Ode to OPP
This past Monday, students awoke to a snow-blanketed campus strewn with broken branches and a few felled trees. But despite the apparent disaster around campus, students’ primary worry Monday morning was a cold science building, not smashed buildings or live wires on the paths.
The student body owes many thanks to the Office of Physical Plant and Public Safety for preparing for the snow, making campus safe after the storm and maintaining the continuity of Andover life. Students at Andover often succumb to tunnel vision, focusing on individual matters, but students must not forget that it is OPP that plows tunnels through the snow, allowing the community to continue its daily activities.
The snowstorm brought into sharp relief how important OPP and Public Safety are to the lives and well being of students. The work of these members of the Andover community is often visible only in response to potential disaster. Even after the snow has melted, however, students should to be grateful for the commitment and generosity of OPP and Public Safety.
The Kaleidoscope initiative, presented as the remedy to the long-standing problem of lack of diversity of political opinion among All-School Meeting speakers, brought Ross Douthat, conservative columnist for “The New York Times,” to ASM this past Wednesday. Douthat spoke to the student body about the benefits of practicing organized religion rather than unaffiliated spirituality.
Though energetic and engaging, Douthat was hardly the conservative firebrand some students expected him to be. He took time in his speech to explain the origins of the religious perspective, which he argued developed as means of dealing with the mystery of the world, and logically rebutted contemporary criticisms of organized religion.
Many students were surprised not to be more surprised. Douthat showed how clear, analytical thinking can be used to support ideas sometimes dismissed by the liberal leaning Andover community.
Douthat was an excellent inaugural Kaleidoscope speaker, but now that many students recognize that the path of logic may lead to conservative conclusions, Andover should consider inviting a more outspoken and shocking conservative speaker to put an even more colorful kaleidoscope in front of students’ eyes.