A Call to Underclassmen

Andover is a school of fads. Every term new songs come up that are repeated endlessly at each dance, new fashions become popular, and new problems with the school become apparent. Last year, fall term was dominated by the crusade to reinstate the “Burning of the A”, which got so popular that t-shirts were made to support the cause. Spring term of last year, it seemed that everyone was talking about Pearson’s renovations, from angry Uppers and Seniors petitioning in the library to freshman who finally learned where Pearson was and why it was important. However, just like the songs and fashion trends that dominate campus for a time, these issues too have fallen out of the limelight. We should examine why issues lose attention and what can be done to stop side-stepping issues and turning problems into ‘fads.’ Generally, when the student body wants change, movements are lead by upperclassmen. Uppers and Seniors understand the problems and have a good sense of the way things work. Furthermore, these older students are the ones with the necessary connections to make things happen. They know the teachers and many are close with administrators. If the student body wants change, these are the students to lead it. However, considering the slow pace at which change is actually made by administrators at this school and the fact that fads quickly die out, generally their efforts will not make a difference within their PA career. So, upperclassmen that have the highest chance of actually making a difference are discouraged because there exists no incentive for change if they will not be affected by the changes they work towards. Moreover, the turnaround rate for ideas is extremely slow at Andover. If a fad doesn’t die out by the time people take it seriously, it still has little chance of taking effect in the foreseeable future. Take for example, the school year extension plan. Upperclassmen won’t even be affected by the changes. “Why should we campaign against the calendar extension since won’t even affect us?” So, Juniors and Lowers are the classes that will actually be affected by the actions and thus we should be the students who not only encourage change, but also those who are consulted when a movement begins. Only then will the longevity of an issue will be assured. It is obvious that we all want our student body to be more active. However, this is not possible without the efforts of lowerclassmen.