The Student Center Solution

Phillips Academy, one of the best prep schools in the country, is missing something. It is not glaringly obvious if you look around campus; for the most part, it is an invisible gap. But ask any PA student currently attending the school what is missing, and the answer will always be the same—a student center. The lack of a student center has long been overlooked as money has been spent to renovate dorms, Commons and our football field. But as the year progresses, there will be a need for a place were students can go to socialize. With the Commons renovation, both Ryley and the dining halls will not be available for students. GW is a joke of a hangout, since the mail room and day student lockers are, well, the mail room and day student lockers. The last place we turn to, our sanctum sanctorum, is the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. Alas, even our blessed library has become the equivalent of a broken down amusement park. The OWHL has started a campaign to get students to find other places to hang out instead of congregating in the normally packed lobby area. The institution of new, stricter rules and the implementation of the dean-on-call discipline system make the library much less attractive as a hangout than in previous years. It is easy to understand the library’s position—it is a library, where study and research take precedent over fun and social get-togethers. But the library has been a hot spot to hang out for such a long time that the complaints to build a student center have never before risen to a high enough level to promote action. The library has every right to lay down the law as they currently are. The only problem is that we don’t have anywhere to go! Trying to give students other options, the library published a top ten list of things to do instead of hanging out within its own walls. Most PA students think it is a huge joke, and The Phillipian made a mockery of it. It is sad that the library cannot publish a single activity or place that the student body will accept as an alternative. It is not the library’s fault—there IS no legitimate alternative. As the year rolls along, it will be interesting to see how the students cope with the changes on campus. There have already been rumblings over Exeter having a student center while we do not. Without Ryley and without the library as places to socialize, the need for a student center will once more become a hot issue at the school. Plans to renovate Pearson last year were met with great resistance, but if the need becomes great enough, the class of 2011 might be looking at a new Pearson their senior year. Ultimately, the administration must listen to the pleas of the students. We need somewhere to go! Build us a student center!