at Andover Has Changed With the Times

Phillips Academy has always regulated students’ whereabouts at night, but the severity of sign-in and lights-out policies has evolved over the years. In the 1960’s, students were required to sign in at 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays, according to the Blue Book of 1960. Juniors currently have lights out at 11 p.m., but in the 1960’s, Juniors had to be asleep by 9:30 p.m. and Lowers at 10 p.m. The Blue Book of 1960 also strongly recommended that Uppers be “in bed with lights out” by 10:30 p.m. and Seniors by 11 p.m. The administration recommended these bedtimes “for health and scholastic efficiency.” Some rules have remained the same since 1960. The Oliver Wendell Holmes Library still closes at 9:30 p.m. and study hours begin at 8:00 p.m. Students also had to “sign out to a place of study” during study hours, similar to the study hour policies today. School administrators expected Uppers and Seniors to study in their dorms after 9:30 p.m., after all academic buildings on campus had closed. Peter Drench, Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences, said, “The dorm room of the 1960’s would seem like a prison cell to a student living today.” As Andover adjusted to the cultural changes of the 1970’s, so did its sign-in policy. In the 1973 to 1974 academic year, Andover’s first year of coeducation, Seniors could remain outside the dorm from sign-out at 8 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. every night of the week. On Saturdays, Seniors were allowed to stay out until 11:30 p.m. Underclassmen were required to sign in at 10 p.m. on every night except Saturdays, when they could stay out until 11 p.m. According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts lowered its drinking age in 1973 from 21 to 18. Seniors at the time would spend their Senior hour from 10 to 11 p.m. drinking with faculty members because there was a pub on campus, according to Ruth Quattlebaum, School Archivist. However, Massachusetts raised the drinking age to 20 on April 16, 1979, and the pub closed shortly afterwards. The political changes of the 1980’s pressured the school to make changes to the Blue Book and enforce stricter rules. As reported in a May 2, 1980 article in The Phillipian, Susan Lloyd, former cluster dean of Pine Knoll, said, “The level of drinking and drug use of which we’ve lately become aware indicates to us that Pine Knoll students have not been able to do the job of controlling rule breaking themselves.” The Committee on Residential Life in 1980 met to “present new Blue Book changes that agreed with the students’ feelings,” according to the article. The Blue Book introduced a new clause that changed “Senior sign-in times from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m.” Lloyd also introduced face-to-face sign-in to Pine Knoll in 1980. Barbara Chase, Head of School, immediately changed sign-in on Thursdays and Sundays from 10 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. when she began her tenure at Andover in 1994. The earlier sign-in was designed to provide extra time for dorm meetings. Quattlebaum said, “Mrs. Chase changed sign-in by fiat—that is, without a faculty vote. Technology has really changed study habits because now students can access almost anything from their dorms. In the 1950’s, the several history courses had no textbooks so students had to be in the library for all of their textual research.” Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, said, “People used to be isolated when they were in their rooms. Now being in your dorm room does not protect from the distraction.”