In its second year, Connect4 is presenting another year filled with events and meetings. Through the program, students are able to meet new people throughout the dorm and through sister/brother halls. Class bonding at events such as Camp Becket creates more unity within the grades.
Although the intentions of the program strive to be beneficial to the student body, the Academy’s residential issues cannot be fixed by required meetings and prepared lists of questions. New required hall meetings are beginning to seem pointless and contrived due to its forced nature and excessive use around campus.
The sessions themselves are one of the weaknesses of the program. In the first Connect4 meeting of the year, the subject of the session was stress. Ironically, many students came out of the meeting feeling more stressed than they did before because of the lost time and the mention of others’ stressors. A fault of the program is the emphasis on talking, not doing. Connect4 is on the right track by acknowledging issues, but without solutions to the issues, how can any goals be reached?
Another reason for Connect4’s loss of appeal is due to its conflict with student schedules and clocks. Hall mates share personal moments in their own time, which makes sessions feel insincere and uncomfortable. Connect4 administrators need to realize that bringing out food and an optional meeting on a topic of conversation is all they need to get students talking.
Connect4 also fails to see opportunities outside of the residential world at Deerfield. For all Connect4 says about being inclusive, where do the day students fit in? In addition, class bonding would be beneficial, as students already spend a significant amount of time on their halls.