The Optics of Scabby the Rat

This article is a follow up to A New Rat On The Block

While most of the school community understands the gravity of the Muji situation, others are worried about how the optics of Scabby the rat will affect this admissions season. The admissions staff and student ambassadors have both expressed concerns about the rat and how it might impact the opinions of incoming families before they even enter the doors at 46 Cooper Square. Although the rat poses an issue for upcoming admissions, some students feel that the protest greatly outweighs how Scabby will make the high school look. Student ambassador Benny Mander ‘21 believes that if families have a problem with the protest, they will bring it up to the student ambassadors themselves. “I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal. If people cared enough, they would ask.” The overwhelming majority of students support the message that the protesters from Local 79 are sending to Muji. Even though these students understand the motives behind the protest, they are still able to see the other side of the issue. Another student ambassador, Lucas Rivera ‘21, is worried about how the rat will affect the school. “The rat affects the appearance of Grace in a negative way, making its environment seem like something it is not.” Since Scabby arrived outside of Muji, multiple students have commented, saying that the rat often gives off a negative feeling on their way to school.

The main worry of the admissions staff is that this attitude will leak into the minds of prospective students and families. Admissions associate Dana Foote said, “hopefully people aren’t going to associate the rat with Grace Church School before they get here.” One of the main points to consider is the effectiveness of the protest. The school must ask itself: is a protest that might be accomplishing its goals bad optics for the school? The Grace admissions staff is now hoping that the protest will not affect the admissions season, with Director of Admissions, Ms. Campbell, saying, “It shouldn’t be a problem.” It is not the school’s choice to say whether or not the rat is allowed to stay outside of Muji.

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