Some Confusion About Policy Board

by Asa Brown

Policy Board. Elegant words seemingly glaze over all the potential problems here in the Upper School. But I have some questions.

For starters, I am confused about Policy Board’s ability to make any sort of lasting or important changes. The supporters of Policy Board would point to the Honor Code. But to me, the Honor Code doesn’t seem to be anything more than a new name for the Disciplinary Committee. And although my skeptical bravado may seem to be the result of demanding immediate and visible changes, I am realistically confused why my vote for policy board matters. And no, I’m not one of those ‘voting doesn’t matter’ people, and I understand the work the Policy Board does. However, I believe that Policy Board’s structure and purpose needs to be modified.

To me, it seems that Policy Board has either been unable to make the student body aware of their changes or made chances in policy that are truncated and don’t solve the problems that they are intended to solve. And I’m not trying to roast the members of Policy Board; they are work hard and do their best to makes changes. For the challenges of student representation in decision making are not merely the case our humble institution. Many other schools of eleemosynary decent struggle with the same issue.

And there are other examples of failed policies besides the Honor Code. To my knowledge, the new policy on drugs and alcohol has not been utilized. Additionally, two more students were expelled this year due to drug and alcohol-related instances. Clearly, this policy, though valiant in effort, has failed on its mission to prevent complications from drugs and alcohol. And the trivia dilemma, climaxing in ‘ICUP’ shirts work by seniors last Friday epitizes the reoccurring issue that Policy Board is unable to solve: a lack of trust between students and faculty. And if Policy Board is unable to solve this distrust, why will ot even be able to, especially in its current form?

Adult-teenage conflicts and disagreements are nothing new, especially at a school as robust as OES, so having students at the decision table makes sense. But two things are true. First, I doubt Policy Board is truly at the table when it is time for the administration to make decisions. Second, teenages will always find themselves in troubling positions. Policy Board is designed to be preemptive, to prevent those positions. Unfortunately, averting those complications are pretty challenging, if not impossible. And if you think I am being completely capricious and pessimistic, and that what I am saying is false, then I challenge you to be the one who changes Policy Board, brings it to the real administrative decision making, and makes it actually solve problems.

 

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