To the Editor:
Friday was one of the busiest days at the Shuman Office of Admissions, as we use Family Weekend to interview younger siblings. It’s a weekend of celebrating families on campus and the community we’re continually building at Andover. But it’s also a completely hectic day for us in Admission. During my lunch break when I had a moment to rest, I picked up a copy of The Phillipian and read the on-campus election results. Upon reading the article, I realized the results were largely based on interviews with only faculty members and students.
In the days before The Phillipian was published, I encountered a writer for The Phillipian interviewing faculty for this story – I asked the student why staff members weren’t being interviewed. Later I was told that other Phillipian writers were going to interview Paresky Commons workers for the piece which made me feel better, but if they did interview the staff, it is not showing in the poll. Yet I was still hoping that more than Paresky staff would be included in the piece. Paresky workers comprise a vital yet small portion of the staff at Andover. The Admissions Office, College Counseling Office, Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, Athletics Department, Dean of Studies Office, and Dean of Students Office all have teams of amazing staff who come from many parts of the world, and some of us have already voted and some of us will vote soon.
I remember becoming an American citizen in 1994, when I was pregnant with my first child. I was so proud and excited, especially to join my husband in voting in an important democratic process. When I returned home from work this past Thursday, my husband, Peter Cirelli, told me he was waiting for a Phillipian writer to come over to interview him about the election. Again, I felt disappointed that our diverse collection of staff members, myself included, were not being interviewed.
As a member of this community who works and lives on campus, a host parent to international students, and a friend to many others, I encourage students to look deeper at our community and the labels that exist in it. There are so many non-faculty adults on campus who do important work and are valuable members of our community. To get an accurate sense of what this community think and feels, these adults need to be included – in Phillipian interviews and beyond.