New Social Event Planned For PA, AHS 11th Graders

Student representatives from Phillips Academy and Andover High School will hold an ice cream social for Uppers and AHS 11th graders in December. They met last Tuesday to discuss possible PA-AHS social events. The proposed social events are intended exclusively for Uppers and Andover High School 11th graders. Though aimed at enhancing relations, this initiative is not in response to any particular incident but rather a culmination of previous ideas and sentiments among students and administrators from both schools. Dean of Students Marlys Edwards and several Andover High School faculty and administrators met last spring to discuss the possibility of a joint social event, Edwards said. The administrators decided to hold an event in the Fall Term of the 2007-2008 academic year. At a later meeting it was decided the event would be confined to the 11th-grade classes for several reasons, including the large size of both schools. Also, by inviting the Upper class every year, the school ensures that at least half the student body at any given time will have had the opportunity to meet students from AHS. “That way you have Seniors and Uppers setting the tone [of PA-AHS relations],” said Kennan Daniel, Assistant to the Dean of Students. “We have had more coordinated events in the past, even sharing academic classes,” wrote Edwards in an email. “Those interactions no longer occur and it seems important to reestablish a relationship between two schools located within a few miles of each other. We are simply being good neighbors.” Edwards delegated the task of planning the event to Daniel, who immediately set about organizing an “Upper committee” to travel to Andover High, meet with students there and plan the event. She asked Cam Boll ’09, Jill Kozloff ’09 and Zoe Weinberg ’09, who all agreed to help. Daniel and the committee drove to Andover High School to meet with Assistant Principal Thomas Mead, several Junior class faculty advisors and a group of eight students from the AHS Junior Class Board of Directors. They discussed possible events including a dance, but eventually decided on an ice cream social to be held December 1 between the hours of 7 and 9 p.m. The social, dubbed “Ice Cream Festival 2007 for 2009” or “07-4-09” is to be held in Old Town Hall, a site selected for what Kozloff described as its “neutral location.” The committee also made tentative plans for a dance to be held at some point in the Winter Term, but preferred to host the social beforehand to break the ice, Weinberg said. “We needed a way for kids to get to know each other,” she said. “Hopefully by the time it evolves into a dance people won’t be on opposite sides of the room.” Despite the reportedly enthusiastic atmosphere of the meeting and the commonly held belief that “catbonering” is the work of a disgruntled minority, everyone on the PA Upper committee admitted to some apprehension about the social. Boll said, “I’m afraid it won’t work out socially, that is, that students from the two schools won’t mingle.” Daniel also was concerned that students would arrive at the event too late to allow for any real socializing. AHS students were more optimistic. Liz Tverskoy, an Andover High 11th grader, wrote in an email, “Our goal is to try to eliminate tension so we can all be on good terms. Although some people might not be sure whether this event is a good idea, I’m sure that most people will be glad that we can finally all do something as a town.” Reactions to the idea among Phillips Academy Uppers were mixed. Day student Ishan Kapoor ’09 said, “The idea is kind of pointless. It’s school spirit to unite against them. The catboner issue isn’t offensive, it’s fun. It’s school rivalry.” Shaun Stuer ’09, a boarder with friends at Andover High, said he thought the dance was a good idea and that he plans on attending. He did, however, acknowledge the PA-AHS tension. Another meeting between the AHS Junior Board of Directors and the PA Upper committee is planned for November 6, when more details will be hammered out. Daniel invites any Uppers who are interested in going or just interested in the event planning in general to email her.