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miltonkidspompons2_1Nestled in the east corner of Ware Hall, adjacent to the snack bar and student mailboxes is the student activities office, the home of Milton’s new director of student activities, Hope McAndrew, a woman who seems to have her finger on the pulse of social life at Milton.

It may be her youthful exuberance, her organizational skills, her relaxed nature, or the influence of the popular music that radiates into her office from the snackbar, but Hope McAndrew has innate ability to put a fresh spin on traditional weekend fare and successfully initiate new forms of weekend fun.

According to students and faculty alike, Hope McAndrew has breathed new life into weekends at Milton. Hope modestly attributes the success of this year’s weekend events to the excitement and energy of the students, particularly members of the Arts Board and the Class of 2002.

Hope has done her homework as well. She consults weekly with the Student Activities Association (SAA), charged with developing ideas and helping to implement them. Involved in discussions with activities directors at other boarding schools, Hope has an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Attendance at dances is up, many different student groups bring new ideas and proposals to her, and as Hope says, “I listen to the students. Almost anything is possible, within reason.”

Recent weekend events included Wolcott Open House, a Hypnotist, Arts Board Fun Night, the Gasp dance and a trip to the Wilbur Theatre to see Stomp. Upcoming events will include some old favorites, such as Beatnick Cafe and some new opportunities such as a ski trip, and a student production of Rent. Events are well publicized both through the use of email and on posters and signs plastered throughout campus.

Whether its celebrity DJ’s, new bands or student-initiated performances the students seem genuinely happy with the new direction weekend life at Milton has taken.