Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: This past week’s editorial column Non Sibi Day unfortunately seems to display our values as a student body. The editorial states that “Mandating service runs contrary to Andover’s values and fosters a sense of resentment among some students.” I would argue that those students who find it a burden to get up early on a Saturday morning—one time out of the year—and help others, even if required to do so, are the ones at fault. First of all, there are many projects to choose from and doing service for others (even if required) should not be seen as a burden. It worries me that, as potential leaders of the world, my peers are claiming that a mandatory service day goes against their values. The editorial also states that “we must consider the cost of a mandatory Non Sibi Day.” A school with an endowment of over 640 million dollars should not consider the cost of such a project as more important than the altruistic effect that we have on others. The editorial seems to be more concerned with “financial constraints” than helping others who were more seriously affected by this recession. Considering our sizeable endowment, even in this recession, we should be ashamed to even think that we are being deprived by helping others. Non Sibi Day is a great opportunity for students to help the needy, and there is no greater feeling than knowing that you have changed someone’s life. The school is doing us a favor by forcing us to be exposed to the world of community service. By making such an event optional, those students who could potentially benefit from NSD, but for some reason or other miss it, are being deprived. Making NSD optional would also limit the amount of projects, and therefore limit the amount of good that we could be doing. I am disappointed and embarrassed for the students who harbor these views. I suppose that helping others does foster resentment for some. But those who argue this point should judge their character; do they even deserve to attend a school that promotes Non Sibi? Does this school really want to educate people who become resentful when helping others? These “resentful” students could be world leaders in the next few decades; that scares me. Ben Talarico ’11