Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: As an alumnus who still feels a strong connection to the school, I will, from time to time, glance at the online version of The Phillipian. As one might imagine, the article on last term’s spike in DC’s jumped out at me. Students, of course, gave their usual spiel about the diabolical faculty who are “cracking down” on students, or as one student said, “kids are just not being as careful.” Yet the article’s author could not point to a single cause for this trend. Ironically, the adjacent article on covered admissions statistics, boasting a 20 percent acceptance rate. This had to leave me wondering, is Phillips Academy accepting the right students? Granted, if I were to make such a claim, I would have only anecdotal evidence. Even so, while visiting a former classmate two weeks ago, he mentioned to me that his younger sibling, still a student at PA, was growing more and more disaffected with the school and that it had changed since our time there. He told me stories of students flushing banned substances down the toilet and a culture completely different to the one of my Andover years (only three years ago!). This is not to say that drug and alcohol use did not occur during my time. I know that it did. Yet this trend is certainly alarming. Perhaps it is time for the Admissions Office to re-emphasize how integral it is that they accept not only those who are academically qualified (and with the record number of applicants, there appear to be many), but also those whose personalities mesh with the school’s values. After all, the words “finis origine pendet” appear on our seal for a reason. The end does indeed depend on the beginning and it is the Admissions Office that provides the beginning. All the best, Evan Panich ’03