Why Are Our BOM Tappings Important?

Kathryn Gaudet '19

Forest Ma, Editor

The Board of Monitors “tapped” into office new middle school and postgraduate inductees this past month.

Every year, Worcester Academy has a “BOM Tapping,” an all-school assembly during which members of the Board of Monitors introduce newly elected members into the organization. New monitors are presented in front of the school, and receive a pin before they sit with the rest of the BOM and officially become sworn into office.

But the BOM Tapping isn’t just a routine transition of formal confirmation. It functions as a source of motivation and of the realization of responsibility for new members, as well as a rite of leadership for old ones. 

Everyone knows the new BOM will sit in those chairs at the end of the day, but it’s the walk up the carpet to the panel; the inductee’s first confrontation to the multitude of those they represent; and the gesture of the old leading the new that make an impact on the BOM members more than anything else.

Ian Gachunga ‘20, Second Monitor,  said the act of tapping some of the new BOM, through clipping the pin on their suits and vowing them into office, opened up a sense of the burden of responsibility.

“It was a sense of leadership that I felt during the moment, along with a sense of fear for if I’m going to do it correctly,” Ian said.

As much as the tapping impacted each monitor, it also brought the organization more closely together. Senior International Monitor Alvin Jiang ‘20, who tapped the bell, said the upper school monitors rarely get “in touch with with the Middle School BOM.”

“Without the BOM tapping, the Middle School and Upper School are kind of separated,” Alvin said. “We don’t get to know a lot of middle school kids but at least [through the tapping] we know their faces. So I feel like that’s important.”

Moreover, the age-old tapping bell and the antique sounds of the familiar bagpipe symbolize something more than a showy exhibition – they’re one of the school’s deeply ingrained traditions. Ian said he thought this aspect of tradition during the tapping gave him a sense of his own value to the BOM.

“You really feel that when you’re being inducted into this, this tradition in front of the entire student body, you feel like you’re actually making a difference, you feel like you’re actually you’re about to do something important. As Uncle Ben once said in ‘Spider-Man,’ with great power comes great responsibility.”