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Websites Created for Senior Graduation, Prom; Over 150 Members on Class of 2006’s Page

As graduation approaches Seniors will enjoy the Academy’s old traditions, but one fairly new tradition, the senior website, has infiltrated the graduation festivities. Colin Calabrese ’06 created a website for the current senior class of 2006. The website (andover06.com) includes a prom list, contact information, a photo album and a list of parties. The page was registered on January 26, 2006. This website is not the first senior website to be made. Last year, Dan Hoyos ’05 made a website and in 2004 Alex Thorn ’04 made a website. In 2003 a website was created to list prom dates; however, Thorn brought the Senior website to a new a level of sophistication. Andover hosted Thorn’s site. However, Thorn’s website generated controversy; he used the Andover seal in the heading of the site, but “Somebody in the tech[nology] or legal department e-mailed me demanding that I take it down because of copyright laws. I just refused…I had just won an award for a paper on copyright law. They were uneasy that we had the prom list up. They were just looking for something …I refused to back down.” Calabrese’s website presents less of a controversy. It is a privately run website and does refer to Phillips Academy by name, but does not have its seal anywhere. Also some information, such as the list of graduation parties, is password protected. Thorn said the 2004 website was intended to be both amusing and act as a “phonebook” to enable the class of 2004 to remain in touch. In addition, the 2004 website listed instructions for “toga day” and an instructional video of Justin Cahill ’04 putting on a toga, included 100s of pictures, jokes about prom and resources for that year’s senior class. Thorn said, “Everyone was reading it; Director of Student Activities Cindy [Efinger] used our list of prom dates for the official one.” The current 2006 website has over 150 Senior listings, with the colleges they plan on attending next year, phone numbers and non-Andover e-mail addresses. Over 30 couples are currently registered for prom. When a senior registers he or she receives a 32-bit encrypted password to enable him to access a list of graduation parties. Calabrese said he created this mechanism to prevent underclassmen from attending them. Calabrese said, “I got the word out through a Facebook.com group…once I made an andover06.com group, lots of people registered on the website.” Thorn continued to update the 2004 website through the fall of 2004. However, the need for it soon died down, because Andover had reformatted their website, and because Facebook.com has made contact information easily available to all. Calabrese registered his site for two years and is not sure yet if he will renew it when the time comes. He is considering adding polls and birthdays, based on responses he has gotten from others. Calabrese filters all things written on the website. He prevents fake prom dates from being posted on the prom listing and people abusing the site. Calabrese decided to create the website because, “We didn’t have one before spring break and some people suggested it; they knew I was into making websites…[and] I was the first one to think of it.” Thorn started his website during his Senior spring Calabrese has enjoyed work on the website, “It’s just ten to fifteen minutes a day…cutting and pasting people’s information.” Thorn said, “I thought [the site] was fun because it was really open and visible…we could put down whatever we wanted.”