Like no institution can avoid, our school is facing a lot of problems and lots of complaints from students and faculty members. At the start of this year, I must admit that the school is trying to fix the issues. This seems to be something everyone is looking forward to changes. But does the complaints reduce? No. Our school is not solving the problem by solving them. Sometimes this method works out well, like solving the Great Depression by getting involved in WWII, while in many cases, it doesn’t. In the case of the Great Depression, it is like a piece of paper falls into water, and economic and social benefits from WWII is the flame that dries the paper up. The paper will break into pieces without FDR taking it out from the water with the New Deal he promoted. The same applies to the situation at Tilton — we are not going to solve anything without trying straightforward solutions towards the problem.
Two things have happened on campus recently, which I find representing the school’s policymaking and problem-solving. The first is the new inter-dorm visitation policy. The other is the most recent formal dinner in September. 30. The first one is to bring a significant influence on campus. We even had a dorm meeting only for it. If we simplify this, we can see it doesn’t answer to the concern the student government had to change the old policy at all. The only thing it does is changing the name of “boys’ dorms” and “girls’ dorms” into “blocks,” and making it stricter or just re-introduces and pressing the details in the old rule. However, the student government brought up the inter-dorm visitation policy last year is because they believe this policy is outdated from the current view on genders, and the old policy no longer prevents the students from getting into the situation it was designed to prevent. If the experimental policy that didn’t work out the first month is still an approach to that issue, the current one is far from solving the concerns brought up by the student government.
The other one seemed to have less influence on first glance, but in fact, it represents the attitude of the school this year. Last formal dinner, we cooked for ourselves in formal dress. To my understanding, formal dinner is an imitation of the formal setting we might get into either in our career or our private life. I don’t think there will be many scenarios where we will need to be in formal dress and cook for ourselves. I understand why the school does this. Everyone hates formal dinner because no one likes to be in a stressed, formal setting, especially that often. I am not saying that we should bring formal dinners to what it was, but I certainly don’t agree with what we are approaching right now. Formal dinners don’t serve the purpose to have fun or to bring the communities together — other activities do a much better job than formal dinner.
For last year, the junior GLP was asking the students to find out their “why,” while I think it extends from figuring out the inner nature to a border, and a more realistic world of problem-solving. If the program arranged by the school is teaching us to find the motivation of our actions, the school itself should do the same. Why did we want to change the inter-dorm visitation policy initially? Why do we have formal dinner in the beginning? Does what we are doing now reaches what we initially want to achieve? Those questions are more important than pleasing the students, which I feel like the school is now trying to do. In the end, all answers refer to one problem and this problem alone: what is the purpose of our school? Are we achieving it right now?
Updates 11/11: corrections made on grammar on “This seems to be something everyone is looking forward to changes.” and “Everyone hates formal dinner because no one likes to be in a stressed, formal setting, especially that often.” by editor