On the Proposed Curfew

Good habits cannot be taught. And limiting student freedoms, however insignificant they may seem, does not serve the student body. Last week, Dean of Students Paul Murphy told The Phillipian that he hoped his proposal to shift school-night sign-in to 9:30 p.m. would “regularize students’ lives.” However, it would take a lot more than an extra half-hour in our dorms every night to “regularize” our lives. And frankly, more regulation isn’t the right step to take. Arguments for the new policy have been grounded in the belief that the change would lead to more efficient dorm meetings, quieter evenings and more sleep for students. In reality, the shift would simply bring many students’ social hours out of the library and into dorm rooms. A small added convenience to house counselors and librarians does not justify the change in our schedule. A better proposal to increase the amount of sleep students receive would be to make classes begin later in the morning, as previously proposed in this space. The larger point, however, is that students should learn good study habits and sleep habits on their own, through experience. A mandate that all students be in their dorms at 9:30 p.m. won’t teach us self-discipline. Andover has always been about independence. Granted, teachers and house counselors are here to guide us and keep us in check, but the school’s responsibilities in loco parentis need only extend so far. Returning to our dorms a half-hour earlier each night is an unnecessary change – and it’s not worth the student outcry that will likely occur if the proposal becomes a reality. There is no urgency or pressing reason to change sign-in. Let the status quo stand. We enter this school as unsure, inexperienced 14-year-olds, and the freedoms and challenges of Phillips Academy turn us into young adults. Our relatively lenient sign-in time is one of those privileges. Boarding school is meant to prepare us for college and then the rest of our lives. And in the real world, no one will be tucking us into bed. This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXI.