Letter to the Editor: Reasons for Service Day truncation

Service Day editorial/counterpoint misinterpreted and misrepresented the decisions made

Mollie Ward, US History Department Chair  -  Service Day Coordinator

I think the issue of the changes to service day in light of the potential conflict by the boy’s hockey team is relevant and timely. I realize it’s a topic of conversation amongst students right now and there are some very conflicted feelings about the decision to shorten our planned service day if the team plays in a semi-final game on Friday afternoon. While I welcome discussion of this topic, I feel like there are several misinterpretations and misrepresentations within the two pieces published online today by RubicOnline that need clarification.

There seems some suggestion within the pieces that this decision was driven by athletics. While we are immensely proud of the boy’s hockey team and want to be consistent in providing opportunities to deliver fans to games, it was not the only consideration. Mr. Hughes, Dean Delgado and I felt students would be torn and we couldn’t guarantee the numbers of students we had promised to community partners in the event of a game. We wanted to be able to deliver on any promises we made, and, based on interest in the girl’s game and past experience with state tournament games, we didn’t feel like we could reasonably honor the afternoon service shifts we’d arranged. Indeed we made this decision in order to preserve our relationships with these organizations, not end them. I have contacted all members of speaker panels and all volunteer coordinators and to a person, they have responded with congratulations and understanding of the challenges presented by our teams’ success.

Even the counterpoint article reinforces the underlying assumption that the day is being truncated only to accommodate the hockey team and not as a good faith effort to honor our promises to the organizations we are partnering with for the day and make sure that all students, grades 9, 11, and 12 have an opportunity to engage in service. It was a difficult decision, and unfortunately, for time and simplicities sake, decisions were made by Mr. Hughes, the Dean and me, leading to a lack of clarity for the student leaders of the planning committee. I hope this helps explain some of the thinking behind this decision.