[Archives] June 4th, 1968
by The Milton Measure on Friday, June 7th, 2013
“You are a student: Mr. Wicks stands up and reports that the smoking proposal has been shut down; you look around you and realize just how different Milton Academy is from the rest of the world; you file out of Wigg Hall with one hundred and fifty other people who are just as sick of Seilers’ food, the faculty and Milton Academy in general as you are. The temptation is to dismiss this situation as a lost cause, to brand it as the administration’s hopeless disasters.
The immediate result of such an attitude is that the students withdraw to their houses, the faculty to the Harding room, and each group decides that it is undeniably right, that what it stands for is the correct and in fact only way to live at Milton. The already dangerous gap between students and faculty is widened, and since harmony and communication between the faculty and students are perhaps the most important factors in education, the whole nature of Milton as an educational institution is threatened.
The only way to save Milton from the disastrous course it is now following is for everybody to make an effort to communicate and understand everybody else.
Perhaps it is the students who are most at fault here. It seems that no one is willing to talk to anybody else, except fellow students, about the problems they find. The administration is dismissed as “Fascist pigs,” “dictatorial swines,” and a “united front of unreason,” and it is assumed that communication with them, let alone fruitful conversation is impossible. Hard as it is to believe, especially in the light of Monday’s announcement, after many discussions with Mr. Wicks, the faculty, and the board of trustees, one finds that there are very few Fascist pigs and dictatorial swines connected with Milton, and no united front of unreason stands arrayed against the student body.
The administration on the other hand, is also at fault. The cold announcement that smoking will still not be permitted is just one example of the aura of unreason with which the administration is surrounding itself. It may be that the decision to uphold the smoking regulations was all for the best, but the effect that it will have on the student body was clearly underestimated. It was at least not a very diplomatic gesture, and now is the time to use diplomacy. Nor did it display great flexibility, which is also badly needed. Perhaps smoking when signed out on a blue card would have helped. As it was, no matter how understanding Mr. Wicks and the faculty tried to be, it wasn’t enough. Monday morning, the students and faculty continued to drift further apart.
I repeat, it’s hard to believe but Milton Academy and its administration are reasonable, for the most part. The students are reasonable for the most part. We all know problems exist, but we’ll never work them out if people aren’t willing to talk.”
-David F. White
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