eloise Ahl ’21

The students of Staples may all be individuals with different talents, interests, and backgrounds, but there is one  commonality that all students have in their phones: the iStaples app. iStaples is a downloadable app designed to give students the ability to view upcoming classes, the elapsed and total time of a given period, a list of their classmates or their sports schedules. Most students use it multiple times a day for the entire year.

Although there are many benefits to this app, there is a critical downfall. Since iStaples is open to all Staples students and faculty, it allows users to search and view the schedules of their peers. This feature has exacerbated the competitive nature of the Staples community through inadvertent comparisons between classmates due to the fact that many students’ schedules have several honors and AP classes.

When I first discovered that you could see other people’s classes, I thought it made students extremely vulnerable. The app allowed me to see which kids took AP classes and which kids took A-level classes. What gave me the right to view a fellow classmate’s course load at the touch of a button?

Having access to people’s schedules also caused me to  inadvertently view people differently. Most students possess biases regarding the levels of classes, and I was certainly no exception. Knowing if a student took only A-level classes or all honors encouraged a different perception of them. This was neither fair to me or my peers.

Furthermore, many students may take a look at the schedule of someone who takes many honors and AP classes and subsequently feel insecure about his or her own schedule. Staples already possesses an atmosphere of fierce academic competition and puts exaggerated value on higher-level classes. Having constant access to friends’ schedules can erode one’s self-esteem and exacerbate the aforementioned problems of toxic academia.

Overall, iStaples is a helpful app in terms of personal use. Having the ability to see which class you have or when you have practice for your sport is indeed helpful. However, the feature that allows us to see other people’s  class schedules should be disabled. It only causes excess stress and encourages unnecessary comparisons between students.