Counselors! How do you feel?!
Every year, the incoming freshman class visits the Pupukea area for the annual freshman camp, Camp Kuleana. In the years that this camp has been in existence, it has gone about without faltering and has kept up a very good reputation. This is due to the great combination of faculty and upperclass presence there.
This past year, the upperclass counselors got out of hand. There is not a single Peer Helper or Advanced Peer Educator that won't admit to the actions that happened up at the camps inappropriate. What happened up at Kuleana was that counselors were constantly ignoring their responsibilities and defying the authority up at the camps.
Those who were willing to admit their faults or those who were simply known at fault by the Psychosocial department, have been placed on suspension from the Punahou peer education program. Now, when I first heard about the punishments that the PHs and APEs went under, I thought that these were more than fair punishments. And the PHs that I've spoken to agree with me on that too.
But the problem that many of the PHs have is the inconsistency in the punishments that the department is giving. The faculty is relying solely on the honesty system in hopes that every student involved will confess up to the negligence of responsibility. A PH that I spoke to had this to say about their strategy, "I admit that I was involved in something that shouldn't have happened at camp. And I have no problem with the punishment. I do have a problem with me being punished for being honest at my mistakes while the other PHs and APEs that will never admit to their involvement get off without any consequences. I just don't think it's fair."
Many of the students in the PH program have signed a petition to speak with the department in a meeting about the inconsistencies and the severeness in the punishments. Dr. Bob, the Psychosocial director, had this in reply "It is totally out of the question for every PH and APE to come to a meeting between us. There is nothing further to discuss."
The same PH had this in response, "What this program is trying to teach us is the ability to communicate. Now, if the people in charge won't even speak to us with a problem that we have, then I find something very wrong with that."
So this is what my opinion is, many PHs and APEs messed up on their Kuleana stays, and it is right for them to get punished. They should honestly confess to their involvement. But, since many students won't confess, the PHs willing to admit are being punished while others are not. The problem starts up at the top, yes there is a problem with the involvement. But the department is choosing the wrong way to deal with it, and this is the problem that I have.
So when I think about the phrase "Campers, how do you feel!?!" You know what? I don't feel too good about this anymore.
Chrissy's Cray-Z Cite
A Division of Noisy Russian Productions
Copyright (R) 1999
Editor's Note -- This text was originally meant for printing purposes by the Ka Punahou newspaper. It was thus vetoed by the administration and was not allowed to be published.