Unlike previous years, our ten Blue Key Heads were not the only ones wearing red lipstick this Valentine’s Day. After the administrative decision to ban Blue Key Head Kisses, much of the student body wore red lipstick in defense of the long standing Andover tradition.
Although a great number of students have already expressed their disappointment regarding the loss of the unique Valentine’s tradition, we are most frustrated by the lack of transparency and communication between the administration and the student body in regard to this change.
This divergence from tradition reportedly stemmed from a longer conversation regarding the Blue Key Head kisses tradition. Two years ago, it was decided that clear, verbal consent was required prior to receiving a Blue Key Head kiss. Given the years of discussion prior to the decision, it’s surprising that students were not invited to discuss the issue or officially notified more than 24 hours before Valentine’s Day. While we appreciate the transparency of the the administration after the decision, there should have been opportunities for students to voice their opinions while the decision was being made.
Beyond this instance, there is a pattern in the lack of correspondence between the administration and the students. Just last week, more than 500 students signed a petition against the repurposing of Pearson A. Last year, much of the student body was in uproar about the implementation of the
4×5 schedule, later reversed after further discourse with both students and faculty.
Students recognize this problem. The petition to save Pearson A was an exceptional display of solidarity among Andover students who want to be heard. Those running for leadership positions also often emphasize the need for more transparency in their platforms — it was mentioned in all three co-presidential candidate pairs’ platforms last year. Our elected student government representatives are eager to serve as the bridge between the administration and the student body, recognizing and emphasizing the need for open communication channels.
Traditions change, but new traditions should be built with the involvement of the entire community. It is up to all of us – students, teachers, and administration alike – to make sure that these avenues for conversation are being used to their fullest capability.
This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian, vol. CXLI