Non Sibi Day 2014 to be Held in April

The Andover community will participate in a remodeled Non Sibi Day on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, 2014, according to an e-mail sent this Wednesday by Head of School John Palfrey and Monique Cueto-Potts, Director of Community Service.

Students will be able to choose one of the days to participate, and classes and athletic practices will be canceled on Friday, according to the e-mail. The day will consist of seminars with speakers or panels, documentary viewings or on- and off-campus activities with Andover’s community partners.

“It is a huge commitment from the institution to cancel a day of classes and show that Non Sibi Day is just as important [as a] learning day. Non Sibi Day is a learning day, just like a day of classes would be, just not in a traditional classroom environment,” said Cueto-Potts.

As opposed to the previous model of students selecting any project they want, they will instead have to pick an activity that falls under their grade’s theme, according to Cueto-Potts. Juniors will focus on education and youth services, Lowers on the environment, Uppers on hunger and Seniors on homelessness.

“One of the goals of Non Sibi Day was to connect the work we do on Non Sibi Day to the ongoing work that the Community Service Office as well as all the Andover volunteers do on a daily basis. These four social issues are ones that run through most of our programming,” said Cueto-Potts.

She continued, “What we want to do, for example, is introduce a ninth grader to a program such as the Lawrence Boys and Girls club on Non Sibi Day, so that the following fall, if he liked his one day, he might sign up for the program.”

The April 30, 2014 All-School Meeting will be dedicated to a community-wide reflection about the Non Sibi events and what Non Sibi means to the Andover community, according to Palfrey’s e-mail.

“Trying to reflect after a project day is really hard because people are tired, hungry or rushing off to something else, so one of our main goals was to create another time where we as a community can reflect on what we did and how we can learn from it,” said Cueto-Potts.

Because last year’s Non Sibi Day coincided with Columbus Day Weekend, several of Andover’s partners were closed. As there was not enough space for 1,200 people to participate, only new students were required to participate, [according to a previous article in _The Phillipian_](

Cueto-Potts said, “We were waiting for the right time to really re-model the Non Sibi Day Program, and the time presented itself last year after a few large transitions. With some new leadership in the office that was going to be a little bit more permanent, as well as a greater desire to make Non Sibi Day something that was an improvement on what we had been doing, this past year seemed like the right year to try out a new model.”

A Non Sibi Day Steering Committee was assembled last fall, according to Cueto-Potts. The committee came up with several different models of what Non Sibi Day could look like, and then they presented the models to other committees of adults on campus as well as a committee of 15 students, most of whom were from the Class of 2013. The model that will be taking place this spring was the favorite, according to Cueto-Potts.

The Committee was made up of Eugene Hughes, Instructor and Chair in French, Tracy Ainsworth, Instructor in History, Raj Mundra, Pine Knoll Cluster Dean and Instructor in Biology, Gail Ralston, Office Manager of the Chaplaincy Office, Linda Griffith, Dean of Community and Multicultural Development, Carlos Hoyt, Associate Dean of Students, Elisabeth Tully, Director of the Oliver W. Holmes Library, Carol Israel, Director of Graham House, Sarah Coghlan, Assistant Director of Community Service, and Mark Cutler, Instructor in Spanish.