Some Small Changes

Upon Mr. Murphy’s appointment to the position of Dean of Students, recently vacated by Marlys Edwards, I can honestly state that I felt a sense of relative apathy. However, with the year drawing to a close, such a feeling has been dispelled. But it is replaced, by my earnest disagreement with some of Mr. Murphy’s ideas. Mr. Murphy’s decisions show that the interests of both the students and the school have been considered. However, I feel that the ideas he has prsented as a result of this contemplation are not entirely sound. A notable example to point to would be the idea Mr. Murphy voiced during winter term to consider 9:30 sign-in. Again, I do not doubt that he had the best interests of the student body at heart. Support for this proposal, he described a “fighting chance” for getting people to bed earlier, as stated in a article published in The Phillipian on January 23. But I fail to see how this logic holds water. To me, all 9:30 sign-in would have done is unnecessarily restrict students. Simply moving them from one place where they could socialize to another would not improve the productivity of their work. Rather, it would do the opposite. By cutting students off from the stunning volume of resources available at the OWHL half an hour earlier, this proposal had the potential to negatively affect the quality of assignments. Another example to look to is Mr. Murphy’s closing of the Den after the “water-balloon incident.” The punishment he instated after a seemingly trivial event was unfair to students. Instead of simply punishing those responsible for getting a few people wet, Mr. Murphy instated a blanket punishment on the entire student body, 99 percent of whom were uninvolved. Although he stated that he hoped this would expedite the confessions of the accused, the fact that there were dozens of eyewitnesses in Commons at the time makes this argument slightly less convincing. A far more effective punishment could have been achieved by simply limiting it to those responsible for the quite harmless act. In essence, this punishment targeted a small group of people at the expense of almost everyone else. Regardless of these choices, Mr. Murphy’s actions have had an important impact on what I believe to be an increase in student outspokenness. Mr. Murphy presents controversial and new ideas that we can discuss intelligently on campus and express our opinions on. However, this has a negative side to it as well. I feel that along with this newfound dialogue between students comes a mild form of animosity. With every controversial policy comes more discontent among some students with the administration. Again, my intention is not to insult or misrepresent the intentions of our first-year Dean of Students. I respect his courage in taking on the position and do not doubt his consideration for our wellbeing for one second. But next year, some small changes would certainly be welcomed. Chris Meyer is a two-year Lower from Darien, CT.