Category Archives: Campus Life

TONIGHT: Eclectic Mix Dance Party at the Marquis Theater



Curious about the new Marquis Theater? Want to shake up your Thursday night routine? Check out this awesome dance party tonight! For those of us who complain a lot about our shortage of options on campus for social events, this seems like an interesting alternative! Mzwakithi M Shongwe ’16 writes in to middbeat:

Join us for a night of fun and good music this coming Thursday at the newly refurbished Marquis Café & Theater. The mix will encompass old school vs. new school hip-hop, r&b and a healthy dose of the latest pop hits thrown in with some EDM for good measure.

Date: Today, February 26th
Time: 10:00 PM
Place: Middlebury Marquis Theater
Cost: FREE!

TODAY: Will Stem Cells Stop the Biologic Clock? Public Talk by Dr. Hugh Taylor

5CIRMcal-1Do you like learning? Have you ever taken a science class? Ever heard of stem cells?  Or had the desire to have babies when you’re old!?

Dr. Hugh Taylor, an obstetrician and stem cell researcher at Yale will be giving us the low-down on stem cells, and in particular, their relation to aging. Dr. Taylor will be discussing how ovarian stem cells could extend fertility well beyond the normal human reproductive life span.  In addition, his research explores how these stem cells are related to human aging as a whole.

You may or may not know that these rad little dudes have huge potential to treat diseases, repair muscle tissue, and are currently one of the front runners in the race to cure cancer. In other words, this isn’t a talk you want to miss.

Come get informed…..
: Thursday, February 26
Time: 4:30pm
Place: Bi Hall 216
Cost: Fo’ FREE

Talk TODAY: “How to be a Filmmaker/Entrepreneur”

Think you might want to make films someday? Curious about what some of our alumni have been up to since graduating? Head down to Axinn this afternoon to hear alumnus Ryan Koo ’03 talk about his experiences in the film world and as the founder of the very cool website No Film School. Check out his short film, “Amateur,” below:

Date: Wednesday, February 25
4:30 – 6pm
Axinn Center 232




Last weeks moodily lit WOMP. Photo by Mike Pallozzi

As reliable as the rising sun, the swell of the sea, or the stiff tickle of a frozen moustache on a frigid February Wednesday, WOMP is returning to the Gamutt room this evening at 9 o’clock.

The headliner for the evening will be the band 4:30 Jazz Combo, who, believe it or not, are notorious for literally jamming the pants off of their crowd.

So, bring your friends, a robust spirit, and one single dollar (or two) for a lip smacking treat (think crepes but way better). If you play an instrument, sing, dance, squabble or slam-poem, come share what you got with this weekly Middlebury crew. The music will be funky, the crowd friendly and fate favor-some, as it always is at this quaint musical event.

When: 9 pm, Wednesday, February 25th
Where: Gamut room (basement of Gifford)
Cost: Fo Free! (but bring a buck for snacks)

TODAY- Last Day of : Improv Try-Out Week

Improv Plotter Poster


Both of the college’s improv comedy groups, The Otter Nonsense Players and The Middlebrow Society for Improvisational Theatre, will be holding try-outs this week in hopes of finding Middlebury’s future leaders of sarcastic party conversations.

Otters tryouts will be held TODAY (Tuesday) at 4:30PM and Thursday (2/26) at 5:30PM in the Forest East Lounge.

Middlebrow will be Wednesday (2/25) and Thursday (2/26) at 4:30PM in the Coltrane Lounge (in the Adirondack House, entrance is near Pearsons).

It is important to note that you need only go to one day for either group.  So you could do Otters Tuesday and Brow Thursday, par examplé.

Experience is never expected. Most of the current members had never done improv before either, and had to try-out a few times. No matter if its your first semester, last semester, or that sweet spot in the middle, both groups would love to have you come and play!

Email [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions.

middbeat Crush of the Week: Zack Isaacs ‘15.5

IMG_4782Middbeat’s newest crush of the week is Zack Isaacs ‘15.5, a Physics major from Oakland, California. When surveying Atwater, I (Lizzy) was encouraged by a group of senior girls to choose Zack. They assured me of his sweet demeanor and general thoughtfulness. Though he was definitely slightly alarmed when I approached his breakfast table, Zack immediately opened up with a warm and welcoming smile (see above). After chatting with him for a few minutes, I can say confidently that I’m a huge fan. He’s got an awesome spirit and a lot to say. Aaaand he’s single! If you’re interested, shoot him an email! (go/creep is your friend, people.)

MB: What’d you do this weekend?
Z: I went to the Taste of India apartments on Friday. They were all open and they had a bunch of people over, so that was really fun. I didn’t really do much on Saturday because I was tired from Friday. But I went to Vergennes Laundry and then to the Alpenglow concert.

MBWhat’s your Vergennes Laundry order of choice? Are you a cheese guy?
Z: I like cheese, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a cheese guy. Anything with yogurt and granola and some coffee is the way to go.

MB: What’s number one on your bucket list?
Z: Oh, man. This is gonna be kind of a strange one. I want to ride my bike up Mount Ventoux in France. I really like riding bikes and growing up I used to watch Lance and all those guys in the Tour de France climb up that hill and I think it would be something neat and different. Definitely very hard.

MB: What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Z: Can I choose more than one? Salami, olives, mushrooms, and spinach. I’m not super picky.

MBAre you close to your family? Do you have siblings?
Z: I’m incredibly close to my family, but I don’t have siblings. My cat and my dog, though, are viewed on equal footing with me. We actually foster cats whenever I’m home so we always have lots of animals in the house, but I’m an only child.

MB: Who are you more similar to, your mom or your dad?
Z: I would say I have the social characteristics of my mom but more of the academic characteristics of my dad. My mom is a really hard worker and is pretty introspective and a little introverted, and I would definitely say I’m more like that in social settings. But my dad also studied physics and engineering. Not so good at reading, better at math.

MBWhat is your favorite way to eat a potato?
Z: Baked with a healthy dosage of beets and lemon juice. Why, what’s yours?
MB: Mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon.
Z: Okay, yeah, that sounds good too.

MB: What type of music do you listen to?
Z: I listen to a lot of stuff. I bet everyone says that. I have a soft spot for all sorts of classic rock from the ’60s. I really love Hendrix. I would say ‘Castles Made of Sand’ is probably my favorite Hendrix song. But really anything from that era. I like AC/DC, the Grateful Dead if I’m in that ten-minute-long-song kind of mood. Anything with a good guitar solo is good with me.

MBWhat is your relationship status?
Z: I am single. (“free as a bird” — friend sitting nearby)

MB: Are you looking for anything?
Z: I’m looking for anyone who’s willing to put up with someone who wears a lot of spandex– it’s for biking. And shaved legs. You don’t necessarily have to put that last one up. (Sorry I did!!)

MB: What are your thoughts on romantic culture at Midd?
Z: It’s definitely better than it is at Dartmouth (he spent his junior year there). It’s a lot less stressful. Everyone there is in fraternities and sororities, but there are a lot more ways to meet people here. I think that’s cool. People hate on it a lot, but it’s definitely less stressful than at Dartmouth. We have so many on-campus events, it creates somewhat of an insular community. And you’re not just always in the basement of a fraternity, which is kinda nice!

MB: Is there anything that I missed? What would you want me to ask you?
Z: I don’t know, I don’t think I’d want you to ask anything else. We got the shaved legs and the spandex, so you got most of it.

Tom The Record Man is Back

lot of records in sleeves

We’re “hip” at Midd, right? If there’s any “go-to” way to confirm your hip status, we suppose it’s a record collection. Truly, we hope you listen to the records as well as hang them on your walls, but either is great. Anyways, “Tom the Record Man,” a lovely man named Tom who sells a lot of records for pretty cheap prices, will be returning to the Midd bookstore to amp your musical repertoire today. Check it out.

Date: Tuesday, February 24
Time: 9am – 5pm
Place: Bookstore beneath Proctor

TUESDAY: 10 Truths for Your Self-Acceptance Journey


Rosie Molinary, author of “A Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance


This Tuesday at 7pm, an incredible speaker, Rosie Molinary, is coming to Midd to deliver a talk entitled “10 Truths for your Self-Acceptance Journey” in McCullough Social Space. Having demonstrated a significant interest in and concern with body image on Midd’s campus, middbeat is particularly excited about this event, being hosted by Sayre Weir ’15a lovely senior who co-led middbeat’s body image story telling event last spring. Sayre writes in to describe the event: 

Body image is often a taboo subject among friends at Middlebury. Look around you–we are surrounded by beautiful people on this campus. Business Insider ranked Middlebury as 13th on its list of “25 Colleges Where Students are both Hot and Smart” (March 2013). In a high-pressure academic and social environment such as Middlebury, our bodies can easily become just another box to check on our laundry list of areas in which to excel.

Amidst this high-pressure environment, it is important to remember that we are more than our bodies. Our bodies serve as vessels for our personalities and authentic selves, and we must properly nourish ourselves both physically and emotionally.

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Come attend Rosie Molinary’s lecture entitled “10 Truths for Your Self-Acceptance Journey” on Tuesday February 24th at 7pm in Wilson Hall/McCullough Social Space to learn more about the path the self-empowerment and self-acceptance. Here’s the full description of her talk:

“Everyday, we perpetuate non-inclusive body and beauty ideals that limit our possibilities. It is time for people of all colors, sizes, and ethnicities to confront the boxes they are placed in by themselves and others and create worldviews that are expansive and empowering. This powerful, interactive workshop reveals ten powerful lessons about journeying to self-acceptance and the tools that can help make anyone more self-accepting. Participants will be inspired to live with purpose, challenged to forego self-defeating tendencies, and encouraged to champion all women.  Frank discussion about idealized beauty standards and our buy-in will help individuals build their media literacy and escape the stranglehold of idealized beauty so that we can concentrate our energies on using our skills and experiences to improve our world.”

Rosie’s talk will be followed by a book signing and the opportunity to purchase Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and/or Hijas Americanas: Beauty Body Image, and Growing up Latina. For more information on Rosie, check out her website:

Date: Tuesday, February 24
Time: 7-8:30pm
Place: McCullough Social Space
Cost: Nada! We hope to see everyone there, guys, girls, all are welcome!

Community Conversations: Social Life


Last week, Community Council Co-Chair Ben Bogin ’15 and SGA Director of Institutional Diversity Jeremy Stratton-Smith ’17 announced an awesome initiative called “Community Conversations” in an email sent to the student body. Bogin and Stratton-Smith will be hosting biweekly open forums for students and administrators to discuss various issues at Middlebury. Upcoming talks include: 3/5: Middlebury’s Judicial System/Title IX/Sexual Assault 3/19: Support Services for Students 4/2: Inclusivity in the Classroom 4/16: Diversity and Inclusivity 4/30: Health and Wellness. For more info check out go/talk. One of middbeat’s own, Kelly Hennessy ’15, went to the first community conversation, which focused on social life at Middlebury. Read her recap of the meeting here along with some reflections on the conversation. 

Thursday afternoon marked the kick-off of a series of Community Conversations, bi-weekly discussions, each focused on a different issue central to the Middlebury community. This conversation’s focal point was Social Life at Middlebury.

Much of the discussion was focused on student housing, and the ways in which this influences social life. Many juniors came to the meeting with Katy Smith Abbott, the VP for Student Affairs and Dean of the College, and JJ Boggs, the Associate Dean of Students for Student Activities and Orientation, to discuss their dissatisfaction with the recent Off-Campus Housing Lottery. Allegedly, there were only about 50 students awarded off-campus housing for next fall, compared to the 90 or so that were awarded it last year.

The juniors at the meeting expressed frustration over the administration’s failure to communicate that spots were heavily restricted this year, as they felt blindsided by their denial of off-campus housing. This sentiment was compounded by the fact that many of them were abroad last semester, and didn’t fully know about the conflicts and conversations had between off-campus seniors and their neighbors.

Undoubtedly, the administration has compelling and understandable reasons for restricting off-campus housing. Katy Smith Abbott cited the town-gown relationship and Middlebury’s financial structure as some justifications. Additionally, Middlebury is a residential college; most students live on campus for all four years. However, despite this rationale, many students are left wondering why their chances of gaining off-campus housing were lower than in past years and why the administration failed to inform students of this change.

While frustration surrounding the off-campus housing lottery is perhaps a new spin on the issue, this characterization of an increasingly restrictive administration echoes the same concerns that have been raised at previous campus-wide conversations about social life. Increasingly, students are expressing dissatisfaction with the way they feel restrictions are being placed on their lives by the administration, and in this particular case with little forewarning or communication.

As is required of any social life meeting, ADP (what is now Chromatic) was also a centerpiece of discussion, held up as a paragon of what students look for in their social lives. Many at the meeting saw the old social house as a place where cliques broke down, and students could interact with those of all walks of Middlebury life.

Juniors and seniors, the last classes of ADP, may be wearing some rose-colored beer goggles in this situation; I don’t know if this was a place where all of the community felt comfortable, and I think there were some real problems with the social house. Admittedly, though, ADP certainly did play an important role in the social life of many members of our community.

By my understanding, a lot of Midd kids feel their social lives have been increasingly limited by a string of surprising administrative moves. Students often cite the role of public safety or the likelihood of social houses being placed on probation as evidence of such increasing restriction.

However, I think this narrative is incomplete; as students we often fail to consider how our actions may have led to some of these administrative decisions and ignore how we may work with the community as a whole to assuage some of our dissatisfaction.

We need to start making efforts to be active participants in creating the social lives we want. ADP is gone; many will mourn its loss for years to come. However, I think it’s time to start thinking critically about what exactly ADP and the ‘social life of old’ had to offer.

It’s important to recognize that it isn’t a one-size fits all approach, a point brought up during the meeting. Different people want different things out of their social lives. While much of the discussion about social life is centered on parties on and off campus, getting hammered on the weekend isn’t the social life everyone has or wants.

It’s an expansive term, and we as a community should work to create spaces that can fit as many of its meanings as possible. These meetings are a good first step; now we need to be the catalysts for change.

At a Remove: On Joseph Battell’s Centennial and Legacy


If you haven’t had the pleasure of living in Battell, you’ve at least heard of the freshman dorm’s disgustingly incredible reputation. Perhaps you’ve thrived on the now ice field we call Battell beach, and recall warmer days when Battell beach is full of sunbathers and frisbee crushes. But, who IS this “Battell” we’ve named various well-loved Middlebury locations after? Jospeh Battell ‘1860 (lol) was both a Midd alumni and an incredibly generous Midd trustee, and it’s about time you learn about his life and legacy. Thankfully, tomorrow (Monday) creative writing professor David Bain (author of The College on the Hill) will be educating us all in his talk “At a Remove: On Joseph Battell’s Centennial and Legacy” from 4:30-6 in the Abernathy Room. Read up on the event below:

February 23, 2015 is the centennial of Joseph Battell’s (Class of 1860) death. Bread Loaf land baron (in his day the largest private landowner in Vermont), environmentalist, crusading newspaperman, Middlebury College trustee, philanthropist, unreadable novelist, eccentric Joseph Battell left his stamp on his homeland. David Haward Bain presents an illustrated “magic lantern” talk on Joseph Battell’s life and works.

Date: Monday, February 23
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Axinn Abernathy Room