Our purpose is to both create a community for high school students to come together and engage in stimulating discussion, and to provide a resting place, albeit brief, for students who wish to take a break from their busy—and never-ending, really—school lives.
Originally this project was designed to include students from all kinds of schools—arts, theater, private, public, all girls, all boys, boarding, day,..—until we realized that, for the sake of practicality, we could not. In fear that the project would become too expansive and thus unmanageable, we needed to find a way to contain the types of schools to commence this project with. And because the founder of this project was a student from a Massachusetts boarding school, at the time it simply made the most sense to reach out to students in other Massachusetts boarding schools. Similarly, the eight specific schools were not chosen out of exclusivity, but out of practicality. The list of schools on the masthead of The Tavern may very well change or expand in coming years, but as of now, we’re trying to see if even this group of eight can be maintained.
However, this is not to say that The Tavern is a thoughtpaper for an exclusive band of eight schools. In fact, through our Facebook page and “Submit” tab, we hope to engage with people outside our community, including but not limited to other high school students, out-of-state boarding school students, parents, and prospective boarding school students.
We hope our readers regard The Tavern not only as an engaging paper, but as a comforting place for thought and repose.
Thoughtpaper v. Newspaper
Here at The Tavern, we take titles very seriously. After thinking about our specific goal as a paper, we realized we weren't interested in reporting news, since we believe that to be the role of our individual school newspapers. Instead, our goal is to provide a platform for students from different institutions to engage in thoughtful dialogue and civil discourse. So rather than a newspaper with the occasional thought piece, The Tavern is a thoughtpaper with the occasional news piece.
The Tavern has been officially endorsed by many, but not all, of its participating schools. With that said, however, The Tavern is an independent, student-produced publication. Our writers' individual thoughts do not represent any school or any singular school experience, as we are individual student voices from these different schools, coming together and sharing ideas. The fact that many of our schools have officially endorsed The Tavern does not detract from this prior statement, as we are still independent and individual voices. The Tavern retains copyrights for all our content, so please do not copy or reproduce without permission.
Why "The Tavern"?
We call ourselves The Tavern because, throughout history, taverns have served as important establishments for many communities, not only as news posts, but also as places for people to meet and share ideas. Imagine a stressed out and worn down boarding student. He is metaphorically wandering around the desert of unsatisfactory SAT scores, lack of sleep, over-accomplished classmates, critically slipping GPA, and a calendar marked 109 school days left. He trudges on because he knows, once in three weeks, in the middle of the desert will appear The Tavern, keeper of all weary boarding students. He walks in and we, the keepers of the inn, beckon him to sit near the hearty hearth of our home and hand him an issue of The Tavern. Call it brainfood or call it comfort—whatever it is, he has finally found a comforting place for thought and repose after one bloody month of school.
Some critics argue that The Tavern is an inappropriate name for a community of eager-to-learn high school students, considering its historical association with alcohol. As much as we understand this concern, however, we think it is outdated. By naming our thoughtpaper The Tavern, we are in fact renewing its modern day definition to embody collaboration, intellect, and civil discourse. With that said, however, we still want to honor certain aspects of the historical "tavern". Taverns from the past have strongly been associated with community and fun, as places for people to come together and form communities. We emphasize fun because one of our goals is to in fact make the exchange of ideas a fun effort, an effort that is about bonding and binding across our schools. As we grow as an organization, we hope that The Tavern does in fact become a social and fun gathering spot, and in that exchange, we hope real substance gets talked about. Just by brushing shoulders with each other, good ideas can emerge. So all of this is to say: The Tavern feels right.
In media, our generation has often been referred to as the “New Generation” because the 21st century lifestyle has required us to pursue lifestyles drastically different from those in the past. In fact, our generation is being tailored to work in collaboration from the get-go. We are expected to believe in the notion that better work comes out of collaboration, so in that sense, we think The Tavern is an incredibly apt—if not the best possible—name for our organization, since in merely one word it instills everything we value: communication, collaboration, harmony, and—last but most definitely not least—fun.