Senior Spring Gets Doused As Cluster Deans Ban Water Guns

Innocent underclassmen will no longer be harassed by water-gun-toting Seniors due to Flagstaff Cluster Dean Paul Murphy’s ban on the use of intimidating water guns on the Phillips Academy campus by Seniors. Mr. Murphy said, “Water guns among friends is okay, but what I was starting to see on campus during class time was underclass kids getting shot at as they walked into or out of the library, Seniors running from each other, almost bowling people over.” According to the Blue Book, “actions potentially harmful to the health, safety or well-being of other persons, including malicious or threatening actions or remarks of any kind” are in violation of major rules and can lead to disciplinary consequences. Even considering that there could be problems if students were not responsible with their guns, most Seniors think that banning the guns was unnecessary and unfair. Josh Wolfe ’04, a Senior in Flagstaff, said, “Squirting people is usually not really harmful, or meant to be harmful, but I understand if someone does not like to get wet, then kids should not soak them.” “It is ridiculous that the school has to intervene, because students should be able to respect other kids, and at the same time be able to have fun,” he added. Elisabeth Polk-Bauman ’04, a Senior in Flagstaff, said, “I think that a lot of people are annoyed that the faculty are taking it a little too far with calling the guns intimidating and banning them.” “It is especially ridiculous for Senior spring, when we are supposed to be having fun, and enjoying the weather.” Mr. Murphy feels that use of water guns in an intimidating manner projects a negative image of the Academy. He said, “It has the same feeling as snowballs in the winter. We have 1000 kids here and the water gun can feel intimidating. This is not the school we want to see.” “The center of campus is for everyone, and while I can appreciate the Seniors wanting to enjoy their Senior spring, enjoyment at the expense of others is not where we want to be. We in Flagstaff are happy to host the school all day, but I won’t host in that way,” he continued. While he did not feel that banning the guns was fair, Daniel Adler ’05, the recently elected school president, was sympathetic towards the underclassmen victims. He said, “This is something that student council can act on, and I think that I can talk to Ms. Edwards about the situation. I am disappointed to see this happen, it is one of the passages of spring for Seniors.” “However, as a guy that was a foot shorter than the Seniors my freshman year, I am really sympathetic to intimidated freshmen,” he continued. “I think that it is important that people realize that it is a privilege to have squirt guns, and that you should keep the squirting between friends.” Alex Thorn ’04 believes that the entire class of ’04 is suffering because of the behavior of a few students. He said, “It seems like it is a rash jump to conclusion that shuts down something that is fun, and it is ridiculous that they punish the whole class because a few individuals were irresponsible with the guns.” He continued, “We can have unmonitored Internet, but we can’t be trusted with a portable water fountain.” What are we going to do when it is 95 degrees outside?” Mr. Murphy trusts the class of 2004 to be responsible with the water gun issue. He said, “I have great faith in the Senior class to do the right thing. Unfortunately, we have had some not-so-great things happen in the past few years and no one wants to see any class leave a legacy not fit for them.”