Category Archives: Causes

Inside the Military Rape Case: An Evening with Susan Burke, Lead Counsel

Sexual assault in the military has been widely publicized over the past few years thanks to the courage of many military survivors who came forward to tell their stories in the groundbreaking documentary, “The Invisible War,” and to seek justice and reform through a series of lawsuits aiming to change the way the military prosecutes rape. This being said, for far too long the military sexual assault culture went unnoticed – a terrifyingly well-kept secret.

Today, we have the privilege to join Susan Burke, lead counsel on the case, for an informative discussion on rape and sexual assault in our society, how a culture of secrecy, shame and intimidation impacts colleges campuses and other institutions throughout the country, and how victims can be their own advocates for change. Hope to see you there.

Date: Today, April 22
Time: 7-8:30 PM
Place: McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216

4/20: The Bizarrest of Days

This 4/20 very well be one of the most bizarre days in history, with reason for celebration, mourning, reflection, and rebirth.  Today marks the first legal 4/20 for Colorado and Washington residents to smoke pot without consequence, a truly monumental event in the history of marijuana laws in the United States.  It also marks Hitler’s 125th birthday, the 100th year anniversary of the most violent labor conflict in U.S. history in Ludlow, Colorado (I know, ironic), the 15 year anniversary of the Columbine Massacre (thanks Little), and the day Jesus rose from the grave to save all sinners.  For those heading to Palmer and the Otters today, it just may be the highest form of enjoyment on yet another beautiful Vermont spring day.  Milk Boat will be going straight to the dome at the Joint concert, and the Otters will surely provide dank nuggets of uproarious laughter.  Don’t miss out.  But there’s more to today than just a toke frenzy.

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Let’s Start the Conversation: A Story-Telling Event on Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Wellness at Middlebury College

Body image poster (2)

This February, middbeat published an article regarding body image at Middlebury, which served as the starting point for an initiative to begin conversing about and improving the often negatively influential body comparison culture at Middlebury. We requested students submit reflections on their experience with body image issues at Middlebury, and these reflections, stories, poems, etc. were to then serve as the material read at a body image themed story-telling event this spring.

To say the least, we were blown away by the numerous submissions we received, and are proud to announce that the event, titled Let’s Start the Conversation: A Story-Telling Event on Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Wellness at Middlebury College will be taking place this Thursday, April 17. At this event, a collection of the student-submitted reflections will be read aloud anonymously (unless otherwise claimed) by other students in a story-telling format. 

We hope this event will not serve as an isolated experience, but rather as the start of a continuous, productive conversation.

The mission of this project is to spark meaningful conversation and raise awareness about body image and eating disorders on campus, both prescient topics that are too often unaddressed or spoken about only behind closed doors. This event aims to build solidarity, reveal that body image, eating disorders, and obsessive fitness habits are highly significant challenges that male and female Middlebury students face, and begin discussing how we can better address these issues on campus.

We hope to see you there!

Date: Thursday, April 17
Time: 7-9 PM, will start promptly (be sure to check out the Moth after!)
Place: Gamut Room
Cost: Free

A Counter Narrative to “Race, Sex, and the U.S. Constitution” Symposium Presentation

Michigan Affirmative Action

I am posting this opinion on behalf of a guest contributor who asked to remain anonymous:

I attended “Race, Sex and the U.S. Constitution” at the Spring Symposium and I was appalled. For this post, I hope to provide a counter narrative to this particular presentation. I speak directly to those who oppose affirmative action; to those who believe that unemployment and crime is a cultural issue; and those that misunderstand the reach and meaning of civil rights legislation. I am posting anonymously because I am afraid of the response, especially by those who hold positions of power [over me].

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UPCOMING Body Image Story Telling Event: Claim Your Story!

Just for background: This February, middbeat published an article regarding body image at Middlebury, which served as the starting point for an initiative to begin conversing about and improving the often negatively influential body comparison culture at Middlebury. At the end of this article we requested that readers write any sort of reflection on their experience with body image issues at Middlebury, and submit these reflections to middbeat either anonymously or with self-identification. These reflections, stories, poems, etc. were to then serve as the material read at a body image themed story-telling event in hopes of raising awareness, building solidarity, and providing material to converse about at a follow-up discussion on how we might improve the status of body image issues, eating disorders, fitness obsessions, etc. on our campus.

To our great satisfaction, we have received tons of outstanding responses. We are excited to announce that the body image story telling event will take place next week. More details to follow.

For now, we wanted to reach out and ask if anyone who submitted their reflection anonymously would like to “claim their story.” This could take one of two forms: 1. The submitter can read their reflection and still remain anonymous, that is they will not say “this is my story” prior to reading – we encourage this option as written material is always most effectively read aloud by its author. 2. The submitter can personally identify as the author of their story, and read the story aloud. We completely understand that for many people this is an undesirable invasion of privacy, though if you are at all willing, this is an extremely courageous decision that enhances the power of the reading tenfold.

So, if you wrote a reflection and submitted it anonymously but would be willing to “claim it” now and read it at the event next week, please email us at MiddleburyBodies [AT] gmail [DOT] com. We strongly believe this event will be more influential if authors are in some way associated with their stories, as opposed to having them read anonymously by someone else (which will be the case otherwise for the stories selected to be read). As always, we sincerely appreciate your contributions and insights – you’ve blown us away and we are confident this event will be one not to miss. Lastly – if you are interested in reading a story anonymously even if you did not submit a response, please reach out to us at MiddleburyBodies [AT] gmail [DOT] com!

DEBATE TODAY: Has the Two-Party System failed the United States?


If you like to talk about politics, this event is for you.  August Hutchinson ’16.5 writes in with details:

Together, Republicans and Democrats dominate the federal, state, and local governments of the United States, one of the most powerful and influential nations in history. Are they able to effectively govern? Would a different system be better? Come watch some of Middlebury’s best debaters spar over these and other questions.

Date: Sunday, April 6 
Time: 5 pm
Place: Crossroads Cafe

TONIGHT: GlobeMed Benefit Concert ft. Milk Chocolate & Thank God for Mississippi

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.49.34 PMCate Stanton ’15 writes in to tell us about an awesome GlobeMed concert tonight:

Join GlobeMed for an awesome night of music and dancing – all for a great cause! The benefit concert will feature Milk Chocolate, “Middlebury’s Favorite Interracial Rhythm And Blues Duo” featuring Mohan Fitzgerald ’14 and Innocent Tswamuno ’15 with a guest appearance by the ever-famous Caroline Joyner ’15, as well as Thank God for Mississippi, an all time favorite here at Middlebury. Three dollar entrance fee, cash preferred. All event proceeds go to Gardens for Health International - a nonprofit NGO in Rwanda that collaborates with existing health centers to eradicate childhood malnutrition through agricultural techniques and education. Concert starts early – the perfect way to kick off the first Friday back!

Date: Tonight, April 4
Time: 8:30 PM – later
Place: McCullough Social Space
Cost: $3 entrance fee, cash preferred


Be A Student Host for Preview Days!

Nathan LaBarba ’14 writes in to tell us:

Be a Student Host!

It’s that time of year again! Spring has sprung (actually it hasn’t at all), the weather is warming (actually it isn’t at all), and Middlebury has offered admissions to more than 1,200 prospective high school seniors (that part is true). Many of them will be visiting campus in two weeks, on Wednesday April 16th and Thursday April 17th, and they all need a place to sleep! Remember your Preview Days weekend? It has the potential to be an amazing time. Senior Admissions Fellow Nathan LaBarba ’14 writes, “I met a few people during Preview Days that ended up becoming some of my best friends at Midd. I was also a Palmer resident last year when we hosted Preview Days WNB, and the look on kids’ faces as they marveled at Midd were priceless. Hosting is an awesome opportunity to represent our school and show prospective students how much we love this place.”

If you have interest in hosting a student for Preview Days, sign up NOW at go/hosting, or e-mail Nathan at

LECTURE TODAY: Park Again: The Ongoing History of the End of Public Space

3166C0D2-B78E-4054-988E-3EADFFA6AA9DIneffective use of public space and how we might improve this predicament have been hot conversation topics recently at Middlebury. Questions like, “Why isn’t McCullough really a student center?” and “Why would they create a swipe system, Proctor is Midd’s only real student space?” are justified and fascinating to unpack. Today, the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, Departments of Geography, History, Sociology and Anthropology will be hosting a lecture absolutely worth checking out if you are interested in urban planning or the use of public spaces, titled Park Again: The Ongoing History of the End of Public Space

The public lecture will be given by Don Mitchell, Distinguished Professor of Geography, Syracuse University, an award-winning author, and a social justice activist. Mitchell has an extensive portfolio of public space studies, and will be focusing specifically on the tumultuous history and present standing of the park as a public space.

Date: Today, March 31
Place: Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room (upstairs in RAJ)
Time: 4:30 – 6 PM
Cost: Free, open to anyone!


TONIGHT: Community Water Solutions Summer Fellowship Info Session!!

Did you know…
Over 884 million people across the world lack access to an improved water supply.
Approximately 2.5 million children die each year from waterborne diseases.
In Africa, approximately 700,000 people die each year from these preventable waterborne diseases.

Looking for a summer plan? An exciting alternative to the behind-the-desk internship or ice cream scooping gig? Tonight, there will be an info session for the Summer Fellowship with Community Water Solutions with Middlebury CWS Fellow Alums in Hillcrest at 4:30, which we highly suggest you attend. Community Water Solutions is an incredible non-profit based in Western Africa, co-founded by Kate Clopeck, a MIT graduate and former rocket science who visited Midd for the at the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship speaker series last year. Community Water Solutions addresses the extremely severe clean water crisis in Western Africa and empowers women to launch sustainable water businesses. CWS does not drill wells but instead brings students and young professionals from around the world to West Africa (Ghana) where they build water treatment centers and train local women to run them. These businesses provide safe drinking water to the entire community, generate income for the women entrepreneurs who run them, and use local products. To date, CWS has launched 60 water businesses in Ghana that provide clean water to almost 35,000 people. 100% of our businesses are still in operation today. 

The CWS model is based on two components:

  • They use low-cost, community-scale water treatment and household safe storage solutions to ensure that the water stays safe and clean while users transport it and store it in their homes.
  • They use a hands-on approach to engaging communities as owners, operators and customers to ensure comprehensive community access to safe water, sustained use and lasting social change.

The four week CWS Summer Fellowship in Ghana has run successfully since the Summer of 2010 – many Middlebury students have participated in the fellowship, including myself, Leah Fessler ’15 and Hudson Cavanaugh ’14, with whom I will host the info session tonight. The CWS Fellowship Program is a “water education and leadership training experience in Northern Region Ghana with the purpose of teaching individuals about the global water crisis, and inspiring them to become leaders in the field of international development.” I participated in the Fellowship the summer after my freshman year, and can vouch that it was one of the most fullfilling, unique and educational experiences I have ever had. Read more about the Fellowship beyond the click.

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