Jiang ’07 and O’Hern ’07 Release Informational DC Handbook to Students

Seniors Michael Jiang and Joe O’Hern have released an informational pamphlet to the PA community detailing Andover’s disciplinary system. The pamphlet was distributed among the newly elected Disciplinary Representatives and Cluster Presidents on Wednesday and to the student body today. The sixteen-page pamphlet’s slogan, “a guide written by students for students,” explains its goal to provide an in-depth look at the complicated disciplinary system from a student’s perspective. Jiang said, “Joe and I feel that students need something to explain how the DC system works and to refer to when issues regarding discipline come up. The Blue Book is tedious yet vague on a variety of issues, and we hope that this pamphlet will offer some transparency to the process.” The guide describes in detail the complex process of the Disciplinary Committees and the varying levels of punishment. Advice is also offered in regards to honesty versus dishonesty, talking to DC Representatives and writing a DC statement. The pamphlet goes on to clarify common misconceptions and explain topics such as Sanctuary and Confidentiality. Former Pine Knoll Disciplinary Representative Michelle Nguyen ’07 said, “I just think not that many students know the Blue Book as well as they should. It does have a section about DC’s, but I think that people really don’t understand what the process is like just from reading it…The way that kids learn about DC’s has to be reformed, and this might be the first step.” Jiang and O’Hern began discussing the idea of writing a pamphlet after being elected last spring to their positions of West Quad North Cluster President and DC Representative, respectfully. Using their own knowledge of the DC system and referencing the Blue Book, the two Seniors began working on the pamphlet at the beginning of this Spring Term. Jiang said, “I feel that it is much better for the students to have something that we believe is factually accurate to refer to, rather then to just rumors and speculation. There have been many students who have come to me and told me that they have no idea what a DC is or even what the range of punishments is. Chances are, either you or one of your friends will have a run-in with the DC system, and it would behoove students to understand what is going on.” After a long process of writing, editing and formatting, Jiang and O’Hern presented the pamphlet to the Student Council meeting last Sunday with many positive responses. According to the Student Council update, Jiang said, “Gaining tremendous feedback about content and the pamphlet as a whole, we are greatly encouraged by the amount of student enthusiasm surrounding it.” The ’06-’07 DC Representatives, Student Council President Danny Silk ’07 and West Quad North Cluster Dean Chad Green also provided feedback on a draft. Green said, “I think there’s some value in having a student perspective of discipline at Andover. However, kids have to realize that it’s not an official document by any stretch; it is an interpretation. It certainly doesn’t speak for all the adults involved.” The pamphlet was officially released to the new ’07-’08 DC Representatives and Cluster Presidents during Wednesday’s training meeting. The student body will all receive copies in their mailboxes this Friday. In regards to the future, Jiang and O’ Hern hope to have the pamphlet handed out at the annual DC dorm meetings. Green said, “When Cluster Presidents and DC Representatives had dormitory talks at the beginning of the year, they were pretty inconsistent, as they have been in past years. What is said by some Cluster Presidents is different from what other Cluster Presidents say.” Nguyen ’07 added, “I feel like there is so much information that [people try to say] during the talk that just doesn’t register for a lot of the kids, especially new kids and freshman. The DC pamphlet is a good way for students, on their own time, to really understand the DC process.” Jiang and O’Hern both have experience with the DC system as members of the DC committee. As the ’06-’07 WQN Male DC Representative, O’ Hern sat on alternate Disciplinary Committees. Jiang, as the ’06-’07 WQN Cluster President, sat on every DC. He also served on the Working Group of Discipline, spending the majority of winter term evaluating and making recommendations for the current system. Jiang said, “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this DC pamphlet, and we hope that it resonates well with the student body.”