Student Council Holds Second School Congress of the Year ?To Discuss A Range of Issues at PA

Students and faculty discussed residential life and facilities, sustainability, off-campus global programs and community expectations on Monday evening’s School Congress. Participants could choose to attend group discussions, moderated by member of Student Council, on one of these four topics. Malin Adams ’09, School President, said that Student Council selected issues they believed to be the most important to Andover. But some of the participants questioned whether School Congress was effective at addressing these topics. The residential life and facilities groups discussed the possible 9:30 p.m. sign-in policy, dorms as places of study, sleep habits and parietal policies for younger students. Brian Faulk, Instructor in Chemistry, who attended the residential life discussion, said, “I would have liked to see us touch on some of the other points [of discussion, such as] Internet usage.” He continued, “There were a slew of bullet points that we wanted to get to, and I think the students were so preoccupied with the 9:30 sign-in that we didn’t get much past that.” However, Faulk said that the discussion made him more aware of different viewpoints on 9:30 sign-in. The sustainability groups discussed how to regularize recycling policies, “green” efforts for athletics and sustainability in the new Commons. Brandon Sneider ’12 attended the sustainability discussion and did not think it was productive. “We just discussed [sustainability] more than came to a conclusion about what we could do,” he said. Emily Wei ’09, Co-Head of Eco-Action, who also attended the sustainability discussion, said, “I think we got caught up on what we’re doing wrong, and we weren’t focusing exactly on how we can change it on the large scale, so that everyone starts doing this and everyone starts getting better habits.” The off-campus global programs group addressed potential trips for Phillips Academy students, the economy’s effects on global programs and local programs that serve the global community. Andi Zhou ’09 said that the discussion emphasized the importance of involvement in local and global communities. Zhou said, “I would really like to see more contact, not just for myself, but for a lot of people, between students and faculty, about what goes on in our community.” The citizen and community expectations discussion centered on student-faculty and student-student expectations, the disciplinary system and vandalism. Lily Shaffer ’10 said, “I think there was definitely a divide between the teachers and the students.” Shaffer said that she believes discussion would have been more effective in smaller groups. “[Because of the large size of the group] it ended up that somebody would say something and it wouldn’t quite come out the right way, and then people would jump on top of that person, and then that person would try and defend herself…and then a new topic would arise,” she said. Adams estimated that 70 students and 70 faculty members attended School Congress. “Personally, I hoped to have a large amount of students and a large amount of faculty [in attendance], and have as much talked about as we possibly could,” said Adams. Adams said that notes from the group discussions will be posted on PAnet and might be reviewed at faculty meetings. School Congress occurs once a term, and is open to all students and faculty.