New members join Council, the push for Freshman Off-Campus continues – Council Update 9/19/18

Three new members joined Council this week: Hayden Christensen (‘20), Saia Patel (‘22), and Dylan Hendrick (‘22). In addition, the following community members were approved for the year:  Kirsten Elin, Kathy Marshall, Jen Gantrish, and Maggie Minnock Taylor. The usual reports carried out, and the Student Life committee was discussing the possibility of implementing a smoothie bar and a Make-Your-Own Sandwich bar in the cafeteria. OEC reminded us that the J-Comm Elections will be held on Tuesday, October 2nd.

On the main agenda were the money allocations to the Improv Club and the Freshman Off-Campus motion.

The Improv Club requested $650 for the school year, to cover the registration fees needed to attend the National Comedy Theatres National Improv Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona. The money allocation passed. 

Next, Council continued the discussion of freshman off-campus motion which carried on from the required freshman meeting last week. Mason Winter (‘19) opened the conversation saying that the principal is still opposed to the motion, as apparent in his veto of a similar motion made a few years ago. Other members emphasized that if this motion passes, freshman should treat off-campus as a privilege, not a right. It is also important to have a discussion with families and the community before Council takes action. Thanks to the reminder of a sophomore representative, Council moved into the discussion of the Co-op Corridor Amendment rather than the motion as a whole. The Co-op Corridor Amendment serves to limit the expanse of freshman off-campus to the Co-op only. Ms. Ceplikas succinctly refuted the amendment stating that its major problem is that it is not enforceable. No upperclassmen will go around the school campus to police freshman if they aren’t going to the Co-op. Julie Stevenson, the dean of students, also confirmed that such amendment would be too complicated to manage.  Another question brought up was whether it is better to we give the freshman all or nothing for off-campus, since giving them partial privilege creates unnecessary gray areas.

All in all, the problem with freshman off-campus for people isn’t that they aren’t mature enough. James Kirkpatrick (‘22) said that there is no correlation between grade and the number of incidents off-campus. But rather, adopting freshman off-campus calls into question how we should sustain the culture at our school. It is important that freshman truly find their place before they use off-campus for their own good.

Afterward, Moderator Colm Seigne adjourned the Council meeting.

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