A proctor and prefect leadership opportunity for day students has been created to further integrate efforts between the day student and boarding student communities. This action was motivated by the platforms of current student body Co-Presidents Theo Perez ’16 and Annette Bell ’16, as well as next year’s Co-Presidents Madison Pettaway ’17 and Arthur Paleologos ’17.
“We have a great group of applicants and we are likely going to be announcing the selections alongside proctor selections for the dormitories next week. The expectation is that these leaders would join us for orientation programs we have planned for the spring and then again for the beginning of the school year,” said Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students and Residential Life, in an interview with The Phillipian.
Approximately 22-28 students will be chosen from an applicant pool in the mid-50s, who will serve as representatives of the day student community as well as offer formal mentorship to incoming day students in the 2016-2017 school year.
“[The program is for] upperclass day students to have an opportunity to go through our leadership program with the rest of our proctors and prefects, which is a pretty extensive leadership program that focuses on internal values, bystander behavior, understanding the rules of the school, and building the community,” said Raj Mundra, Assistant Dean of Students, in an interview with The Phillipian.
As an advisor for Student Council, Mundra first heard of the unique struggles of day students through the voice of the student body.
“In this office we often hear about issues around day students and how day students aren’t brought in. I’m hoping to… get their input [on this issue] also,” said Mundra.
Creating day student leadership positions is part of a movement for more inclusivity and integration between day students and boarding students.
“Because of the fact that [day students] are not a part of the boarding experience, I think they feel like they’re missing out on a large portion of the Andover experience. We really want to make sure that they feel included right from the beginning, and make sure that they feel like they have a lot of opportunities to get involved in all aspects of campus life,” said Theodore Parker, Dean of Abbot Cluster, in an interview with The Phillipian.
“The day students bring so much. It’s good to be able to tap into those interests and skills earlier to make sure that they are feeling that they are a part of the Andover community and are willing to step up and provide leadership opportunities for day students. The intention of the program is to decrease the amount of time it takes to feel a part of this community and then also to create bonds and relationships with boarding students,” Parker continued.
The Cluster Deans, Day Student Advisors, and the Dean of Students & Residential Life Office are behind the institution of this new system. They hope to create small groups that could meet during orientation.
“We are trying to make groups of about eight new students and two prefects. We are thinking of ways in which those groups could meet during orientation, and those groups could meet informally during the school year, but then also have specific events for them,” Mundra said.
The new system would entail the support of the pre-existing support system for day students.
“Obviously our proctors and prefects are supported very much by their house counselors, and these particular groups doesn’t have such particular assignments, so I think we have a number of Day Student Advisors who are eager to be connected and supportive, and so I think we’re going to be exploring and considering how best to match our leaders with faculty. We’re going to be leaning on this first group to work some of our logistics out,” said Elliott.
The new system is still being worked through by Cluster Deans in the hopes of creating convenient times to host day student gatherings.
“We’re trying to work through structural ways that we could be supportive of the larger group, [or if] it makes sense for us to host day student gatherings… or times for them to get together and spaces for them to be together. Cluster Deans are trying to work through, too, times when they would host day student cohorts that way,” said Elliott of the ongoing effort.