February Frees

As we begin a new term on the heels of both a new year and a new decade, The Phillipian would like to welcome all members of this community back to the Andover campus for the next eight weeks. For many, the progression of winter term signals a lengthy trek through darker days, colder nights and more challenging coursework. But this year, winter term brings something else – a newly established All-School Meeting policy dubbed “The February Freeze” that was announced at last Wednesday’s ASM, eliminating All-School Meetings in February and March. The benefits of this decision are twofold. Eliminating February All-School Meetings could lead to a student body more engaged in and better prepared for classes. Unfortunately, All -School Meetings often turn into last-minute cramming sessions or sleeping periods for exhausted students by the latter half of winter term. From the student point of view, a free ASM period can provide a breath of fresh air against droopy eyelids, hidden textbooks and restless whispers. By freeing the 45-minute time slot, students will hopefully be able to make a few healthy changes in their routine and end the disruptive studying at ASM. Winter term is a notoriously trying time for all members of our community, but it is especially difficult for students unacquainted with New England winters. Andover’s youth from every quarter often come from places where the idea of snow is laughable. A 45-minute break, albeit small, can make a huge difference in terms of settling into winter term. But let’s be sure to take full advantage of the “freeze.” Students, use the much-needed free time wisely. Study for your test seventh period. Take a well-deserved break or a 45-minute nap. And try to resist the temptation of using ASM to watch YouTube and your Facebook news feed. We know how hard it is. Administrators, we’d like to thank you for this gesture. We often worry about a disconnect between the students and adults on campus, but this decision shows an understanding of the daily stresses of an Andover students and a commendable flexibility. Finally, we hope that this hiatus will allow for more planning to go towards future speakers. Too often has All-School Meeting felt like a commitment to be carried out rather than a gathering to be enjoyed. We hope that, in focusing the All-School resources on fewer events, more interesting and engaging speakers can be brought to this community. It is also our hope that the time saved in February and March will go towards thwarting the evils of Winter Term – sleep deprivation, stress, illness and cold – instead of serving as another time slot we will feel pressured to fill. And we hope that community members use the change wisely. Whether the decision was made with saving money, time or both in mind, we are grateful. This editorial represents the views of the Editorial Board CXXXII.