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Claire Petrus '16 Contributing Writer
October 28, 2015

Read the Anti-Village article here.

BREAKING NEWS: freshman girl and boy seen walking on campus are not a couple. I repeat: they are not a couple! This is not an isolated incident, either. All over Deerfield Academy, 9th grade males and females are interacting in non-sexual ways. Although school has just begun, this odd behavior has become an epidemic of sorts. WHAT IS CAUSING THIS MADNESS? (or friendship as they call it in the real world…)? It appears that the only explanation for this outlandish behavior is The Freshman Village.

Rachel Yao
Rachel Yao

The Village is responsible for this UPHEAVAL in Deerfield culture.  However, many are denouncing The Village as a DESTRUCTION of tradition. I apologize, but I need a moment to comprehend the absolute absurdity of this situation. People are upset because The Village is fostering relationships between boys and girls where their clothes actually stay on? People are upset because the 9th graders do not run away in sheer terror when they see seniors?

Are you kidding me?  It’s a bad thing that The Village is starting to fix some of the fundamental cultural issues at this school?  Oh, that’s right, I forgot. Deerfield can’t follow the social “norms” of society. We are an institution deeply rooted in tradition and that’s what makes us different from our peer schools. To alter the culture here would be considered a heinous act. Even if that culture promotes clapping a couple out of the Greer and sitting at gender-segregated tables, it should stay because it’s tradition  — and tradition always prevails at the Academy.

According to some, there are no instances of tradition having adverse effects on the culture of Deerfield. Well, except for the tradition of not accepting black students, and the tradition of being an all boys school — oh, and the tradition of having sit-down breakfasts. But other than these negligible traditions, everything else has been great…

Altering tradition requires change, which is difficult for everyone. Last year, people were upset about the plan for The Village because it required a large change in the structure of the school. One of the biggest arguments against The Village was that the boys would no longer be able to have constant sleepovers with their BFFs in Johnson and Doubleday.

These negative sentiments carried over from last year and influenced people’s opinions of The Village when they arrived back at school.  This pessimism towards The Village only increased as returners noticed a change not only in the physical location of the freshmen, but also in their attitude and actions on campus. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the way the freshmen are acting this year. How can more confidence and healthier relationships be a bad thing?

The Village is changing the culture of this school, and that’s the main reason why I am for it. Although it’s going to take years before the full effects of The Village are apparent, even now I can see the positive impact it is having on the cultural issues at Deerfield.

The 9th graders finally have a place where they can feel confident in forging their own traditions at Deerfield. They can figure out friendships, student life, and more, without the influence of other grades. The Village is helping them prepare for the unknown at Deerfield, and although it will take time, eventually they will leave the (Crowe’s) nest.