Uttering the words “spring term” conjures up images of Spring Day, graduation, and the annual Stepping Up Bonfire. As the class of 2017 enters the last term of their Deerfield careers, the subject of senior privileges is on students’ minds.
In past years, the deans have granted senior privileges in collaboration with the Student Life Office. Proposals are submitted at the beginning of the spring term to the office, and depending on the standing behavior of the senior class, these proposals are presented to the full faculty for consideration and voting, according to Academic Dean Ivory Hills.
In the past, these privileges have included an extended AP limit, unlimited wifi hours, and late check-in. Additionally, day student seniors in the past have gained the privilege to drive boarding seniors.
Seniors generally have positive feelings about senior privileges. Will Suter ’17 said, “I think that [senior privileges] are fantastic and a part of the senior tradition…we’ve earned it.”.
Will Shuhda ’17 echoed Suter’s opinion, asserting, “They are well deserved.”
However, other seniors feel a little less positive on the matter. Jeffrey Sun ’17 said that senior privileges “could be clearer … I don’t even know what they are.” Suter and Shuhda both expressed a desire to increase the scope and reach of privileges, but Shuhda admitted that “it is unlikely.”
Other classes also have varying opinions about senior privileges. Eli Ji ’19 believes that some senior privileges, such as allowing additional APs, “promote bad habits.” Donnie Sparks ’18 disagreed, reasoning that “It gives [seniors] a chance to relax.”
To Dr. Hills, the granting of senior privileges could be interpreted as a reward to the senior class for their contributions to Deerfield. However, Dr. Hills was more reserved about the positives and negatives of rewarding all seniors equally, as he believed that while “many of our seniors are reward-worthy,” the whole senior class cannot be rewarded blanketly.
To others, senior privileges are a way of acknowledging the senior class and their contributions to the community, concretely affirming the value that the seniors add by increasing their privileges. Members of the senior class are leaders, they are older brothers and sisters, they are trusted confidantes and friends. These varied, vital, uncelebrated jobs are not easy to perform and they provide immense value to the community. Why not give the seniors a concrete token of our appreciation for their efforts?
The practice of giving seniors extra privileges during the spring term is a longtime tradition of Deerfield. The granting of these privileges does not detrimentally affect the Academy, and they may serve as a demonstration of our appreciation for the immense contributions of the senior class to the Deerfield community.