Cluster Deans Hold 17 DC Hearings

Seventeen PA students sat before a Disciplinary Committee last week after administrators uncovered a series of infractions that took place on Saturday, May 16, according to Paul Murphy, Dean of Students. This was the most disciplinary action resulting from one day that Murphy has ever witnessed in his 20 years working at Andover. Murphy said that when he first heard about the Blue Book offenses over the weekend of May 16, he did not expect such a large amount of disciplinary action to follow. Several board members of _The Phillipian_ were involved in some of the events on Saturday night. School administrators and cluster deans investigated the infractions in the typical manner, according to Murphy. “We question [every offense] we even have a suspicion about. We don’t sit on anything, because frankly, what if it were true? That’s a liability if you look at it legally, but it’s also a moral issue,” said Murphy. An Upper, who wished to remain anonymous, disagreed with the school’s decision to question every suspicion of a Blue Book offense. “I just think the school shouldn’t be working off rumors. If a dean catches someone red-handed, fine, but don’t go farther than that. I think that the administration’s search for perpetrators was essentially a witch-hunt.” Murphy said that he thought the way that administrators obtained information on the offenses of students was legitimate. “I think it’s been fair. If I didn’t think it was fair, we would have done it a different way,” said Murphy. Murphy could not comment on the disciplinary outcomes for the seventeen students. He said that he does not want faculty members to learn about the disciplinary outcomes before he has spoken to them in person. One anonymous Upper who sat before a DC said, “The dean that questioned me was really fair. He never accused me of anything. All he did was ask me to tell the truth, and he waited for me to come out with the truth myself. I’m really happy with him.” Murphy held a meeting with proctors and prefects in response to the disciplinary action. “Sometimes it looks like we have room for [drugs and alcohol], but it does not belong. I think every kid here deserves to live in a dorm community that doesn’t have [this behavior] going on,” Murphy continued. Murphy said that while some students immediately told the truth when questioned, others refrained from disclosing the truth until later questionings. “You think about the importance of truth when you sit in on the ASM on Monday and hear about bigger issues of honor and service. I think when you have a school, the purpose is to come and learn,” said Murphy. Murphy said that, when a student is questioned, he or she should divulge the entire truth of his or her involvement. “A good number of kids do that immediately, a good number want to wait, and some are not inclined to be as forthcoming. I think that those who aren’t as forthcoming shouldn’t be here,” Murphy said. “This is all related with the responsibility of independence. We are a big school with a lot to offer, and that comes with responsibility,” he continued. Murphy was “not sure how [the number of DCs is] going to impact this school” because this number of DCs from a given night was “extremely unusual.” “I have not even once talked with anyone about changes that we might do [in response to so many DCs]. It’s been the last thing on my mind,” said Murphy.