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Disrespect Prompts Deans, Student Leaders to Respond

Disrespect Prompts Deans, Student Leaders to Respond

Disrespect Prompts Deans, Student Leaders to Respond


Staff Writer

November 15, 2023

Ellie Keum '26

In recent weeks, the school has witnessed a growing problem with disrespectful student behavior. Among other issues, students have not cleaned up after themselves in public spaces including classrooms, the Library, Senior Quad, the Snack Bar, the Chandler Fitness Center (weight room), and Upper Mid tables. Despite several all-school meetings and emails addressing the behavior, incidents continued to occur, which prompted administrators to close a variety of facilities in recent weeks. 

On October 22, Mr. Andrew D’Ambrosio, dean of student life, emailed the student body, outlining expectations for the use of Main Building spaces. In the email, he also imposed a series of new restrictions, such as prohibiting students from eating hot meals in classrooms. He also emphasized that students may not leave their belongings in classrooms for extended periods of time while they are not present, as it takes away study and social spaces from other students. “Classrooms are not campsites,” Mr. D’Ambrosio wrote. 

Mr. D’Ambrosio also asked that students improve their language in the Main Building. He wrote, “These are common spaces, and there is entirely too much profanity used throughout the day.” Ms. Marcie Wistar, director of student activities, said, “When I have work to do, I often wind up in the Student Center. When I’m in there, students are just profane with their language.” 

A series of repeated failures to clean up Upper Mid tables outside of the snack bar led Mr. D’Ambrosio to close the tables from October 31 to November 3. 

On November 5, only two days after the Upper Mid tables were reopened, Mr. Dempsey Quinn, director of athletics, closed the weight room indefinitely as a result of “blatant lack of respect for the weight room and complete disregard for Mr. D’Ambrosio’s message at All-School.” 

He attached images of the weight room in disarray, with free weights, unracked plates, and other equipment scattered across the floor. 

The weight room reopened on Wednesday, November 8 only after a group of Seniors organized an effort to clean up the space and create a list of standards for its use. 

Another serious incident occurred while students awaited the Head of School Holiday on November 2. On an all-school email chain, a student sent an image of another student making an obscene gesture, accompanied by the message, “To Mr. Bradley, if there’s no holiday.” 

Speaking about the incident, Mr. D’Ambrosio said, “The email culture in general needs to change. One matter I wish to look into is the revocation of all-student email access. There are no important reasons why students should have the ability to email the rest of the student body [with the exception of student leaders].” 

Mr. D’Ambrosio and Ms. Wistar believe that inconsiderate conduct, while not new, has been increasing this year. Ms. Wistar said, “We’re finding this behavior more consistently, even with some reminders. I just hope that students understand that teachers love working here. They really want it to be at a place where everyone feels comfortable and welcome. It should feel more like home than it does right now.” Mr. D’Ambrosio said, “Unfortunately, students currently seem not to mind living in a mess, allowing their peers to treat each other badly, and generally lacking the ability to hold this place dear.” 

Natalie Klemm ’26 said, “People should treat this space like they would like their home to be treated, because this is a home we all share. Personally, I have not been impaired by the behavior on campus, but I cannot say the same for other people such as the Dining Hall staff and other people who keep this place beautiful.” 

All-school Presidents Anji Ashaye ’24 and Jacquo Pierre ’24 spoke at an All-School Meeting addressing the problematic behavior. Ashaye said, “With all the fun and energy we had and will have throughout the year, we want to remind everyone it’s never necessary to be disrespectful. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the mob mentality. Take a second to think about how the decisions you make impact the people around you.” 

The pair held a Stu-Fac meeting on November 6 for student leaders and faculty to discuss the issue and brainstorm ways to resolve it. The notes from this meeting were shared with the community by Isamar Martinez ’24, communications director, in the “Stu-Fac Notes 2023-2024” document. 

There have already been two meetings of the Disciplinary Committee regarding disrespectful behavior since September. Mr. D’Ambrosio has indicated that he plans to continue taking disrespect seriously.

Ellie Keum is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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