Murphy Abandons Uniform 9:30 Sign-In Policy, Early Sign-In on Tuesday to Remain on the Table

Paul Murphy, Dean of Students and Residential Life, announced his decision to withdraw his informal proposal for 9:30 p.m. sign-in in an email to the Andover community on Sunday. “I have, after listening to many faculty and student voices in the community, withdrawn from consideration my idea for a uniform 9:30pm sign-in on nights before classes,” Murphy wrote in his email. Murphy said that several factors influenced his decision, including School Congress meetings last Monday. Murphy said, “I just got the feeling of not having a lot of faculty support at School Congress meetings.” A student and faculty poll organized by Christian Anderson ’09 and Daniel Glassberg ’09 last week also swayed Murphy’s decision. The results indicated 479 votes against and 25 for 9:30 sign-in. “There was a resounding voice throughout the school [against 9:30 p.m. sign-in]. Mr. Murphy respected the views of the majority of the student body,” said Will Lindsey ’10, Upper Representative. Calista Small ’10 agreed. She said, “I appreciate how Mr. Murphy considered requests from the student body. It was nice to see that the student body had influence on the decision.” But the discussions on 9:30 sign-in may not end altogether. The House Counselor Committee, made of ten house counselors, may raise the possibility of 9:30 sign-in on Tuesday nights. Shawn Fulford, Instructor in Math and a member of the House Counselor Committee, said, “I strongly support [9:30 p.m.] Tuesday sign-in. [The committee] has been discussing this in meetings for the past two years.” Marlys Edwards, former Dean of Students and Residential Life, attempted to determine how to implement 9:30 sign-in on Tuesdays during the last two years of her tenure, according to Fulford. Fulford supported 9:30 sign-in and said that she was “really disappointed” about Murphy’s withdrawal. Audrey McMurtrie ’11 said, “I’m not opposed to [9:30pm sign-in on Tuesdays]. We can have dorm meetings be held on Tuesday, a relative easy night in terms of homework, than Thursday, when we have every single class the next day,” However, Small said that 9:30 sign-in on Tuesdays “would be kind of confusing and unnecessary.” Ziwe Fumudoh ’10 said, “[Having the opportunity to hold dormitory meetings on Tuesday nights] is not as big a deal as everyone makes it to be. We don’t have dormitory meetings that often, and I think each dormitory should vote on which night to hold meetings on.” In his email, Murphy also mentioned making “structural changes” to dormitories and the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) in order to establish better study environments. Murphy said that “students would have to be a part of that conversation” through School Congress meetings. He said he would also consult with OWHL staff and the House Counselor Committee. Murphy wrote in his email that students and house counselors should try to improve dorm environments by “creating study spaces in dorms or simply agreeing to a set of resident-generated standards of behavior for study nights.” “I agree that it certainly doesn’t make sense to impose an earlier sign-in that would force some students to leave a place of study [such as the library] for a rowdy dorm,” wrote Anderson in an email to the The Phillipian. McMurtrie, a resident of Johnson Hall, said that the common room of her dormitory is a quiet place to study. “I don’t really have a problem with noise [in the dormitory],” she added. Small, who lives in Paul Revere Hall, said, “Honestly, I cannot work in my dormitory. You always find something to distract you.” But Small does not believe in implementing new rules for study hours in dormitories. “I feel that students will feel oppressed in their own homes. You can’t stop socialization in an environment like a dormitory,” she said. Jeffrey Marzluft, Associate Director for Instructional Services in the OWHL, said that the library has made progress this year in maintaining quiet study spaces. “[Students] have self-enforced this environment. They have been keeping the library a more academic space. Students have started to study here more, rather than just fool around,” said Marzluft. “I see more kids sitting down and studying together [in the library]. It’s less crazy. We’ve made it a comfortable place to hang out but not a place where anything goes,” he continued. Marzluft is hopeful that the new Ryley Room will replace the OWHL as a social gathering center for students when it reopens in spring term. “Students need a place to decompress, and we really hope that the Ryley Room can be that place. It should be,” said Marzluft. “We hope [the OWHL] can be more of an academic space when there is a social space on campus.” McMurtrie agreed with Marzluft. She said, “Once the Ryley Room is reestablished, the OWHL will quiet down a lot, especially during conference period when students just need a place to gather.”