During my last two years at Deerfield, I have witnessed many changes to daily life: new exam schedule, reformed dress code, and new members of the administration. Although many of these changes have yielded a positive result for students and faculty members, I’m still concerned by the lack of representation of students in determining new administrative rules.
Deerfield, as an institution, values student and faculty relations, but where is this care reflected within the administration’s decisions?
When returning to school in the fall, I was surprised to hear about a new exam schedule going into effect, one with all exams taken over one week, because I had not heard discussions concerning the issues of the previous exam schedule.
This new schedule seemed daunting to me. I had to take six different exams in a week and multiple on some days. I felt blind-sided by the administration, and I felt like my own experience was being neglected.
As students, we are the ones who are living through these changes. Our insight is beneficial because we offer a unique perspective that the current administration does not possess.
Rather than having students fearful of and frustrated at the administration’s decisions, the administration must offer students the chance to voice our opinions and provide input for major changes before they are implemented.
We have the potential to enact change and help Deerfield make sure they are implementing rules and programs with the students’ perspective in mind.
Students have the potential to give administration members useful advice to change or implement new changes. Whether it is simply acknowledging the student’s perspective or even refining a decision to fit all of the student’s best interests, our help can increase the morale that students may have over new changes. Any advice that a student can give to administration members has the potential to make Deerfield a better place with better programs at hand.
In order to give students actual representation in these administrative decisions, Deerfield should consult student council members. Each class could vote on candidates they felt could best represent their grade, and the administration should give our leaders the option to give their opinions.
Rather than having an inaccurate virtual students voice, we could have our views actually represented in the decisions that impact our daily life.
This would help both the students and administration members gain a better understanding of the current programs they are discussing. Consulting the student council is a great and easy first step for administration members.
Another solution that could benefit the Deerfield Community is for administration members to gather in a “town-hall” like setting with students to discuss current issues on campus. These issues could be a range of topics, but the important part would be that Deerfield’s administration and students would be communicating to incorporate student voices into decision-making and to enact positive changes supported by the whole community.
At a place like Deerfield, it’s important that students have a say in the decisions that can impact their daily and academic life. As students, it is our job to shape the community into what we believe will yield a more positive and successful impact.
Although the administration members may have students’ best interests in mind, it is important that we receive actual representation in some of the important decisions made on campus.