Category Archives: News

Middlebrow Improv Comedy, TONIGHT

Middlebrow FALL 2014 #1 jp

The Middlebrow Society for Improvisational Comedy will be having their one and only show of J Term tonight in the Chateau Grand Salon at 10:30 PM.  The group will be performing long- and short-form improv and is looking to build up some momentum before going on their annual Feb Break Intercollegiate Tour.

Super senior Luke Smith-Stevens ‘14.5 will be performing with Middlebrow for the final time, and had the following to say, “It’s been a long journey.  I feel wiser on this end of it.  Being in Middlebrow was the best and worst thing that could’ve happened to me in college.”  Newest Middlebrow member Will Lupica ’18 says of Luke’s leadership in the group, “He’s like a father to me.  I really mean that.  He’s like a father.”  And Jackson Prince ’17, “He’s legally my father now.  I can show you the papers.”

After graduation, Luke will continue his work in comedy as a writer for SNL, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Mike and Molly, The Simpsons, Futurama, and the Turks and Cacaos Nightly News at 6.

Where: Chateau Grand Salon
When: 10:30 PM
Cost: none.

MAlt El Paso: Screening La Jaula de Oro

10888707_10152997836702232_3760776912483142334_nThis Saturday MALT El Paso will be screening La Jaula de Oro, a riveting film about teenage Guatemalan immigrants and their journey to the U.S. Tickets will be sold beforehand and at the event and will support MALT in its efforts to spread awareness of border and immigration issues through immersion trips.

You can buy your tickets at the event on a sliding scale from $5-$15. We appreciate anything you can donate to make our service education trip possible!

If you can’t make the event, but would like to support a migrant shelter in El Paso and our service/education trip, please donate here:

When: Saturday, January 17 6pm
Where: Twilight Auditorium

Tunisia after the “Arab Spring”: Can It Be a Model for Other Countries in the Arab World?

Mabrouka M’Barek

Mabrouka M’Barek

Tonight from 4:30 to 6 in the Robert A. Jones ‘59 Conference Room, member of Tunisia Constituent Assembly Mabrouka M’Barek will be giving her talk, “Tunisia after the ‘Arab Spring': Can It Be a Model for Other Countries in the Arab World?”.

M’Barek was born into a family originally from Bir Ali Ben Khalifa in the center of Tunisia, and studied law and economy in France. After moving to the US, she worked as an auditor specializing in financial control, risk management and fraud prevention, until she left the for-profit sector to dedicate her work to humanitarian NGOs and human rights-based civil societies in the Middle East. After the Tunisian revolution in 2011, she returned to Tunisia to join the Congress for the Republic and was elected to the constituent assembly.

If you are not in M’Barek’s Winter Term class titled “Writing the Tunisian Constitution: Process and Problematics.”, take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear a member of the Tunisia Constituent Assembly speak on the problems and potentials faced by Tunisia and the Arab World in the wake of The Arab Springs.

Date: Tuesday, November 18th (today)
Time: 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Place: Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room

Debate – Should U.S. Military Spending Be Drastically Cut?


The new campus club Debatable will be hosting a discussion regarding U.S. military spending on Saturday, November 15 at 5 PM in Crossroads August Hutchinson ‘16.5 writes in:

How dangerous is our world? How powerful is the U.S? Will spending cuts help the U.S, or make it, its allies, its interests, and the rest of the world intolerably endangered?  The U.S. military is an extremely powerful and influential entity whose presence and activities shape global affairs and individual lives, for better and for worse. Getting a better understanding of its impact on us, and on others, is essential. Come watch some of our debaters spar over these and other important questions!

The debaters arguing that military spending should not be drastically cut:

- Ben Hawthorne ’17
- Phil Hoxie ‘17.5

Those arguing that it should be drastically cut:

Rod Abhari ’15,
August Hutchinson ‘16.5

Those in attendance will be given an opportunity to grill the debaters during a Q&A portion of the debate. As for organizational involvement, I’d warmly welcome anyone who wants to get involved either in debates or our debate magazine (see the magazine tab of go/debatable).

When: Saturday, November 15 at 5 PM
Where: Crossroads
Cost: N/A

ISIS in Iraq: What Are Our Options?

Photo credit: CNN Online

Photo credit: CNN Online

Every day news is infiltrated with updates on ISIS, the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, and our nation’s response to their actions, movements, and threats. Known for killing dozens of people at a time and carrying out public executions, crucifixions and other acts, ISIS has taken over large swaths of northern and western Iraq, and while many Middlebury students are highly educated about ISIS and American foreign policy in Iraq, many are aware of little more beyond the violence ISIS inflicts. Thus, the talk being held today, “ISIS in Iraq: What Are Our Options?” provides an invaluable educative opportunity for those already in the know, and those lagging a bit behind.

The lecture will be given by Joseph R. Núñez P’12, who completed a 30-year career in the U.S. Army in 2007, retiring as a Colonel. He also served as an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Social Sciences, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, and as a Professor of International Relations in the Department of National Security and Strategy, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Dr. Núñez recently completed an assignment with the Department of State as the Senior Economic Advisor for U.S. Consulate General Basrah in Iraq, focusing on oil, gas, construction, and planning. He spent over five years in Iraq between 2007 and 2013, almost all of it with State, focusing on capacity development through advising, establishing programs, and reporting on politics, governance, economics, security, and humanitarian assistance.

Be sure to attend, all are welcome.

Date: Today, November 13
Time: 4:30-6 pm
Place: Robert A. Jones ’59 (RAJ) Conference Room

Super-Resolution Microscopy: The Physics of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Explained!


Calling all science-nerds/lovers/intellects: If you’re into chemistry, tryna win a Nobel Prize, or just like pizza for lunch, you’re not gonna want to miss today’s event. “Super-Resolution Microscopy: The Physics of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Explained!” Because my explanation of anything regarding chemistry would be useless, read up about the lecture below:

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for super-resolution optical microscopy, the ability to image objects near the molecular scale using light. This presentation will explain the physical concepts behind microscopy and how the classical resolution limit has been overcome by these new techniques. Examples of how this Nobel-prize-winning physics research can be applied to biological imaging will also be presented. No prior physics experience is necessary.

Michael E. Durst joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor in Fall 2014. Why would a physicist be so excited about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? Cutting edge research increasingly occurs at the intersection of many interdisciplinary fields, including biology, chemistry, and physics. Prof. Durst’s research in biomedical optics employs lasers to image deep within the body without making an incision. For more information (or to join his research team), please visit his website at go/durst.

Plus, there will be a pizza lunch available @ 12:25 PM!

Date: Today, November 5
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Place: BiHall 216

REMINDER: Middlebury Geographic Submissions Due 10/31

PosterCoversmall copy

We want to remind you that Midd’s premier student-run publication for independent research, travel, and cartography Middlebury Geographic, is now accepting submissions for its fall issue. Middlebury Geographic is designed to capture and celebrate the stories, independent research, and worldwide initiatives of the Middlebury College student body. Middlebury Geographic attempts to reflect and reinforce the college’s tradition of international awareness, diversity and critical inquiry.

Inspired by the widely circulated National Geographic and J.B. Jackson’s Landscape magazine, Middlebury Geographic combines quality journalism with narrative photography and creative cartography, in attempt to present geographic concepts to the “intelligent layman,” rather than the specialist. Since established in the Spring of 2009, Middlebury Geographic has continued to publish two issues every academic year.  Check out past issues here.

If you are interested in writing a short or long piece, or submitting photography or maps, send them on over to [email protected]

Submissions are due by Halloween.  Big thanks to Lillie Hodges ‘15.5 & Anthea Viragh ’16.5 for the tip and for organizing this year’s publications.

Meet the Press Presents: Jay Allison, Executive Producer of The Moth (This is a Big Deal)

jay_allisonPublic radio junkies, unite! If you listen to the Moth podcast while working out, can hum the “All Things Considered” theme song from memory, or consider Ira Glass to be your hero, you’ll definitely want to check out Thursdy’s Meet the Press talk by Jay Allison, executive producer of The Moth Radio Hour and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX). A six-time Peabody Award winner and storyteller extraordinaire, Allison also founded the very cool website and was the mastermind behind, and the voice of, This I Believe. If you haven’t heard of Jay Allison, trust us, you probably should look him up and definitely be at this talk. To say it bluntly: Allison is a really fuckin big deal. 

Basically, Allison is universally understood to be the best and most innovative radio producer working today, and maybe ever. If you’ve been to Middlebury’s “The Moth,” you might not have realized that it’s not just a “Midd” thing, rather it’s a spin off of an incredibly successful program run by NPR, and started by Allison. Along with Moth, PRX, and This I Believe, Jay also runs a public radio station in Woods Hole, MA where a number of recent Middlebury media stars cut their teeth, including Sarah Harris, now a public radio reporter, Bianca Giaever, now at This American Life, and Andrew Forsthoefel, whose This American Life piece about walking across the country will soon be published as book.

At the Meet The Press talk (an awesome series that brings media and journalist professionals to campus), Jay is going to play some of his favorite pieces, include some from Midd grads, and will answer questions about radio, podcasting, journalism and life. If you’re remotely interested in any of these professions, it’d be a complete shame to miss this event.

Jay will also be telling a story at this Friday’s first Cocoon event, a more formal spin-off of The Moth, tickets are available at go/boxoffice.

What: Meet the Press Talk with Jay Allison
Date: Thursday, October 23
Time: 4:30 – 6pm
Place: McCardell Bicentennial Hall 220
Cost: Free

Border of Lights Vigil for Parsley Massacre in DR & Haiti

unnamedThis Friday, from 8-9 pm there will be an ‘electronic’ vigil just outside McCullough in remembrance of the Parsley Massacre, a government-sponsored genocide that took place in 1937 in which Dominican president Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of the Haitian population living in the borderlands with Haiti. Though as many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed at Trujillo’s order, the Parsley Massacre went almost completely unnoticed by those outside Hispaniola, even by thousands of Dominicans kept ignorant by Trujillo’s henchmen. Though this event has been horrendously ignored by our histories, this vigil provides the perfect opportunity to educate ourselves and “honor a tragedy long forgotten, and unknown to many people,” as the international Border of Lights site explains.

For more information on the Parsley Massacre and Border of Lights vigil, be sure to check out this NPR’s article, “Remembering to Never Forget: Dominican Republic’s Parsley Massacre,” featuring audio in which writer, Middlebury professor, Middlebury graduate, Julia Alvarez (daughter of Dominican parents and raised in the DR) reflects on the Parsley Massacre and what it means today.

This vigil is open to the entire community, and we urge everyone to participate.

Date: Friday, October 3
Time: 8-9pm
Place: McCullough Terrace


You Can’t Be Outraged at Your Own Convenience: A Critical Look at the Consequences of Apathy

Businessman Searching in Empty Conference Room

It’s Thursday, September 25th at Middlebury College, and everyone’s p*ssed about the new tailgating policy. We certainly made some (read: virtual) noise: Middbeat’s former post, “Just When You Thought Social Life Surveillance Couldn’t Get Any Higher: Alcohol Now Banned at Middlebury Tailgates” generated 95 substantial replies. As of 9 pm on September 24th, the We the Middkids petition entitled “Reverse Changes to the New Tailgating Policy” received 2,508 votes. As the Middbeat article “Fight For Our Right (to party). Then Fight for Our Other Rights too” would suggest, perhaps the Middlebury community could be equally engaged when it comes to other issues facing the college (rising tuition rates, divesting from fossil fuels, et al). But needless to say, a policy concerning alcohol (or a pointed lack thereof) got our collective attention.

We complained, we petitioned, we wrote. We had angry conversations over paninis in Proctor and we sighed as the Middlebury Panthers lost to Wesleyan on Saturday. We voted, using the appropriate platforms provided by the SGA. We spoke up.

And then we dropped the ball. The SGA gave our intangible anger a tangible forum, provided the Middlebury community with the opportunity to speak directly with Erin Quinn (Director of Athletics) and Katy Smith Abbott (Dean of Students) to demand an explanation for this infantilizing and poorly-conceived new policy. The We the Middkids petition would indicate that at least 836 students voted against the tailgating policy (and, by extension, against a lack of meaningful communication between students and the administration). But how many students showed up to the Senate meeting? Not many. 

One of Erin Quinn’s arguments, as indicated by Middbeat’s Live Feed, suggested that he did not believe the changes to the tailgating policy affected many students. When precious few students show up to a forum designed to discuss that very policy, students unwittingly substantiate his claim. Our apathy gives him permission to be right, permission to cast us aside, permission to treat us like the disobedient children the new tailgating policy would suggest that we are.

The meeting was a success on the part of the SGA. Their resolution passed, indicating that Katy Smith Abbott is willing to discuss future policy changes with SGA President Taylor Custer ‘15 and Student Co-Chair of Community Council Ben Bogin ‘15. But where were we to support them, to validate the claims of students we elected to fight on our behalf? Speaker Michael Brady ‘17.5 remarks, “I was definitely hoping there would be more people there. I tried to make an effort by emailing [constituents], and about a 60% majority wanted the new policy appealed.” However, this display of initial enthusiasm did not eventually correlate with physical attendance at the Senate meeting. Brady describes the turnout as “definitely disappointing. We didn’t have the numbers show up that we would have liked. I don’t think there’s going to be substantial change if kids don’t back up the outcry.”

It’s true that our schedules are busy, and that most of us are bound to the Sunday night homework grind. We elect SGA members to have these very sorts of policy conversations on our behalf – can’t we just step back and let them do what they do best? Tempting, but the answer is no.

“I would have loved to stand up against this policy through civil disobedience,” says Brady. “However, due to my position in the SGA, I can’t take that particular avenue. In order to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the administration, it was more productive and appropriate for me to write and discuss legislation than to picket outside an administrator’s office. It’s within everyone’s best interests if the SGA maintains an amicable relationship with the administration – [that relationship] cannot be ruptured to a point where the SGA is longer functional.”

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