This Friday marks the one year anniversary of the publication of the groundbreaking Letter to the Editor that asserted the existence of gender inequality at Andover and condemned the accompanying student apathy. Written by MJ Engel ’13, Gabbi Fisher ’13, Samuel Green ’13, Maia Hirschler ’13 and Henry Kennelly ’13, the Letter served to “break that silence” of this inequity and subsequently sparked the “Feminism is Equality” movement that swept through campus last spring. These students actively brought forth a prominent issue on campus that they wished to change, bringing gender equality to the forefront in conversations among student, faculty and administrators that have persisted to this day.
This week, The Phillipian was approached by several student leaders on campus. Seeking to be heard, 25 students wrote, edited or co-signed six articles and a Letter to the Editor on topics relating to issues of race and socioeconomic diversity at Andover. Addressing issues of racial and socioeconomic identity, these articles respond to the question, “What does it mean to be ‘diverse’ at Andover?”
The Phillipian did not solicit this collection of articles on race. Instead, it is the result of pure student initiative. This further stresses the necessity of addressing the concerns they raise.
We do not live in a post-race, post-class society, and Andover is not a post-race, post-class community. This school is not flawless, and it is by no means without stereotypes, classism and racism. To our own detriment, The Phillipian CXXXVII suffers from a lack of diversity, consisting of only white and Asian students. As a board with a lack of scope pertaining to this subject, we are grateful for the contributions from these students, and their willingness to share their personal stories in order to bring issues of race and class into sharper focus.
So read on. Learn about the experiences of your peers — the friends you laugh with in Commons, the teammates you trust on the field, the students you admire in the classroom. But more importantly, engage. Ask questions and start the conversation. Only through open discourse can we begin to find solutions to the critical issues presented here.