Policy Board Update

by Regina Logan

It’s become clear that some of you think we aren’t doing a whole lot on Policy Board. As a second year policy board member, I know that’s not true — and recognize why it could seem to be.

We’re more likely to be found in the Deanery or the Admissions Office than on the sideline of a lacrosse game, and we’re definitely not the loudest bunch of people, so it doesn’t surprise me that some of you don’t know we exist. So what are we doing besides eating donuts? Here’s your rundown:

We’re currently working on three long term projects (Dress Code, Honor Code, and Dorm + Day Student Relations), each managed by a “small group” of two or three people. On top of that, we have a separate small group managing shorter-term/impromptu topics and projects. Check out blurbs from each of the groups below.

Developing an Honor Code

From Rachael Haugh, Daniel Ewnetu, and Naomi Zhao:

We are working on consolidating and replacing our current school rules with an honor code. Through our research, we have been in contact with other schools and we have read through many different existing honor codes to determine how to best shape our honor code to represent the core values of our community. We are currently in the drafting stages of the Honor Code and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

Revising the Dress Code

From Simon Hatcher and Jen Lee:

Be Appropriate! Um .. okay, but what does that mean? Policy Board is digging deeply into what this question means when it comes to student dress. We’re writing a proposal to revise the current dress code to address gender bias, unclear standards, patchy enforcement and more.

Dorm and Day Student Interaction

From Steven Cockey, Annie Cheng and Jeff Dong:

In the opening weeks of Policy Board, we have discussed multiple issues in the dorms that affect interaction between day and dorm students. This discussion prompted us to get in contact with the admissions department to learn more about diversity and discuss the cultural dynamics in the Upper School.

Miscellaneous

From Regina Logan and Sierra Welly:

We’re addressing multiple topics including, but not limited to, parking maintenance, sports culture, academic set up/requirements, and lunch meeting schedules/room reservations.

Our most pressing topic is reviewing, and possibly revising, our schools amnesty policy surrounding drugs and alcohol. The current policy, as found in the OES handbook, reads:

“Rule: There will be no possession, use, distribution or display of alcohol, nicotine, or illicit drugs on or off campus.

Explanation: Prohibitions include alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverage containers, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and illicit or dangerous drugs of any kind. Any over-the-counter or prescription drug used for a purpose other than its primary indication will be considered illicit. If any student comes forward with concern about his or her own alcohol, nicotine, or other drug use, the use will be dealt with as a counseling/health issue, not a disciplinary issue. (Could we add something here about safety/in the moment). However, the student must comply with school rules regarding alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs while receiving assistance.”

We’re in talks with senior DC rep, Jared Cloutier, our school counselor, Amanda Weber-Welsh, our nurse, Elaine Elliott, the head of school, Jordan Elliott, and the deans of students, Deb Walsh and Kara Tambellini, to assess whether the spirit and practice of our current amnesty policy meets the needs of students in regards to health and safety surrounding substance usage.

If you have questions, concerns or commentary about anything that you saw (or didn’t see), Policy Board is holding an info/Q&A session during X Period on January 8th. And you can always do so by contact any policy board member or faculty advisor. Or, join us for an activity through the use of one of our open seats! Just let us know in advance, and we’ll save you a donut.

 

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