Student Council reflects on a school year unlike any other

Exonians call for racial equity during closing assembly.

Adam Loyd
June 3, 2020
Seniors David Kim, Audrey Vanderslice and Leah Cohen

Seniors David Kim, Audrey Vanderslice and Leah Cohen address closing assembly.

With one day remaining in the 2019-20 school year, the Exeter community gathered virtually for closing assembly Wednesday afternoon. Student Council representatives from each grade provided a retrospective on the year from the perspective of their class. 

Leading off, Instructor in English Alex Myers and Student Council co-presidents Senai Robinson ‘21 and Charlotte Lisa ’21 addressed the current climate of the country framed by the death of Black citizens at the hands of police. 

"Closing assembly has been a tradition for many years," said Myers, a 1996 graduate of the Academy. "This year's closing assembly occurs at a terrible time of violence by police against Black people."

Myers called on Exonians to stay active and informed in the fight against racism during the summer months. 

“Even as our school year comes to end, we need to continue to work and take action against racism,” he said. “We must educate ourselves, we must learn about the history of systematic racism in the United States, we must learn about it so we can dismantle it in the current moment.”

Student Council closing assembly

“If we want Exeter to be a racial inclusive and equitable institution, we must recognize our history and actively support the Black members of our community,” Robinson said. 

Lisa added, “for all the Black members of our community that are watching — we see you, we hear you and we support you."

Speaking on behalf of the senior class, David Kim, Audrey Vanderslice and Leah Cohen urged younger Exonians to take advantage of their remaining time at the Academy with a list of “dos and don’ts.”

“Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others, get inspired by them instead,” said Cohen.

“Do try every flavor at Stillwells,” Vanderslice suggested, before Kim added “but don’t get grapenut custard.”

Ahead of the seniors, Hannah Lee ’21 touched on the traditionally challenging workload of upper year and the unique circumstances that led to spring term being held remotely. 

“We entered our upper year with expectations for the challenges we would encounter and believed our [History] 333s would be our most arduous task, but we were very, very wrong,” she said. “The circumstances of the world this year have compelled us to broaden our scope beyond our upper-year troubles and support our Exeter family all over the world.”