Crisis Management Team Tackles Backpack Hazard

Returning to PA after winter break, students learned that backpacks in Commons could no longer be dropped randomly on the floor but must be placed behind designated red taped lines, to ensure the safety of the student body in an emergency evacuation situation. Dean of Students Marlys Edwards believes, “The red lines are necessary for safety, even if it is a temporary solution.” Other faculty members agree and report that this new system is a tremendous improvement from ones of the past. PA students feel a wide range of opinions about the new system. While some are in agreement with the faculty, the majority, dislike the new practice, criticizing the arrangement because it causes them to lose their backpacks. When the issue of taping red lines across the floors of Commons first arose, faculty were faced with an alternate idea of installing cubbies, but ultimately decided against such a measure. Certain Andover faculty members visited other boarding schools’ dining halls to look for remedies to this issue, not unique to the Andover campus. However, Director of Business Service Susan Stott and member of the Crisis Management Team remarked, “Nothing is comparable to our big masses at lunchtime.” At the St. Paul’s School (SPS) in Concord, New Hampshire, during mandatory morning chapel, students place their bags outside the chapel. Such a piling of backpacks has caused controversy at SPS, as well, as a student prank once included a surpise move of all the bags to another location. To accomodate the backpacks inside the dining halls, where there are currently designated spaces, certain tables were moved and others have been unused.