StuCo Finishes Blue Pages; Receives Funding for GW

As the school year comes to an end, Student Council members have put the finishing touches on The Blue Pages and received Abbot Grants to continue other initiatives. The Blue Pages was first created by a Student Council subcommittee headed by Fan Wang ’04 in the 2003-2004 school year as an insider’s guide to Andover. The book is a compilation of the rules, dorms, clubs and organizations of the school, as well as reviews on various takeout options near campus. In recent years, however, the booklet has not been published. This year, the Student Council formed a Blue Pages subcommittee, headed by Jim Elder ’07 to update the content and re-distribute it this coming fall. While it is still unclear, the booklet will most likely be given to all students, as it provides basic and up-to-date information useful to those both familiar and unfamiliar with PA and the town of Andover. Over the last several days, The Blue Pages has undergone final revisions, with the completed version to be ready within the week. In the fall, Student Council applied for and received an Abbot Grant of $7,000 to renovate the George Washington mailroom area. After the financing costs were reassessed, Student Council members Akosua Oforiwaa-Ayim ’07 and Carolyn Brown ’09 applied for a second Abbot Grant of $1,300 to continue the funding of the GW “beautification project.” This year’s Senior gift will also help to finance the renovation. Student/faculty dinners, also started by the 2006-2007 Student Council using an Abbot Grant of $3,000, will continue in a similar manner in the coming year. According to Danny Silk ’07, the new board will have the freedom to explore other venues on campus and Head of School Barbara Chase has agreed to fund several of the dinners. Next year’s Student Council President Tantum Collins ’08 hopes to continue work in an interscholastic student council conference. The deans of students at boarding schools in the area convene in an annual meeting, and the Student Council hopes to create and fund a similar conference for members of student councils at each respective school. The President, Vice President and several other members of Student Council would travel to the hosting school to participate in a forum to discuss prevalent issues and exchange ideas. Though the current Student Council was denied the requested $2,500 Abbot Grant to start the project, there is the possibility for funding such a conference during the 2008-2009 school year. Collins feels that one of the biggest accomplishments of Student Council this year included its massive re-organization headed by President Danny Silk ’07. During the past winter, the Student Council was completely restructured into several subcommittees. The new system helped to distribute tasks that could be easily handled by several capable people. Collins said, “[T]his allowed for time in big meetings to be spent on more important issues. Now less time is spent on micro-managing details; the subcommittee system has enabled us to get stuff done quantifiably.” Silk feels that Student Council has made big strides in the communication between students and administration with initiatives like the academic advising committee to keep everyone “on the same page and give students the biggest voice.” He hopes that next year’s student council will increase “the communication with the community at large. We had to build a lot of bridges between students and administration. These steps are happening and I want to open up [students council meetings] even more to the students.” Collins plans to work on accomplishing his platform’s goals for next year and is especially focusing on the technology based initiatives. Collins hopes to institute Student Voice forums to allow members of campus to communicate easily with the members of Student Council. Collins is also in the midst of meetings to advance the process of introducing online sign-in. A trial run of the program is expected to proceed soon. Another goal, to create a one-card key system, is underway. The card would serve as a debit card for all campus costs and an ID. In the fall, a specialist will come to evaluate the costs and present possibilities. Collins also looks forward to hosting a radio-show with John Adler ’08, next year’s vice president, on WPAA.