Category Archives: Midd Off-Campus

Candlelight Vigil at 4:30 on Town Green

Black Lives Matter

In addition to today’s discussion, there will be a town-wide candlelight vigil held on the town green at 4:30.  If you are planning to go to both, the orientation seems to be to go to the vigil first, then to Warner following the vigil.  Can anyone confirm this?  In any case, come out and show your support at both.  These events follow another devastating blow this Monday where a grand jury in New York decided not to indict the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death this past August.  This killing was recorded on a telephone, calling into question the potential efficacy of Obama’s recent request for $262 million dollars in federal funding for police officer surveillance as a method for reducing police brutality.

When: Today 4:30
Where: Town Green
Cost: solidarity


Iron Eyes Cody being awesome

Iron Eyes Cody being awesome


If you’re at all into the music scene at Midd, you’re most likely obsessed with Iron Eyes Cody, the Fat Heads, or Milk Chocolate. Probably all three. With reason, because these student bands are pretty fuckin amazing. After completely packing Meade Chapel when opening for Alpenglow last month, Iron Eyes Cody realized it was most definitely time for something bigger. And, to all of our content, the extended Vermont music scene agreed: Iron Eyes has been selected to play at Higher Ground this December, they’re bringing along Milk Chocolate and the Fat Heads (also student/alumni bands), and, to amp the stakes even higher they are performing on the same night as Lucius and Bahamas, two equally awesome (and rather famous) bands.

Iron Eyes Cody, Milk Chocolate, and the Fat Heads will be performing in the Showcase Lounge, at Higher Ground, on December 4, 2014. The same night, Lucius and Bahamas will be performing in the Higher Ground Main Ballroom, and anyone who buys tickets to the Lucius/Bahamas concert will be able to see the Middlebury bands as well, free of additional cost. Needless to say, this is an incredible opportunity to see a bunch of bands without dropping a ton of cash.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 the day of the show, and can be bought HERE on Higher Ground’s website. This concert event is sponsored by the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, and everyone is encouraged to bring canned goods to donate.


We’re hoping to get a huge Middlebury showing at this event, so be sure to grab a ticket before they sell out, and come support some of Midd’s most talented musicians. What better way to celebrate before heading out for winter break?

Tickets for the Showcase Lounge (Middlebury bands only) available HERE

Tickets for Lucius and Bahamas (plus access to the Showcase Lounge!) available HERE

Learn more about each of the Middlebury bands below (info from Higher Ground’s Website):

Iron Eyes Cody:

Everything from slow and haunting to dancy and electrifying, indie rock group Iron Eyes Cody 10689732_1548211012078011_2724811879245445906_nutilize saxophone and harmonica as well as modulated guitar and electric piano to create a diverse sound. The group’s lyrically intense, original songs can best be described as the soundtrack to your next road trip. Featuring Evan Allis ‘15.5 (Guitar & Vocals), Renn Mulloy ‘15.5 (Vocals) Noah Stone ‘16.5 (Keys), Rob Shaw ’16 (Lead Guitar/Bass), Mark Balderston ‘15.5 (Saxophone/Harmonica/Vocals), Joe Leavenworth ‘16.5 (Bakali, Guitar/Bass), and Patrick Freeman ‘15.5 (Drums).

Milk Chocolate:

Milk Chocolate is a Neo-Soul trio from Middlebury College with an untarnished reputation for 483833_316022361856905_1138059393_ntight grooves and tighter vocal harmonies. Their covers and original tunes showcase a mellow sound inspired by soul, jazz, and modern R&B greats from D’Angelo and Erykah Badu to Robert Glasper. Featuring Mohan Fitzgerald ’14, Tito Heiderer ‘14.5 and Innocent Tswamuno ’15.

Fat Heads:

The Fatheads are a party blues band based in Burlington, Vermont. They are a high energy two-guitar & drums trio, influenced by houserockin’ blues legends like Hound Dog Taylor and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and bring the ruckus with ecstatic irreverence. Their legs are strong and their bellies are filled with pie. Featuring Eric Benepe ‘13.5, Taylor Bickford ’14, and Austin Bergeron ’13

Midd Alums Tik Root and Wyatt Orme Pursuing Multimedia Piece on Rwandan Youth Culture

Tik Project

Tik Root ‘12 and Wyatt Orme ‘12.5 need your help!  The two recent alums were selected as finalists for Matter Magazine’s International Reporting Fellowship for a project on Rwanda’s transition from “an agrarian to a knowledge-based service economy” under longtime leader President Paul Kagame.  Undergoing a massive demographic transition with half of the population coming of age in the post-genocide context, Rwanda is under considerable pressure to prepare its economy for its burgeoning entrepreneurial youth.  Tik and Wyatt are hoping to explore this transition through a multimedia piece of journalism, radio, and photography, and in order to do so need to edge out their competition to pursue their proposal.  Tik writes in:

The process of determining a winner is like a combination of the movies “Gladiator” (2000) and “Seabiscuit” (2004). Of the 200+ applicants, our proposal was selected with five others to spar/race online for the highest number of votes (or, in their parlance, “Recommendations”).

We’re in 2nd…a tantalizing 70 votes away from the lead and, in 15 seconds, you could help us take it. For more on our proposal and to VOTE, click here.

Instructions are at the top of the page, but a word to the wise: make sure the heart-shaped “Recommend” button turns and stays green!

See after the jump for the body of their proposal, and more information on how you can help them pursue the project.  It will take no more time than sending a snapchat to bring a few Midd alum closer to pursuing an inspiring project.  See the link again here.

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International Education Week at Mt. Abraham Union High School


IEW 2014 logo

International Student and Scholar Advisor Joani Taylor writes in about this year’s International Education Week.  Today, there’s an program running, along with a number of others both on campus and up in Bristol.  Read on for more:

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at Middlebury College has been organizing a program with Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol as part of this year’s International Education Week (IEW), which runs from November 17 to 21IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education which aims to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the U.S.

This year ISSS wanted to focus programming efforts for IEW on engaging students in the community.  Joani Taylor, an advisor with ISSS, worked with Anne Friedrichs of Mt. Abe last year and knew she would be an enthusiastic supporter of a bigger collaboration.  Thus, International Education Day with Mt. Abe was created and will take place on Wednesday, November 19 from 9 AM to 2 PM on the Middlebury College campus in the McCullough Social Space.  The goal of the program is to foster a global perspective among these ninth grade students and connect them with internationally-focused communities at Middlebury.  Approximately 120 ninth graders and 9 staff members from Mt. Abe will attend.  This event is cosponsored by International Programs and Off-Campus Study, the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Community Engagement/Language in Motion, the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, the Department of Political Science and the Department of Environmental Studies.

See after the jump for more information about the schedule for the remainder of the week.

When: Monday Nov. 17- Friday Nov. 21
Where: Middlebury College, Mount Abraham Union High School
Cost: N/A

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Ron’s Closet: Capturing the Spirit of Middlebury College Through Apparel and Design

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There’s a new Middlebury alumni-led fashion endeavor in the works, and if you haven’t heard about it, you definitely should. While recent regulations have spurred many of us to criticize Middlebury campus traditions (or lack thereof), Ryan Brewster ’14 is determined to do the opposite, reviving and celebrating what Midd traditions we do retain through creative design. Enter Ron’s Closet Apparel Company

The ethos is simple. As Ryan explains:

Ron’s Closet Apparel Company aims to capture the spirit of Middlebury through graphic and clothing design. Channeling the innocent desires of a “Proctor Crush” or the unabashed disrobing that is “Like a Prayer,” our products are informed by the timeless themes that define our wacky, yet endearing culture.

Community. Tradition. Self-Expression. These are the core principles of Ron’s Closet, and embody the ethos of a brand created by and for Middlebury students. Consistent with these values, everything we produce will be sold at the cost of printing (i.e. we don’t care about profit), and any money that is contributed on top will be set aside for local charities.

Sounds pretty cool, and the designs (some featured above) are pretty awesome. After freshman year it seems we all get a bit sick of sporting that classic Middlebury sweatshirt, the emblem of college acceptance purchased within minutes of receiving the big envelope in the mail. This being said, there’s undoubtedly value in identifying with the aspects of our institution we do like, and Ron’s Closet designs provide a platform to do so, it’s mission being “to create apparel that is inspired by the lifestyle and pulse of Middlebury College.”

Plus, because Ron’s Closet is not profit-driven, you can feel good about your investment, knowing any surplus money will be donated to local charities. The company will be using the crowd-funding site Tee Spring, where shirts can be ordered individually on the basis of separate campaigns. Products will be printed and shipped once the minimum threshold of buyers is reached. More information regarding Tee Spring policies can be found here.

Ryan writes in to reinforce that Ron’s Closet is currently recruiting graphic designers (or any creative minds) who are interested in contributing to our collection. An additional arm of Ron’s Closet is that of a pro bono design service for events/organizations/you name it seeking branding and marketing materials. Among recent collaborators have included the Student Government Association, the Middlebury College Emergency Medical Services and the Islamic Society of Middlebury College.

Sounds like this start-up could really take off, so it could be a smart move to get involved fast. Contact [email protected] for information! And, to learn more about the project, check out Ron’s Closet Facebook page here.

P.S.: Ryan, middbeat would certainly love our own design!

Voices From Abroad: Isabelle Stillman ’16, Nepal, Pt. 2

The view from Isabelle's apartment in Kathmandu

The view from Isabelle’s apartment in Kathmandu

Voices from Abroad is back, and we’re stoked to present a second installment from Isabelle Stillman ’16, an incredible writer studying abroad in Nepal this semester. At Midd, Isabelle studies English and creative writing, and also runs The Orchard Arts JournalShe’s based in Kathmandu, Nepal this semester through SIT Study Abroad (a non-Midd owned study abroad many students enjoy). If you dug Isabelle’s last snap-shot style narrative, you’ll love this piece, describing a taxi ride in Nepal and the invaluable lesson it taught Isabelle: to approach new challenges “with a helmet on, but the visor up.” 

BUT FIRST: If you’re a Midd student presently studying abroad, living abroad, doing something abroad, and you’d like to share your experience, please email [email protected]. We’d love to feature your writing in the Voices from Abroad series, and are open to absolutely any style – from poetry to blog posts to stories, you name it. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now, read up, and enjoy:

It was raining on my walk home the other night, and getting late (that is, a little after 7:00), so I decided to take a taxi. I stuck my hand out as I walked, palm down and fingers clapping against my palm – the gesture to hail a taxi, and to tell someone to come here (very confusing the first time your teacher calls you up to the front of the classroom). There weren’t many taxis out that night, and the ones that were were full, so I was almost halfway home by the time one pulled over. Two men sat in the front seat. As I stepped closer, the driver leaned over the other one so I could see his eyes through the low window. “Yes, where you going?”

{On taxis and transportation in Nepal: there are no street addresses, so its best to make sure the driver knows where he is going before you get in the car; once in the cab, you name a neighborhood and point left and right  (with your lips) as you get closer to the correct destination. Working meters are rare, and bargaining is expected, but a price should be negotiated before you get in the cab to avoid end-of-the-ride rupee disputes that are likely to be weighed in on by passersby and nearby shopkeepers; that being said, if you are not Nepali, they will try very hard to wildly overcharge you. Taxis often pull up to me (and other blatantly non-Nepali people) even if I haven’t so much as looked their way, because I’m white and therefore probably want to be driven.}

“Handigaun, past Bhatbetini,” I said, crouching a little to look through the window.

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DIY Conference Application Deadline Extension

The Rohatyn Center Student Advisory Board will be hosting its second annual Global Affairs Conference this spring semester from February 19-20, and we are seeking student proposals for conference topics. This conference represents an exciting opportunity for students to bring their passions, questions, and interests to the forefront of community dialogue, and to organize engaging and thoughtful programming with a generous $5,000 budget. The conference topics should be globally relevant, accessible to the Middlebury campus, and diverse in geographic and disciplinary perspectives. For more information, and to submit your proposal, visit go/diyconference. We have extend the deadline to October 31st.


We very much look forward to reviewing your submissions, and should you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to [email protected].

Thursday: NER Vermont Reading Series


Come spend a relaxing evening at Carol’s Hungry Mind Café tomorrow and listen to some great Vermont authors read from their recent works. The NER Vermont Reading Series presents a fall evening with three Vermont writers: Emily Arnason Casey, Kathryn Davis, and Diana Whitney.

Emily Arnason Casey’s writing has appeared in Mid-American Review, Sonora Review, the anthology Please Do Not Remove, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the 2014 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. She earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont. An editor at the online journal Atlas & Alice, Emily lives in Burlington with her husband and two sons, and is working on a collection of essays about loss and longing.

Kathryn Davis is the author of seven novels: Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell, The Walking Tour, Versailles, The Thin Place, and Duplex (Graywolf, 2013). She has been the recipient of the Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2006 Lannan Award for Fiction. She lives in Vermont and is Hurst Senior Writer-in-Residence in the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Diana Whitney’s first book of poetry, Wanting It, was released in August 2014 by Harbor Mountain Press. Her essays and poems have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Crab Orchard Review, Puerto del Sol, Numéro Cinq, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and elsewhere. She graduated from Dartmouth College and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and attended the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. A yoga instructor and lifelong athlete, Diana lives in Brattleboro with her family.

Date: Thursday, October 23rd
Time: 7 – 8:30pm
Carol’s Hungry Mind Café (24 Merchants Row, Middlebury VT)

Alcohol Policy at Stanford and Middlebury: Which Approach is Right?


The most recent spark in the alcohol policy debate comes not from Middlebury, but from across the country at Stanford University where Miriam Pollock recently published an editorial comparing Middlebury and Stanford’s alcohol policy.  An incredibly well-written, and insightful piece, Pollock’s perspective casts new light on the different approaches collegiate institutions can take in addressing alcohol consumption.  What follows is a re-posting of the Stanford Review piece.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.  Credit is due to Miriam Pollock and the Stanford Review.

Students file into the stands above Youngman Field, decked out in white and blue. The visiting team scores a quick touchdown, dampening the crowd’s spirits. But soon thereafter, quarterback Matt Milano launches an eighty-yard drive that ends in a dramatic touchdown. The students and alumni in the stadium go wild.

Meanwhile, a junior, removed from the action of the game, stumbles across Route 30 into the woods and unloads his lunch. He can barely walk. The junior had drunk heavily at the pre-football game tailgate. A Public Safety officer spots the student and determines he needs to be transported to the hospital. The student is sent to the hospital and safely recovers from his alcohol poisoning. Subsequently, he will receive both punishment and counseling.

The scene should be familiar to anyone who has attended a college football game: some students go too crazy at the tailgates, endangering themselves and others. Often, they will never even make it to the game. This scenario — with a different stadium, different quarterback, and different students — could play out almost anywhere in the US. But in this case the specific game took place at Middlebury College, a small liberal arts school in Vermont.

Understandably, the Middlebury administration — like many college administrations across the country — wants to reduce incidents of binge drinking at tailgates. And so, on September 16th of this year, Erin Quinn, Director of Athletics, announced a new policy. Alcohol was completely prohibited at tailgates, even for those 21 and over. (“Loud” music was also banned, causing students to question whether the policy was meant to protect them or to prevent them from having fun.)

While ensuring students remain safe is a laudable goal, this misguided policy is unlikely to accomplish that. In fact, this policy may even encourage binge drinking. Furthermore, it impinges on student freedom. Contrast all this with Stanford University, which has a far more relaxed alcohol policy. Residential staff champion an “open-door” policy. Students are encouraged to drink with their doors open; in turn, Residence Assistants (RAs) promise only to intervene if students’ safety is at risk. Is Stanford’s model more effective at keeping students safe? Which is right — the zero-tolerance approach, or Stanford’s more tolerant one?

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Granite Stoke Surf Movie Saturday

Tomorrow evening at 5 PM, Ryan Scura ’11 will be screening his film Granite Stoke in Axinn 232.  Granite Stoke focuses on the vibrant surfing culture on New Hampshire’s 18 miles of coastline, and thus far has been an official selection at the London Surf/Film Festival, the New Hampshire Film Festival, and the Honolulu Film Festival just to name a few.  Ryan and lifelong buddy Dylan Ladds have been making films together since middle school, and have struck gold with Granite Stoke which, according to the London Surf/Film Festival review board, “captures the very essence of surfing and what makes the friends we meet through it so special.”  Weaving surfing footage with the story of a tight knit community, the film should be a real treat.  Ryan will stick around after the screening for a Q & A.  The event is co-sponsored by the Programs in Creativity and Innovation and the Film and Media Culture Department.

When: Saturday, 5 PM
Where: Axinn 232
Cost: Free