Tag Archives: ADP

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.

Liebowitz Ends Purple Jesus

On Tuesday, President Liebowitz surprised just about everyone by declining the Community Council’s strong recommendation to allow the Mill to continue to be an official exception to the social house pilot program, which bans hard alcohol. This means the Mill can no longer host Purple Jesus, one of the most popular and storied all-campus parties and the Mill’s longest (over twenty years) and most important tradition.

We all assumed Purple Jesus was safe after the Community Council voted 14 in favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstentions to let the Mill continue to be an exception to the pilot program and its hard alcohol ban. While many rumors surround the content of the Purple Jesus drink, P Safe monitors its preparation closely and it is diluted to 5.4% abv.–weaker than heavy beer. Furthermore, Purple Jesus events have had hardly any problems with citations or dorm damage.  But Liebowitz decided to decline the nearly unanimous recommendation anyways:

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 4.01.28 PM

This will certainly not help with brewing student frustration over administrative micromanaging of the social scene. And with no Purple Jesus and no ADP, many predict Midd’s social scene will begin to move even more underground and off-campus, which will have repercussions of its own.

We will keep you updated with any more news we hear about Liebowitz’s decision.


UPDATE: In a letter to the Community Council on May 16, President Liebowitz accepted the CC’s recommendation to disband Delta House for good. So that’s it. It’s not suspension, its disbandment. Prescott House, the former home of Delta will turn into summer draw housing for the upcoming year, and then probably become a super block like Palmer.

Update: Prez Liebowitz still has to approve the Community Council’s decision for it to be official. Delta should have a chance to petition him not to approve the vote, but his reversing the Community Council’s vote would be very unlikely. 

(Updated) The Community Council just voted to disband Delta House (ADP) with a 13-4-1 vote. After reviewing the Residential Life Committee’s recommendation to disband the social house last Thursday, the Community Council decided to table the decision until today to give themselves more time to discuss.

Earlier this afternoon, in executive session, the Community Council voted to disband the house.

To see middbeat’s complete coverage of the Delta issue, see here.

We will update this post as we get more information. Please comment with your reactions and submit any tips you have to us (where it says ‘Got a Tip?’ on the sidebar).

Community Council Releases RLC Report

The Community Council just released the Residential Life Committee Report that recommended Delta be disbanded. It also recommends that the Mill cease to be an exception to the “Community Council/IHC Pilot Party Program,” which allows for longer hours and more kegs or wine at registered parties if the houses do not provide hard alcohol. If the Mill ceases to be able opt out of this program (as it is doing now unlike all the other houses) they could not longer throw Purple Jesus parties.

Below middbeat excerpted the most interesting parts, click on the images to make them clearer.

Here is a list of the dorm damage so far this year for Delta (click on the image to make it clearer):

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 10.41.15 PM Continue reading

Community Council Tables Decision to Disband Delta

The community council just adjourned its executive session for the day. There was a motion on the floor to vote on whether or not to disband Delta House, but it was voted down 8-8-1, so the motion was tabled until next Monday. Doug Adams says this is because the Council needed more time to discuss the issue before they felt ready to vote. A simple majority is needed to move forward on a motion.

Next Monday (March 18), they will reconvene in executive session to further discuss the issue, and will hopefully reach a decision then. middbeat will let you know when we hear the decision.

KDR, the Mill, Tavern and Xenia are all approved for the next few years, however.

Here are some reactions from people at the meeting collected by Joanie Thompson ’14.

Community Council Convenes to Decide Fate of ADP (Live Blog)

Update: For a more polished account of the meeting, check out MiddBlog’s post.

Update: The Community Council tabled the decision until next Monday.

middbeat is at Community Counci’s meeting in Axinn 103 and prepared to hear their review of Delta House. The Residential Life Committee recommended that the house be disbanded, look here for more details. middbeat is going to update this post with anything interesting that happens at the meeting.

4:30 The place is packed:

photo-9 Continue reading

The Importance of ADP

Delta House (formerly ADP). The former image was an emblem that was not Delta's--our mistake.

Delta House (formerly ADP). The former image was an emblem that was not Delta’s–our mistake.

Today at 4:30PM in Axinn 103 Delta House (ADP) will face the Community Council who is reviewing the Residential Life Committee’s recommendation to shut down the social house. Check out this post for more information. It’s open to the public but show up early because it’s expected to be full.

Mill president Nathaniel Brown ’13 writes in with his thoughts on the issue:

If you care about the social life at Middlebury, you should show up to community council this afternoon for the meeting that will decide whether Delta house (ADP) will be disbanded next year.

Many of you have scoffed at the issue, writing it off as a good riddance to a place “reserved for jocks looking for easy pickings and their horny biddie counterparts” (yes, that is a Middlebury Confessional quote). Even middbeat’s own article dismissed the house, as “apparently [having] breaking shit [as] part of [their] culture.”

However, today’s issue is more than that. What Delta represents is more than that. The continued existence of Delta is pertinent to the entirety of social life on campus and the disbanding of it would signal the demise (or at least a reason for even more micromanaging) of all social houses on campus.   Continue reading

Delta House Faces Possible Disbandment

Delta House (formerly ADP)

Delta House (formerly ADP)

Update 3/7/13:
Delta President Luke Battle ’14 says ADP is “biggest place to party on campus” and calls the $1,500 dorm damage limit “unattainable” (apparently breaking shit is part of the culture) in Campus feature.

Update 3/6/13: Middblog posted on the recommendation to disband Delta today. According to them, Delta had over $10,000 in damages last year.

Update: Still haven’t heard from Delta but we heard their petition has over 200 signatures.

The Residential Life Committee (a newly created branch of the Community Council) has recommended that Delta House (formerly ADP) be disbanded for not respecting warnings from last year’s Community Council about damage costs and other issues. The Community Council will review the Committee’s full recommendation and decide whether or not to shut down the popular “athlete” social house on Tuesday, March 12.

Members of ADP are apparently putting together a petition to save their house, but things aren’t looking great.

The Community Council could have shut down the house last year after it surpassed its damage cost limit. But instead the Council gave them a warning and a maximum damage cost limit for this year of $1500. By February 25, Delta had already amassed $1800 worth of damage.

Delta was also warned about not registering parties last year, which they have continually failed to do this year as well (have you noticed how you never really hear about ADP events?). This is a matter of both failing to uphold their role as an open space for social life for the whole community and also liability problems for the school under Vermont State Law (yeah it’s a pain in the ass, but at least register a party or two a semester, or have a coffee hour or something!).

According to Barrett Smith ’13, Community Council Student Co-Chair, Delta also has other infractions on its record, including incomplete hazing training. But he is not sure of the full extent of the case against Delta because the Residential Life Committee will not release its full report to the rest of the Council until later this week.

If they are shut down, they can petition Ron, which they did after they were disbanded in 2006 for similar issues (largely occurring at an ugly party that allegedly included sexual assault). They were eventually successful and revived under the new name of Delta House during the 2008-9 school year.

middbeat will update this post as we get new information about the status of Delta (we are waiting to hear back from Delta with their perspective).

What are your reactions? Should Delta be shut down? What will the repercussions be for Midd’s social life? Palmer used to be a social house–if disbanded, will it just turn into an unofficial party space like Palmer basically did?