The Year in Review

It’s almost here, the end of the 2009-2010 school year. Many of this year’s notable events, like Andover Exeter weekend, Non-Sibi Day, Head of School’s Day and presidential elections, are routine occurences that we experience annually. However, this year was marked by more than just an adherence to yearly rituals. Throughout the school year, we argued during times of controversy, but also came together in times of joy or sadness. Essentially, we understood that both conflict and unity have their respective places at Andover. A simple look at the events of the past year show us this. The year began with with two Lowers being harassed on Bartlett Street. Later in the year another student was confronted by local residents on Bartlett Street. These events led to a discussion of safety on campus and Phillips Academy Public Safety policy, which represented a growing concern for the security of students and faculty alike. Fall term also brought the first manifestation of a controversial issue: the breathalyzer policy. When a Senior was dismissed based on refusal to take a breathalyzer, the campus was launched into controversy about the policy and the dismissal. Is the breathalyzer a violation of student rights? Or do we sign those rights away when we come to Andover? Although the policy remains unchanged for now, this event brought necessary discussion to the forefront of the Andover community. But there was more argument to come. Andover served as the set for a film called “The Social Network” about the development of Facebook and life of Mark Zuckerburg. The crew brought a replica of a statue at Harvard and filled the area in front of Paresky Commons with fake snow in order to set the scene they were filming. The set was called a nuisance by some, and a necessary source of income by others. Were we commercializing Andover? Or simply doing what needed to be done in the middle of an economic crisi? The dreaded Andover winter term, 40 degrees too cold and eight weeks too long, brought our community together for mutual support. We also celebrated the appointments of Frank Tipton and Cindy Effinger to the cluster dean positions of West Quad South and West Quad North, which will be vacated at the end of this year by Pete Wasburn and Chad Green. But winter term also saw controversy. An All-School Meeting for MLK Day featured Spike Lee, direction of Do The Right Thing among other films. Among Lee’s more controversial remarks was “race is a merit” and brief explanation of his feelings that African Americans lack the power to be racist. The resulting argument raised multiple questions over both affirmative action and the contribution a person’s racial background can make to campus. And finally, we arrived at spring term. Although there were obviously controversial events this term, a far more important occurrence demands our attention: graduation. This year, as with every other year, the Senior class will graduate from Andover. Graduation holds a special place among events as one that is always unique yet also constant through the years.. But regardless, it serves the purpose of uniting the student body under a common respect and admiration for our graduating class. This year was a year of both the routine and the unusual. Although controversy was prominent and certainly served a vital role in broadening viewpoints and perspectives on campus, we must not forget those events that brought us together. It is this attitude that we must adopt as we approach the final week of the term. And as the Class of 2011 prepares to step into leadership roles around campus, there is one final thing to say to our Seniors: Andover will miss you. This editorial represents the views of Editorial Board CXXXIII.