Leading Campus Beautification

Bananas play a major role in daily life at Phillips Academy. Why? Bananas are Gunga’s sustenance, a symbol of our school spirit and one of the few foods always available at Commons. So, it’s only natural that the Andover Campus Decorating Committee (AC/DC) would adorn the symbol of a banana on the flowing capes they sported last week. AC/DC is one of the hottest new clubs on campus. The group consists of 20 dedicated seniors – 10 girls and 10 boys. AC/DC was founded last spring when Danny Silk ’07 applied for an Abbot Grant to fund the beautification of the campus for Andover-Exeter weekends. The committee received $1500 and the group, led by co-heads Eddie Kang ’07 and Stuart Anderson ’07, immediately started brainstorming decorating ideas. In order to fund their budding fantasies, the committee launched a face paint-selling fundraiser. After returning from summer break, the committee reconvened two weeks before fall’s A/E weekend. They immediately began making posters and fine-tuning their plans. According to Anderson, the point of this effort was to “have fun and get in the spirit” during Andover-Exeter weekend. The spirited decorations certainly helped with that process. First, AC/DC paid OPP to hang up strings of blue Christmas lights on the bushes outside of Sam Phil and the library. OPP also replaced several light bulbs outside of buildings with bright blue bulbs. Finally, OPP hung up the huge “GO BIG BLUE!” sign on the pillars in front of Sam Phil. The decorations were greeted with widespread enthusiasm throughout campus. In addition to the decorations, Kang and Anderson convinced Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, to wear a blue dress on the Friday before A/E weekend. She then proceeded to walk around campus – waving to everyone she passed. The AC/DC members trailed her, including Matt Silva ‘07, who was dressed up in an enormous banana costume. “This is our house,” read one of the chalked messages outside of Borden gym on Saturday. AC/DC was also responsible for these spirited and hilarious chalk statements. According to Carolyn Chica ’08, “When I saw all the lights and the big sign, I just knew it was Andover-Exeter weekend. The decorations helped get me even more psyched about beating those Exies.” Silk is very optimistic about AC/DC’s future, but he also recognizes that a few things need to be improved. “Most of the $1500 was spent this fall because we had to buy all the materials, in addition to paying OPP overtime,” he said. “So if we want this to be a tradition, we will have to continue finding ways to fundraise.” Most students agree that anything is worth the return of the banana capes. Gunga needs his food, and PA can always use some extra spirit.