Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The publication of last week’s Letter to the Editor, which was written and endorsed by members of the Class of 2015, has sparked a conversation about the obligations of the student body when a contentious figure visits Andover. We write today to express concerns about the lack of respect present in last week’s letter.

Students must acknowledge that because of Andover’s vast diversity, there is an array of opinions present on campus that are and should be weighted equally. Andover preaches the gospel of inclusion and acceptance in all matters, despite differing opinions within the student body. Though students will undoubtedly disagree with each other all the time, we must remember that everyone at this school is guaranteed the time and right to express their given opinion without backlash. Andover’s administration does its best to bring a wide variety of All-School Meeting (ASM) speakers to campus to continue to educate and expand the horizons of its students. Though it is regrettable that George H.W. Bush’s ’42 visit offended some young alumni and others, it is worth noting that there have been plenty of ASM speakers who have offended Andover’s conservative minority. Conservatives have, on many occasions, been tolerant of presentations by liberal ASM speakers who endorse policies that we disagree with. In order to mature into the adults and leaders we are supposed to be, we must embrace one of Andover’s key tenets: to tolerate and learn from opinions and ideas that differ from our own.

The viewing of part of “41on41” and visit of H.W. Bush was not a celebration of his political career but rather a celebration of his life. It would be small-minded to ignore his dedication to service and this country, regardless of your views of his presidency. President Bush Senior has dedicated the majority of his life to serving the United States and its people; a selfless feat that none of us can claim. The concept that a person’s value is more than the sum of their choices is critical; it is a concept that has been repeatedly taught at Andover.

When faced with the opportunity to be critical of another, particularly a former President, we ask you to empathize with that person. It seems unfair to be overly critical without having personally experienced the hardships and pressures of being President. Respect and understanding are crucial when evaluating a person’s life and career.

Sincerely,

Shelby Butt ’16

Signatories:

Ian Blythe ’16

Dewitt Burnham III ’16

James Flynn ’16

Christian Milotte ’16

Thomas Oliver ’16

Robert Rabines ’16

Claire Ressel ’16

Joseph Scibelli ’16

Caroline Shipley ’16

John Simourian II ’16

Kasey Welch ’16

Matthew Whalen III ’16

Jackson Davenport ’17

Emma Kelley ’17

Rebecca Morrow ’17

Lauren Overly ’17

Arthur Paleologos ’17

Johnny Rex ’17

Robert Williams ’17

Jerry Yang ’17

Casey Yarborough ’17

Susan Yun ’17

Darcy Burnham ’18

Molly Katarincic ’18

Sophia Miller ’18

Sarah Rigazio ’18

Tyler Rynne ’18

Emma Timken ’18

Charlotte Welch ’18

Elizabeth Welch ’18

Daniel Yen ’18

Jack Zinterhofer ’18

Josie Arnold ’19

Marco Chapa ’19

Nicole Cho ’19

Nick Demetroulakos ’19

Editor’s Note: Emma Kelley is a Features Associate, Jerry Yang ’17 is an Online Associate Susan Yun is a News Associate for The Phillipian.

Oct 15, 2015