Study shows campus finds Student Council ineffective, social stigma surrounds Graham House

A majority of students maintained their opinion that student council plays an insignificant role in their lives, fewer students believe grading disparities are issues, and stress levels on campus remain high according to the 2010 State of the Academy Survey. 556 Andover students participated in the survey, 55% of which were female and 45% being male. Boarders provided 71% of answers for the survey while day students gave 29% of responses. Most students earned a 5.0 GPA for Winter 2010. 69.4% of the Class of 2010 was on the honor roll, the largest percentage of any grade. Of students who reported being “rarely” happy at Andover, 50% were on the honor roll. Jackie Lender ’11, Vice President of Andover commented, “I guess it depends on how you define happiness. It depends what you want out of your Andover experience. I hope people set aside a time for themselves everyday to enjoy themselves to avoid getting consumed by work.” Mike MacKay ’11, Student Council President, added, “We go to a challenging institution. Andover is a great school and we do our best to make sure people are as happy as possible.” Most students spend approximately four hours completing homework each night. On a scale of 1-5, 94.6% of students reported their stress level to be a 4. 54.2% of students who are “rarely” happy have never been to Graham House. The survey indicated that Graham House has a social stigma associated with it. According to the survey, female students were more willing than males to send a friend to Graham House if they were experiencing emotional or psychological distress. 9.1% of females have attempted to commit suicide or self harm and 14.6% of females have had an eating disorder while in high schools. Only 5.1% of males have attempted to harm themselves or commit suicide and 1.3% have had an eating disorder. As opposed to adults or counselors, most students said they would seek help from friends and peers if faced with a serious problem. The mode number of hours that students sleep each night was 7 hours. 65.9% of students believe that Mike MacKay will make an effective student body president. Of MacKay’s supporters, 59.8% believe the student council doesn’t represent the student body effectively. MacKay said, “There has definitely been a trend of inactivity [from student council], but part of my platform is the fact that I want to follow through with my platform. One thing I’ve already started getting done is online textbooks. I am 99% sure that textbooks will be offered to freshman biology classes online next year. We are trying to get the ball moving and I know we can do it.” 89.9% of Andover students have never attended a student council meeting. MacKay commented, “Starting with the new school year, I want to institute meetings in Kemper from 4:00 to 5:00, at which everyone is welcome. Our school is so busy that it can be difficult on occasion but I am confident that we can change this statistic and make things happen.” English and history were once again chosen by Andover students as the hardest classes when it comes to grading and have been for the past two years. The survey indicates that students believe Department of Theatre and Dance and World Languages are the easiest department for grading. This trend began several years ago and hasn’t let up. Respondents tended to have received no lower than a 3 for a term grade during their time at Andover. When asked if extracurricular and community service choices were affected by college admissions, only 21.1% of students said not at all. 93.2% of students would allow their children to go to school at Andover, a 10% increase since last year.