A Trend of Distrust

The Phillipian hopes that various new campus policies do not represent a trend of weakening trust throughout the Andover community. The new library policy and the new daily attendance system are intended to improve efficiency, accuracy, and the quality of campus life. However, the stricter library policy, which includes a discussion with the cluster dean and being banned from the library as consequences of disruptive behavior, suggests that students are no longer trusted to act respectfully in a place of study. The rules sound as though they are directed at a classroom of noisy kindergarteners, instead of at the students of Phillips Academy. We hope that students are given more credit for our dedication to our studies and our responsibility for our own surroundings. The new attendance policy implies that students cannot be trusted to be honest about their reasons for missing class. In eliminating the student’s right to appeal directly to their teacher, the policy threatens to alter the relationship of trust and understanding between a teacher and his or her pupil. Is the new black and white policy really better than the old tradition, which was flexible and compassionate (if sometimes imprecise) instead of exacting and more accurate. The Phillipian realizes that students, even Phillips Academy students, sometimes act immaturely. But we hope that these occasions are the exception to the rule and that Andover has faith in our overall responsibility and trustworthiness. On the Situation In the Library: Only at a place like Andover could a library be both an academic and social hub. Perhaps it is because we don’t have any real student center; but it is certainly not, as some have painted it, because we have any lack of respect for this school or its facilities. The most likely reason, however, is that only at Andover are academics so important that we bring our social lives to them. In framing the new library rules the administration should consider this. Next week this column will pay particular attention to the situation in the library.