This past Wednesday, a group of students organized a die-in in solidarity with the national movement against racist state violence. Around 100 students arrived in Ross dining hall at 10:30, lying down in every corner of the room, as students Rubby Paulino, Kizzy Joseph, and Elizabeth Dunn read a series of statements recounting recent police killings like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and calling for the student body to join in solidarity. You can find some of the statements below, and Molly Stuart’s video footage of the event above. If you are interested in learning more about student activism around these issues, see here.
In case you missed last night’s die-in at midnight breakfast in Ross, students have organized a discussion tonight at 5 PM in the Warner Hemicycle about developing student activism at Middlebury in light of the
nationwide worldwide mobilization against race-based police brutality. This is the second in a continued effort from student organizers to bring the heightened national awareness of the persistent racism in the U.S. back to Middlebury through actions like last night’s die-in, developing ways to combat racism on campus, in Middlebury, and back home. Hope to see you there.
When: Today, 5 PM
Where: Warner Hemicycle
What better way to sneak a break from finals work than watching a series of short films created by your incredibly talented peers? Answer: none. Get pumped, because tonight the Film and Media department invites us all to attend a screening of final Sight and Sound II and Animation work in Dana Auditorium, fo freee! The lineup is stacked, to say the least. Some features middbeat is especially stoked to promote include:
The FMMC final screening is always a highlight of the semester. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll temporarily forget your finals woes. Grab a friend and some snacks, and be there at 7:30.
Date: Tonight, December 4
Time: 7:30 – 9:30ish (you can leave between films)
Place: Dana Auditorium
Roger Winters ’17 writes in:
Come listen to Middlebury’s all-male Acapella group Stuck in the Middle this Saturday evening at 8pm in the Abernathy Room. They have a bunch of great new songs and rumor has it there will be some appearances by the rejects of the preidential search! Ever wondered who else applied for the job maybe siamese twins, or a cross-dresser, or Malhalo Mailikiewalo?!! Well this is your chance to see and hear all about it. Plus it will be a great way to shake off the edge of finals!
When: Tonight 8 PM
Where: Abernathy Room
A reminder that today at 4:30 in the Warner Hemicycle there will be a follow up discussion to last Tuesday’s deliberation regarding the last week’s events in Ferguson, MO. Mario Picon and Angie Segura write in:
As some of you may know, there was a meeting on Tuesday November 25th held by Jamie McCallum and Rebecca Tiger. It was a deliberation about the court’s decision on the events in Ferguson. Many people, due to break, were unable to participate. However, Thursday December 4th there will be a continuation/brain storm about further action for Middlebury College to pursue. Come join the community to discuss a topic that has affected/effects many of us dearly this Thursday and express your ideas and thoughts about future action you would like to see on Middlebury’s campus!
When: Today 4:30 PM
Where: Warner Hemicycle
Cost: your open mind and ideas
Last Monday was a big moment in contemporary American racial politics. A grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict (now ex)-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, spurring on both local and nation-wide protest at a level not seen since this past summer’s headline grabbing upheaval. While many anticipated this decision as the natural conclusion for a criminal justice system tipped against black and brown Americans, the decision not to indict the Wilson confirmed the worst nightmares of those hoping for a mere glimmer of justice in an otherwise bleak scenario.
Opinions over the court case aside, the ever developing story line and movement surrounding Brown’s death has ushered in a new wave of discussion and scrutiny of race in the U.S. I would be surprised if many reading this article today passed their full Thanksgiving without at least a mention of Ferguson, let alone a meal-prolonging, heated debate about the myriad levels of structural and phenomenological issues presented by this poignant example of state violence against people of color. Such discussions are productive, passionate, and ongoing, yet often fail to involve the personal other than opinion. It is much easier to talk about the events leading up to Brown’s death, the evidence presented to the grand jury, and the merit of non-violent vs. violent protest than it is to delve into how we personally (and by we I largely mean those of benefiting from white privilege; more on that later) are implicated in the larger arena of racial politics.
Come out to Translingual Magazine’s Fall Issue Launch Event! It’s our 5th ever issue and we’re pumped! We will have coffee, tea, Sabai Sabai food, many languages and good company. Did we mention Sabai Sabai food, many languages and good company? If you submitted, edited or read the magazine, do come, and if you know someone that did any of those things, do come too!
Date: 5th of December, Friday
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: Forest West Lounge
Rubby Valentin Paulino writes in:
Monday is National Student Walk Out Day, a national call to action created by the Ferguson Action team to unite every community that has lost people to police violence and stand in solidarity with Ferguson, MO. We hope that we can come together as a college and make a change. The visible support will add to the greater pool of demonstrations and protests that occurred this past week to bring awareness to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Let us stand together and support a mass walk out on Monday at 1:01PM —the time that Mike Brown was murdered. Leave your classes, jobs, offices and dorms with your hands up and gather in front of Mead Chapel. At the location we will honor the lives lost and read the names of POC lost due to police brutality.
The purpose of this event is to bring together people around campus who are like-minded and can work together to organize future events concerning police violence against people of color. From here we can move forward and bring our ideas to change our local communities and police practices.
Regardless of race and social class, lets come together to acknowledge the very different experiences of law enforcement that come with white privilege and being a person of color in America.
When: Today, 1:01 PM
Where: Wherever you are, hands up and walk to Mead
Cost: your solidarity with Mike Brown
Much ink has been spilled over the notion of a “Sophomore Slump.”
A simple Google search reveals that MGMT’s Congratulations was deemed mediocre at best, as was Reggie Bush’s second season with the Saints. Whether or not you believe in the prolific nature of the trend, there seems to be a quiet understanding amongst Middlebury students that there is something uniquely challenging about sophomore year. Yet many upperclassmen also tend to characterize this second year as the time when they knew the most people on campus and felt the most at ease. So, what gives? As sophomores, are we thriving as semi-acclimated veterans or are we spiraling into the depths of monotony and apathy?
Academically, we are no longer the wide-eyed newbies that arrived on campus over a year ago (or just about a year ago for the Febs).
This fall, I watch as the freshmen in my classes answer questions with admirable eagerness. I can tell that they’ve actually completed all of their readings… even the optional ones. Yet now, as a sophomore, the thought of having time to do any of my readings in their entirety is absolutely hilarious. Like laughably ridiculous.
Perhaps the sophomore workload is actually more difficult. Many of us have moved up from intro courses and freshman seminars and into upper level classes. Or maybe nothing new is really being asked of us, and the change is purely attitudinal.
There are many explanations for sophomore academic apathy. It is logical to consider that the insane, overachiever lifestyle that got us into Middlebury in the first place finally takes its toll sophomore year. Maybe the expectations for going abroad have caused us to get some pre-requisites out of the way that we don’t really have much of a desire to take. Or maybe the pressure of major declaration, which prompts us to narrow our studies slightly, has created a more monotonous academic environment.
However, I think the most compelling explanation for the collegiate sophomore slump is that, with a year under our belt, we have begun to understand what truly has the potential to make us happy at Middlebury, yet feel too confined by the academic expectations of this institution to act in our own best interest.
During freshman year, we tended to club shop until we committed to one group or ditched the effort entirely. We learned about Dunmore just as the water turned so cold that swimming qualified as a polar plunge. The Snowbowl sounded great, but we didn’t all know how to get there.
But as sophomores, we have a better sense of the daymakers, the hidden gems, the places and things previously out of reach. Maybe it’s finally finding the quarry, or successfully learning to navigate the ACTR. Maybe it’s starting to find your niche in the community and realizing a real passion for your extracurriculars. Maybe it’s your Old Stone Mill space, or your volunteer job in town, or a newly discovered section of the TAM. Regardless, by sophomore year, many of us have begun to identify something outside of schoolwork that makes Middlebury our own.
I believe that one of the publicized advantages of attending a liberal arts college is the proposition that learning environments similar to that of Middlebury are conducive to “finding oneself” academically as well as in a greater, metaphysical sense. But sometimes the pressure of an intense workload can cause academics to feel more like an impediment than a means to this self-discovery.
We sit back in class and hand in our problem sets less frequently than we’d like to. We feel fine about getting a B or B- because, hey we tried… sort of. We have a hard time shaking the feeling that schoolwork has no meaning, even though it’s ultimately why we’re here. We feel guilty and confused because we are no longer defined by our perfectionist impulses. And perhaps most importantly, we often forget how insanely lucky and privileged we are to be learning at a place like Middlebury.
Socially, things are looking up. Well, sort of…
As most of you may know, MiddIncluded is a student led movement pushing for a change in Middlebury’s Eurocentric Cultures and Civilizations requirements. Since the launch of our petition in the Fall of 2013, we have been working to ensure that Middlebury adopts a more egalitarian curriculum that
1) reflects the values Middlebury says it stands for,
2) provides greater educational opportunities,
3) educates global citizens who come from all walks of life and will go off to be leaders around the world.
To keep things moving, we need YOUR help. Join the movement!
Come to ONE of our three scheduled workshops to see what you can do (or just to find out more/give us suggestions/have a conversation with us), and go/aal to find out more about us.
Date: Friday the 21st, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of November
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Friday and 2:00 to 3:30 on Saturday and Sunday
Place: Coltrane Lounge on Friday and Ross B11 on Saturday and Sunday