A Deep Dive into Stu-Fac


Alex Chou '23

Students gather in the Faculty Lounge for Stu-Fac on the night of October 11.

The issues discussed at Stu-Fac meetings include any range of school-related concerns, from interdorming to Senior privileges to trips to Salisbury.

Every Monday at 7pm, all members of the community are invited to the Faculty Lounge to discuss school-related issues. All-school presidents Sydney Goldstein ’22 and Izhaar Rosa ’22 set the agenda for each week. Some meetings, such as the Drug & Alcohol policy meeting on September 27, devote the entirety of the discussion to   a specific subject, while other meetings do not have a set agenda.

The seven members of the Faculty Council, elected at the end of last school year by fellow faculty, always  attend    the meetings. The Council includes Dr. Jeffrey Blevins, instructor in English, Mr. William Boscow ’11, assistant director of admission, Mrs. Liz Dittmer, instructor in math, Dr. Thomas Fisher, instructor in history, philosophy & religion, Ms. Lauren-Anne Konopka, instructor in math, Mr. Cooper Puls ’11, head coach of wrestling, and Mr. Samuel Somera, instructor in humanities and social sciences. Class Presidents attend every Stu-Fac meeting, while Class Council members are required to attend at least two meetings per month. 

The goal of Stu-Fac meetings is to create space for students and faculty to voice their thoughts and concerns with regards to life at school. Goldstein says, “The reason [Stu-Fac] is important to me and Izhaar is because we want to hear from a range of different people with varying opinions. It’s especially helpful when we have an idea that needs to be polished, like the new drug and alcohol policy. We needed to bring that to Stu-Fac to hear people’s opinions so we could change the policy accordingly. It’s also really helpful to hear from people about issues that we aren’t necessarily aware of.” 

Margie Bowen ’22, Stu-Fac student activities & communications representative, aids the all-school presidents in organizing meetings. As part of an initiative to increase transparency in student government, Bowen, Goldstein, and Rosa maintain a page on the Hotchkiss Hub with summaries of each meeting, and forms to submit future topics of discussion.

Stu-Fac meetings to date:

September 22: Interdorming Fishbowl

Goldstein and Rosa kicked off the fishbowl by asking students and faculty how the school could move interdorming rules away from heteronormativity and the gender binary. Their proposed solution was having students fill out an online form while in other dormitories of any gender, no matter the time of day. Concerns about that policy included a lack of accountability and issues with student safety. Participants of the meeting also discussed their concerns about the current interdorming policy – found in the Almanac – which include inconsistencies of enforcement, lack of privacy, and lack of trust in students. 

September 27: Drug and Alcohol Policy

The purpose of this Stu-Fac meeting was to discuss a new drug and alcohol policy that would move away from No-Chance, the current policy, where any student found in use or possession of drugs or alcohol is automatically dismissed. Goldstein and Rosa proposed a policy in which students found in violation of rules regarding drugs and alcohol would be placed on General Probation and be subject to random drug or alcohol testing. Students would be suspended from publicly representing the school, and they would also be required to follow the recommendations of the Health Center in terms of rehabilitation. Students would also need to  resign from elected or appointed positions. Goldstein and Rosa said, “We believe this is a more comprehensive and inclusive reaction towards a policy that impacts the most vulnerable members of our community. With a shift toward rehabilitation over ostracization, we can continue our work toward a more just Hotchkiss.”

Some concerns about the proposed new policy included isolation and humiliation of students who are caught in violation of the policy and higher stakes for certain students, e.g. athletes in their main sports season versus their off-season. In response to this Stu-Fac meeting, Peyton Wexler ’22 wrote an Opinions article in support of ending the No-Chance policy, which can be found on page 4. 

October 4: Open Meeting

Topics brought up at this open meeting, only the second of the year, included an update on how interdorming for lowerclassmen proctors and residents of Baechle-Ayres has been going, questions about eating in Main Building, a discussion of Senior traditions, and ranked-choice voting for student elections. 

Mary Tyree ’23, who attended this meeting, said “The discussion we had on Senior privileges was especially interesting. Some members of the administration feel they take away from broader school collegiality, but we typically come back to the point that they bind classes together and result in lifelong friendships that characterize Hotchkiss classmates.” 

Anyone can suggest discussion topics  during Stu-Fac meetings. Community members can also submit topics for conversation through the Hotchkiss Hub.