If approved by the administration, the new policy will increase the ratio of students to teachers, widen the age range of student members to include juniors, and add the position of student chairperson.
At present, the D.C., which acts as an advisory to Head of School Margarita Curtis, requires four faculty members and four students at each hearing.The new system would add eight more students.
Student body president Charles Giannini ’11 hopes that with this modification, students will be more willing to trust the disciplinary process.
“We want to create a committee that better represents our community,” he said.Adding juniors to the board will also ensure that the committee always has a diverse selection of members.
This change will also bring the respect associated with being a community leader to those on the committee.“We believe that a seat on the D.C. is a leadership position comparable to a position on Student Council or proctorship,” said Giannini.
Dr. Curtis values the advice of the current D.C. but is confident that this change can be for the better.
“Including a wider body of members will surely advance the committee’s ability to make a balanced and carefully deliberated judgment,” she said.
Some object to equating a student’s judgment to that of the faculty or administration.
“This is a prep school, not a democratic society,” said Eliot Taft ’11.“A teenager, whose brain has not yet fully developed, should not have more, or even equal, say than a teacher with a masters or Ph.D.It’s completely ridiculous.”
However, both Giannini and Dr. Curtis trust that those selected will be capable of taking on this responsibility, because with this system, the D.C. will never be without experienced committee members.
“That scaffolding is strong enough to support students as they hone their critical thinking skills,” said Dr. Curtis.