Winter Term Sees Increase in DCs from Past Winters

A sharp increase in the number of disciplinary cases during the winter term has left students and faculty hoping for a more placid spring. In contrast to last winter’s three DC’s, 15 students have committed Blue Book offenses at this point in the term. Two years ago, only one person sat before a DC for a violation during Winter Term. However, the recent spike in DC’s may spell a discipline-free Spring Term. In the past, there has often been one term with many DC’s, while the others remained relatively quiet. For example, in the fall of 2002 there were 14 DC’s, with only one in the winter of that academic year and six in the spring. “There has been a large increase in the number of disciplinary conflicts during this winter trimester,” Dean of Students and Residential Life Marlys Edwards said. Ms. Edwards noted that the actual number of incidents has remained static, but that those cases have involved abnormally large groups of people. “The number of incidents seems to be about the same,” Flagstaff Cluster Dean Paul Murphy said, “but these past weeks have involved more people than usual.” “The winter always brings certain challenges related to cabin fever,” he continued, “This is a high school and people sometimes make bad choices…I hope that [their] choices improve.” Peter Washburn, Cluster Dean of West Quad South, which recently had five DC’s, said, “We happened to have a very busy last week with DC’s. I think that the Winter Term tends to have a little more discipline than other terms.” WQS Cluster President Sophie McCoy said “I think that winter is a big part of [the increase in that] people are cooped up inside and getting stressed out.” She continued, “Winter Term is more conducive to reckless, spur of the moment decisions. I also feel like it is much easier to get caught in a group, and when just one person breaks the rules it is easier to keep quiet.” “Recently, things have been spreading in unconventional ways. It hasn’t been someone getting caught red handed, but getting caught later.” “I think that the recent number of DC’s is unusual, but I think it would be careless to say that it is from Winter Term or stress,” Flagstaff Cluster President Jenny Wong ’04 said. “I think that since DC’s are individual, I don’t know if it is a trend happening during Winter Trimester…it is stereotypically seen as a time when students get together and break rules, but I don’t know if that is necessarily true.” Phillips Academy is a second chance school, which allows students guilty of their first major rule violation to be put on probation and remain at the school. Such rules include academic and non-academic dishonesty, actions potentially harmful to heath, actions dangerous to people and property, and use or possession of illegal substances. Next trimester all Seniors are automatically put on inactive probation for the term leading up to their graduation, and breaking one major rule will result in dismissal their from the school.