Snow Disrupts Student Travel on MLK Day

Heavy snowfall accompanied Andover’s 33rd Martin Luther King Jr. Day On (MLK Day) this past Monday. Due to travel and safety concerns, some day students and boarders off-campus for the weekend were not able to travel to school to attend keynote speaker Kahlil Greene’s presentation at All-School Meeting (ASM) on Monday morning.

Sadie Pease ’24, a day student from North Andover, missed the MLK Day ASM due to the snow and is unsure if she received an absence for missing ASM. Noting that many day students have struggled with similar issues around Andover’s absence policy, she shared her frustration with the school’s lack of accommodation for day students. 

“As a boarding school, I don’t think Andover is very equipped to deal with snow storms, and I don’t think they’re considerate about day students. I feel like a lot of other day students have felt that way before, about being stressed for getting cuts to classes that they were not physically able to attend,” said Pease.

Pease continued, “I didn’t even know what the procedure was for not being able to go because this was the first time that I had had this issue. But I have friends that are day students who have had similar issues where they were marked absent even though they had messaged their teachers and told them what was happening and asked for accommodations. [But] those accommodations weren’t really met.”

Pease elaborated on the safety issues that informed her decision to not go to campus that morning. According to Pease, the roads had not been plowed that morning and her car was not suited to driving in snowy conditions. Although the school had organized a live stream of the presentation through the Head of School Space on PANet, students couldn’t gain access. Pease expressed her disappointment for having missed ASM, as she felt ASM to be an important part of her MLK Day experience.

“I was actually really disappointed. I was really excited to hear this speaker, because I’ve heard great things about him, and I have seen him on social media before. So I thought it was going to be a very impactful ASM… I felt like I missed something that was a big part of my being a community member on campus. I was only at school for an hour today, and that was for my workshop, which was the only MLK Day programming I had,” said Pease.

Wendy Wang ’24, who was off-campus for the weekend, also missed ASM due to travel complications. Wang believes that the school should be better prepared for similar situations in the future by live streaming or recording ASM.

“I definitely think [the school should live stream ASM]. Since they do it for sports, I think it wouldn’t be as much of a technical problem as if they weren’t doing it for sports. My parents drove back to campus early in the morning so I can attend all the events and it was really disappointing to have missed ASM because of the snow condition,” said Wang.

Editor’s Note: Wendy Wang ’24 is an Associate News Editor for The Phillipian.