Elect to Respect

On Tuesday, Hemang Kaul ’13, Student Council President, sent an e-mail to the student body regarding the unsanctioned tearing down of Student Council co-presidential campaign posters.

Andover constantly feeds on competition. Whether it is trying out for a sports team, applying for a position in a club, striving for a better grade or even racing to snag the last travel mug in Commons, students are propelled into the breakneck rush for instant success every day.

The presidential election season only augments Andover’s competitive ecosystem. Right from the start, candidates scramble to draft creative platforms and corral their peers’ votes. In no time, Andover becomes scattered with elaborate posters, clever handouts and each candidates’ intense desire for victory.

Competition pushes students to distinguish themselves and their ideas, and to work tirelessly towards achieving their goals. This is, however, a double-edged sword. Just as much as Andover thrives on competition, it thrives on kindness too.

At the end of the day, tearing down a poster won’t ruin somebody’s life. What it will do is enforce a culture that favors self-interest over concern for others. Such a mentality contradicts Andover’s defining principles: “non sibi” and “goodness with knowledge.” Competition should foster development of the community, not just individual gains.