A Call to Congress

Next Monday, Student Council will hold this year’s School Congress in an effort to encourage and include students in the conversation to reevaluate Andover’s calendar and schedule.

In the past, only a small group of designated campus leaders had the privilege to attend Student Congress. In 2013, however, Student Congress became open to the entire student body to bring together students and faculty to collaboratively address issues on campus. Yet student turnout has been dishearteningly low: 90 students attended in 2013. Last year, only 40 students attended last winter, greatly outnumbered by the 150 faculty present for the discussions.

Most of the School Congress conversations last January focused on sexual education, parietal rules, sexuality, and current policies about sexual activity at school–the very topics that took the student body by storm only a few months later. Last spring’s discussion proved that we are deeply invested in the future of our community; why, then, did only 40 of approximately 1,100 students recognize the valuable opportunity to influence our school last winter?

Right now, we are on the precipice of real change. With the recent approval of the 2014 Strategic Plan and the launch of the Tang Institute, the school is in a period of assessment and planning. The faculty and administration are looking to students to help raise and address the problems we face every day. How can we ensure that we all get those 9.25 hours of sleep every week? How can we utilize the two weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter breaks in a meaningful way? We are in the unique position to add our voices and enact real change.

We can do better than years past. This year’s School Congress has been well-advertised, given the schoolwide email from Student Body Co-Presidents Rebecca Somer ’15 and David Gutierrez ’15, and it will be held at a convenient time in Samuel Phillips.

See you on Monday.

_This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXVII._