Category Archives: Causes

March Against Police Brutality Discussion TONIGHT

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Tonight at 6:45 in Ross B11 (downstairs, past the bathrooms), DMC and WOC will host a discussion regarding last week’s Silent March Against Police Brutality.  Hiruy Ephrem ’17 writes in:

October 22nd marked the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. That evening, many Middlebury students gathered together and showed their support against brutality through a peaceful, powerful, silent march around campus. The march not only payed homage to those that have unjustly lost their lives but was also a step in the right to direction in exposing injustices. Come down to Ross B11 this Thursday and join us as we further discuss and reflect on the issue of police brutality.

Don’t miss the chance to continue a discussion much larger in scope than the ills of campus social life.

When: Tonight, Thursday Oct. 30, 6:45-8:00
Where: Ross Seminar Room B11
Cost: N/A

OP-ED: Hit WHO Where it Hurts? A Response to The Campus’ “Hit ‘Em Where it Hurts”

In response to a recent opinion piece in the Middlebury Campus titled Hit ‘Em Where it Hurts, which addresses student protest and avenues for change at Middlebury, student activist Adriana Ortiz-Burnham ’17 writes in with her opinion on the issue and her reaction to the article’s claims:

In The Middlebury Campus, (Oct 09) Luke Smith-Stevens, in “Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts,” characterizes Middlebury students as “a captive market.” He claims we “are left with few options for student protest” because “there are basically zero avenues to create change…” Given that the “nouveau-activists” to whom he refers are students irate about tailgating policy, my question is whether those avenues at Middlebury are appropriate for the tailgating issue.

Smith-Stevens suggests a student worker strike as an effective way to gain the attention of the administration. He admits “there are flaws in this idea…the lost income it would mean for student workers.” Why, yes. I have two jobs at Middlebury and one at home, which contribute significantly to the costs of my education. I would be expected to sacrifice my ability to pay for my education while being subsidized by those with “no skin in the game.”

Perhaps approaching the administration was not effective in the tailgating effort; I am not privy to those details. Smith-Stevens says the strike should be a “response to a truly unacceptable administrative policy, the likes of which we haven’t recently seen.” I can name at least one policy which is in fact “truly unacceptable,” that of AAL. Several of us have spent months trying to change it.

The aim of MiddIncluded, of which I am a founding member, is to broaden the cultures and civilizations requirement from Comparative; Europe; North America (excluding Mexico); and Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East; to Comparative, North America (including Mexico); and a choice of two of the following: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Europe. Why? Because “AAL” elevates the significance of Europe, the U.S.A., and Canada, while lumping the rest of the world into the category of “other.” This requirement is outdated, anachronistic, and fundamentally discriminatory.

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TODAY: Visiting Architecture Lecturer: Jim Cutler

Grace Episcopal Church, designed by Cutler Anderson Architects. Father of Blake Harper '15 is pastor at this church!

Grace Episcopal Church, designed by Cutler Anderson Architects. Father of Blake Harper ’15 is pastor at this church!

As we’ve been recently discussing on middbeat, place, space, and architecture can seriously impact the ways the environment, communities, social groups, individual people, and even strangers act and interact. Certainly we’ve all got ideas on how Midd’s architecture and public space ought to be tweaked so to re-vamp social life and community building, but we could certainly use advice from an expert. Enter Jim Cutler, founding principal of Cutler Anderson Architects in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

As their site explains, “Established in 1977, Cutler Anderson Architects (formerly James Cutler Architects) is internationally renowned for its environmental awareness and attention to detail. Their approach to design can be stated simply as an attempt to reveal the nature of every circumstance – the nature of the institution that we house, the nature and significance of the place in which it is located, the nature and power of the materials with which we build.”

As founder and principal of Cutler Anderson Architects, Jim Cutler, FAIA has won numerous design awards, and is known for his sensitive engagement of land and place. More, Cutler served as the Cameron Visiting Architect-in-Residence here at Middlebury in fall 2009. Today, Cutler will be speaking about his firm, his architectural work, and his theories behind space, place, and construction. Be there.

Date: Today, October 30
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Place: BiHall Room 216
Cost: Nada

Recap: Silent March Against Police Brutality

IMG_1321[1] This past Wednesday marked the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, a nationwide movement to bring attention to and reform racist and oppressive policing.  In a show of solidarity, about 60 students and faculty gathered for a silent march, toting signs and candles from Ross dining hall to Olin and Mead Chapel.  Students broke the silence only to present readings giving personal and historical context to the police brutality and racial oppression inherent to the country’s criminal justice system.  The march at Middlebury was organized by a number of campus cultural organizations, including Distinguished Men of Color, Women of Color, Alianza, and Amnesty International.

The march was a point of action in Middlebury’s student movement to raise questions on the persistence of state violence and an invitation for those who aren’t familiar to get involved and join the national dialogue on race and policing.  Marchers wore black in part as mourning for the victims who have fallen but also as David Ollin Pesquiera ’17, co-chair of Alianza, put it “to symbolize the obscure blindness of our society to do right against wrong.”

While at Middlebury it can be difficult to comprehend the extent to which certain communities close to campus, and all across the country experience the backside of the law.  Just this past summer, national awareness of police brutality reached a peak not seen since the riots following the beating of Rodney King in 1991.  Between the demonstrations and outrage over the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and mass mobilization following the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island at the hands of the NYPD, amonst other instances of police brutality, the issue many have been all too familiar with for years has come to the forefront of our national dialogue.  The march this past Wednesday was a reminder to the Middlebury community of the importance of this dialogue, and an opportunity for students to stand in solidarity with the nationwide movement to end police brutality and racialized policing.

middbeat caught up with some folks participating in the march about their reasons for showing support.  See on after the jump to read their accounts, and check out more photos from the march.

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REMINDER: Middlebury Geographic Submissions Due 10/31

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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 mg@middlebury.edu

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.

Liebowitz to Host Discussion on Campus Social Life

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This semester has proven a tumultuous one with regards to student reactions to administrative policies regulating, some would say killing, student social life.  Aware of this widespread sentiment, President Ron Liebowitz will host a discussion regarding the relationship between the administration’s commitment to student safety and the student body’s desire for a vibrant social life in hopes of finding common ground. The meeting will be in the McCullough Social Space at 8:00 PM on Sunday, November 2. Read below for President Liebowitz’ invitation to the event. middbeat will liveblog the discussion next Sunday.

From President Liebowitz:

Dear Students,

I am keenly aware of the frustration surrounding student social life on campus, and how the behavior of a few has unfortunately, but predictably, shaped our policies that limit social options for the responsible majority.

I would like to hold an open meeting to air as many issues and concerns any and all of you have related to social life and related College policies and practices.  I would like to better understand how we might find some common ground and work to improve what is not a satisfactory situation.

I would also like to share what might be called “the other side” of the issue—the constraints within which we work in approving, or not, activities on campus, as well as provide some history of the efforts made in the past that brought some short-term success.

I believe if we better understood the issues that are getting in the way of social life on campus, as well as the challenges we as administrators face in maintaining a safe environment for our students, faculty, and staff (and neighbors), we could make great progress to improve social life here at Middlebury.

I invite you to a discussion on Sunday, November 2, at 8:00 p.m. in Wilson Hall (McCullough Social Space).  I hope to see many of you there.

Best,

Ron

When: Sunday, November 2 8:00 PM
Where: McCullough Social Space
Cost: N/A

Tibetan Monks to Create Sand Mandala in Library

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If you weren’t aware, over the past few days a group of Tibetan monks have been creating the Sand Mandala of Chenrezig (in Tibetan) or Avalokiteshvara (in Sanskrit), the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion in the Davis Library Atrium. The opening prayer ceremonies for the mandala were held yesterday, and Sunday today the mandala will be dismantled at 4 pm , after which the sand will be dispersed in Otter Creek. The monks will work daily from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and 2p.m.-4 p.m, and all are invited to attend, watch, and accompany the monks to the Otter Creek for the dismantling ceremony.

All sounds super cool, but begs me to ask, what is the Sand Mandala of Chenrezig? In truth, we are rather uneducated about Buddhist deities and religious practices, so we’ve decided to compile some info for all of us to educate ourselves. The Mandala of Chenrezig has got quite a rich history, so be sure to read up, and check out the mandala unveiling tomorrow.

Date: Today, October 24
Time: Dismantling at 4pm Sunday
Place: Davis Family Atrium (unveiling), Otter Creek (dispersal of sand)

Information on the history of the mandala beyond the jump:

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Reflections on Nearly Three Decades Working at the EPA

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Carl R. Howard: The first US environmental statutes (the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, were enacted in 1970 and 1972, respectively. Hazardous waste and toxic substances statutes followed in the mid-70s and 1980s. I studied the first environmental cases in law school in the early to mid-1980s and joined EPA shortly thereafter. What changes have occurred in this field over the past 30 years? What other issues have jumped to the fore? At one point cancer was a major concern for the environmental, and other, communities. It still is, but now we have a greater concern as well…
 
Bio: Mr. Howard is a New York City boy, born and bred. He escaped to beautiful Middlebury College where he graduated in 1981 (after founding the Middlebury Pranksters Ultimate Frisbee Team in 1976). Mr. Howard pursued a career in environmental law at Hofstra Law School on Long Island, graduating in 1986 when he joined the US EPA, Region 2 office back in New York City. For nearly 30 years he has prosecuted polluters and enforced hazardous waste laws and over-seen clean-up of contaminated sites. He is also a past Chair of the New York State Environmental Law Section and current Co-chair of the Global Climate Change Committee of the New York State Bar Association. Come to his talk today to learn more!
When: 12:30-1:20
WhereHillcreast: The Orchard (103)
 

Amnesty International: Silent March against Police Brutality on Campus

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Today Wednesday 22nd October in commemoration of the National Day to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation, a silent march will be held on campus for the purpose of both bringing awareness, and standing in solidarity with those directly and indirectly afflicted by the consequences of police brutality.

The march will begin at 5.30 pm outside Ross dining hall and will follow down College Street, crossing over to Warner, passing through Davis Family library and up to Mead Chapel, with occasional stops where organizers will read biographies or pieces about subjects of police brutraity. The march is scheduled to end in front of Mead Chapel at around 6.30 pm. Marchers will be wearing all black (extra black shirts will be provided for those who don’t possess one).

If you would like to make your own posters/signs, the Crest Room at McCullough will be open from 2-5 PM and there will supplies provided (markers, pencils, paper, etc.). You are welcome to show up anytime. A group of students will convene at Crest Room at 4:30 PM to discuss logistics for the day and make posters. Led candles will also be available.

Please join in and support a cause that has become very prominent these past few years with police shootings and the increasing militarization putting into question the role and context of our policing forces. for more information click here

The march is hosted by DMC, Women of Color, Alianza, and Amnesty International.

When: Today Wednesday 22nd October 5.30 pm
Where: starts outside Ross dining Hall

We hope to see you all there! Take a stance, and make change, Middlebury.

 

 

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 rcga@middlebury.edu.