Introducing Minga: A New Idea for Hall Pass Management 

By: Namratha Kamath

So long to the days of old, musty lanyards that students were given when they asked to use the bathroom. Now, teachers will not need to abruptly pause their lesson to write out a long hall pass for a student. This is because Minga, the student management platform, is now used when students need to go out of the classroom. The implementation of Minga has gone into effect here at Westhill since the return from winter break, and the app has been the talking point in Westhill for days now.

What is Minga?

Minga is a digital campus management system. It is an app used in Westhill for its Digital Hall Passes, Student IDs, and Check in capabilities. Minga allows students to create hall passes to wherever they need to go around school, such as the restroom, nurse, or their counselor. Students must get confirmation from their teacher in order to activate their pass. Additionally, students are monitored in real time, and have a time limit for how long they can spend away from class. For example, the limit for going to the restroom is 7 minutes. This was implemented in order to control time spent outside of the classroom.The goal of implementing Minga at Westhill is to prevent misconduct, make the process of checking hall passes easier, and to keep students safe. 

The implementation of Minga in school has also changed the way Open Campus works. Before, upperclassmen only had to sign a Google Form to leave school. Now, students must sign in and out by scanning a QR code in the lobby before they leave and after they return to campus. The Minga app only permits students to leave for open campus during designated periods, such as a study hall or a lunch wave before or after a study hall. This has made the entire process of leaving during school hours more extensive. 

What do students think about the implementation of Minga?

The Westword conducted a schoolwide survey to find out more about how students felt about this change. A very large percentage of the students who responded to the survey knew what Minga is. Some of these students said that this app helped Westhill overall. They claimed that:

  • It helps school become more environmentally friendly
  • Allows us to be cleaner because online passes won’t increase the spread of germs
  • Decreases the number of students who skip class

But despite these positives, the majority of respondents disliked Minga. “It’s a good idea, but it takes away from class time overall,” said Tess Hellweg-Lyons (‘26).

Nearly half of all the students in the survey (45.5%) gave a 1 out of 10 regarding how they felt about the new policy. Students cite the following reasons for their opinions:

  • The time limit is too short, (especially when the bathroom is far away, if they are locked, or if there is a line)
  • They claimed it feels like an invasion of privacy
  • It is much more of a hassle to leave for open campus 
  • It takes too long to make a Minga pass, rather than a written one
  • The passes are dependent on internet connectivity
  • It is much more complicated for students without their phone
  • Not everyone was properly informed about Minga, so everyone is not on the same page

74.6% of the students who responded believed that the time limit was too short, as only 7 minutes are given for a restroom break. After these 7 minutes, the Minga screen flashes orange, alerting the student to return to class. There is only one restroom for each section of the building, and many of them are locked during lunch periods. This was the main concern that students had about using Minga. 

What do teachers think about Minga?

Most teachers have mixed feelings about Minga. They agree that Minga is beneficial in the aspect that it helps keep track of the students that are out of class, and for how long they are out. Teachers think that it will eventually be a good system, once all the hiccups are gone.

“It is efficient to streamline students out of class. I am curious to see how data will be used to keep students in class.” said Ms. Thompson, Spanish teacher. 

So far, Minga has been used for electronic hall passes and open campus for only a few weeks. As students get accustomed to the use of Minga, it will bring Westhill one step closer to becoming a more modern campus.