Congress in Recess

Phillips Academy missed a great opportunity this week when Student Council decided to cancel the School Congress for this coming Monday, citing a lack of any “pressing issues” to be discussed. School Congress, if nothing else, gives faculty members and student leaders a chance to exchange views on school issues. Once a mere lecture given annually by a handful of students, School Congress has been revived by the Collins/Adler administration, now held in a new setting and at more frequent intervals. The new model, in which students and faculty break up into smaller groups and converse in classrooms, has been effective in creating dialogue between students and teachers, a rare occurrence outside of the classroom. Even without a prepared issue, School Congress can still be an opportunity for student-faculty discussion and bringing to light any subjects that either students or faculty might want to address. Nonetheless, The Phillipian believes that there are in fact many pressing issues ripe for discussion: 1) Student Government: Student Council currently has little money and even less power. One Lower Rep. noted the lack of students’ initiative in informing Student Council of their concerns. If our student government had any real ability to enact change, more students would be likely to share their thoughts. 2) Assessment Week: Why are assessment periods required and not optional, at the teacher’s choosing? How well has the new system worked? 3) Technology: As the Internet continues to develop rapidly as a tool for education, networking and entertainment, Phillips Academy students are being left behind in the 20th century. 4) Requirements and Credit: The recent changes in the arts requirements and the growing demand for academic internships undoubtedly merit some discussion. Collins and Adler did well to bring back Student Congress. It should not be an institution that disappears after their tenure, but a lasting tradition.