Category Archives: Middlebury Town

Labor Day Celebration: Vermont Workers Center Presents Bernie Sanders

For those of you on campus this coming Labor Day weekend, make sure to check out the Vermont Workers’ Center’s Labor Day Celebration on Monday, September 1, starting at 5:00 PM on the Town Green.  Sen. Bernie Sanders along with other Vermont labor leaders will speak at 5:30 following a cook out and live music from the Bob Mackenzie Band.  It has been a big year for labor in Vermont, between the CCTA strike this past spring, an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 over the next 3 years, and Vermont homecare workers winning their first contract, just to name a few among many landmark events.  And what better way to celebrate than with the much loved Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has hinted at providing a challenge from the left in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries, and has a long history of fighting on behalf of labor in his home state as well as the national stage.  The event is co-sponsored by Vermont Workers’ Center, UE, Vermont AFL-CIO, Vermont NEA, VT State Employees Association (VSEA).  Hope to see you there.

When: Monday, September 1 5:00 PM food and band, 5:30 speakers
Where: Middlebury Town Green
Cost: Free

7 Ways to Relieve Your Ridiculously Awful Weekend Hangover at Middlebury

Your Sunday just got a whole lot easier...

So while many of you have deserted campus for the summer, some of Middlebury’s finest have stayed to soak up those Vermont rays, check out all the best hidden swim spots, and, oh yeah – party (maybe a little too much, but hey, no classes right?!). We’re here to share some tips on navigating your mind-numbing hangover, Midd-style.

1. 11 AM(ish) Proctor. Be there.

What better way to alleviate your morning-after headache-slamin’ sorrows than seeking solace in the masses? Thankfully, there’s a solid chance at least 75% of the dining hall is suffering right along side you. Grab some grub, a good viewing table (beware of proximity to last nights HU, or sit awkwardly close. Whatever works for you), and remember (or try to) all your Saturday night escapades alongside Middlebury’s finest.

2. Shower and change those clothes.

Nothing worse than wearing Grille remains or evidence of last night’s punch. Whether it’s a too-tight dress or a questionably stained T-shirt, a solid wash and switch to Sunday’s best (or just a your favorite sweatsuit) can go a long way to preserve any semblance of personal integrity.

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Cursive Coffee: New Coffee Shop to Open in Middlebury

Middlebury is notably lacking a high quality coffee spot.  The dining hall coffee does’t quite reach diner status, and Crossroads, Carol’s, and Wilson are few notches above decent. Fortunately, Cursive Coffee, a Burlington based roaster, espresso bar, and artisan coffee shop, recently reached out to middbeat in hopes of generating stoke about their project to bring good coffee to Middlebury.  Founders Jim Osborne and Sam Clifton are working with Middlebury-based architect Anne Barakat to start an espresso bar at Barakat’s new office location at 58 Main Street, a few doors down from Vermont’s Own.  Barakat has designed spaces for the likes of Ben and Jerry’s, Hotel Vermont, and the American Bible Society, and, to add extra flavor to her Middlebury headquarters, is partnering up with Cursive to provide high caliber Joe for Middlebury. They currently have an IndieGogo campaign to raise money for the project with hopes of reaching $11,500 by May 23.  While middbeat will not ask our readers to donate, we do think the Barakat-Cursive partnership will be a great addition to Middlebury’s downtown, and would like to provide a platform for donation if this project interests you.  See after the jump for more background on Cursive’s growth from a mobile coffee shop at the Burlington Farmer’s market to a South End establishment, and more information on how to donate.

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I want to ride my BICYCLE, I want to ride my BIKE!

Finally. As someone who loves to bike but could never bear to shell out dimes for my own ride, I was stoked to hear the news about Middlebury’s new Bikeshare Program. The initiative was spearheaded by Paul Quakenbush ’14 (an avid cyclist and a Bike Shop employee) and was carried through with the support of the Department of Public Safety and the Library Circulation Services. Students can check out one of eight bikes available at Davis Library, ride it to your heart’s desire for a maximum of 24 hours before returning it to this convenient location. Simple. Accessible. Brilliant.

In case you missed the recent email from the Middlebury Bike Shop, here are the details on how to check one out.

1. Sign up for the program and sign the liability waiver at go/bikeshare

2. Receive your Middlebury Bikeshare Program sticker from the campus bike shop during regular operating hours.  – Hours are Monday-Thursday: 7- 10 pm; Friday-Saturday: 3- 6 pm. Bike shop is located in the basement of Adirondack House

3. Present your student ID card, with sticker attached, at the Davis Family library to check out a bike.

4. Return bike, with lock and key securely attached, within 24 hours, or risk a frozen library account and return fines.

Middbeat checked in with Paul to hear more about his motivations, the process behind getting this thing up and running, and the support of faculty members throughout.

MB: What were the motivations behind creating this program??
One of the inspirations from the program came from the yellow bike hanging in the bike shop, which is the last bike standing from a previous Middlebury bike share program. That program called “the yellow bike program” left yellow bikes out on campus. Unfortunately, all of the bikes ended up being stolen or abused, so I knew that we needed a different model. The other big inspiration was seeing students come into the shop every year looking for a bike rental after all of our rental bikes had already been rented out.  There was a clearly a bicycling need to be filled and I wanted a system that would get bikes into as many hands as possible. Lastly, as a senior and as someone from another college town (Amherst, MA) I understand the social and economic implications of town vs. gown. In addition to getting to class faster, I think bicycles are a great way to get students out into beautiful Vermont and to better integrate the college and town. Another inspiration is the bike shop. We operate on the “teach a woman to fish” model and being able to fix a bike is a great life skill to have. Finally, my biggest inspiration is my experience riding a bike. Riding a bike provides a sense of mobility, freedom, and exhilaration that should be accessible to everyone.

SUNDAY: The Conversation Continues: A Follow-Up Discussion on Body Image at Midd

Image from Glamour Body Image Survey

Image from Glamour Body Image Survey

Last week, we were extremely pleased to see so many of you show up for the first Body Image Story-Telling event. Significant feedback about the power of the stories and the pertinence of body image related issues on campus has motivated a follow-up discussion to the event. At this Sunday’s follow-up meeting we are going to discuss where to go moving forward after this event and converse about what we want the school to offer in terms of resources related to body image, wellness, and eating disorders. We are honored to announce that the two Vermont state representatives for The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders will be joining us and will speak about various on and off campus eating disorder resources. We encourage anyone to join this conversation, whether or not you attended last week’s Gamut Room event. We look forward to seeing you there! Plus, there will be free Noonie’s catering! 

What: Follow-up discussion to Body Image Story-Telling event
Date: Sunday, April 27
Time: 2 – 3:30 PM
Place: Palmer House living room (first floor)

Dean Shirley Collado: People You Haven’t Really Met Yet

Dean Shirley Collado has a new post up on her blog about creating more organic connections between students, faculty, and staff members.  Read and comment below.

When I go to 51 Main, I feel as though I am close to a little piece of home (Brooklyn, New York) because I run into all types of people there. Not just students. Not just townspeople. But everyone imaginable. They are enjoying a shared interest, mingling, being together in the same place. Worlds collide there in a way that feels comfortable. But on campus, this sort of mingling does not occur as much as I would like, and I feel we are worse off for it.

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XC Team Wins Big in Donny’s Honor

applesOn March 8, the Middlebury Cross Country team was the first student group to win the Vermont Chili Festival. The team, led by Jake Fox ’15 went home with $100 in prize money from their first place award in the “Kitchen Sink” category and another $1000 for their overall win. Here’s a few words from Jake about the whole process:

We wanted to make a vibrant and warm chili: we had apples, multicolored bell, anaheim, jalapeno, and habanero peppers, three kinds of beans, and lots of tomatoes and onions. We were in the kitchen sink category due to our inclusion of beef and chicken sausage. I had about 35 people (Chem dept friends, a professor, and XC folk) show up on game day to help prepare, cook, and serve the 24ish gallons of chili we made.

WOW. Chili is great, but it’s important to keep in mind the inspiration for this whole endeavor, according to Jake:

Jake, the mastermind

Jake, the mastermind

Certainly, it was exciting to win an event so popular to the town and college, but a win was not really on our radar when we committed to participate in the Fest. Rather, our goal was to commemorate our teammate Donny Dickson ’11, and we accomplished this by promoting the Rumpus Run (a 5k fundraiser in his name the day after Chili Fest) and by sharing a fun-loving energy–one reflective of Donny’s spirit–with the town, with the college, and with each other. Those two accomplishments alone would have been enough, so the $1100 of prize money that we donated to his scholarship fund was icing on the cake (or an equivalent chili idiom).

It was a weekend full of accomplishments and memories for the XC team who went on the organize and compete in the Rumpus Run in Donny’s honor the following day, raising around $18,000 for his scholarship fund and bringing together hundreds of friends and family. Here’s Nighthawk’s recollection of gameday:

As sun crept over the luscious Green Mountains and into Gifford 411 on the morning of March 8th, the vibrations of a white iphone 5c rang through the once tranquil room. The clock said 5:30 AM, but to the weathered culinary crusader, it was time to cook some fucking chili. After spending years from his passion of creating oral pleasure, it was the one they called Foxxx that was able convinced Nighthawk to step out of retirement. And only after confronting the demons of his past, Nighthawk and the Spice Brothers began to prepare.

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Midd High School Students Meet Gandalf

Ian McKellen speaks to MUHS students after a show in NYC

Ian McKellen speaks to MUHS students after a show in NYC

We’re not the only students around these parts doing amazing things.  A couple weeks ago, a Middlebury Union High School class took quite a field trip to New York City to see a play.  Here’s a word or two from their teacher, Tim O’Leary:

Students from Middlebury Union High School’s AP English class attended one of the final performances of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the Cort Theatre in NYC starring Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Shuler Hensley, and Billy Crudup. I was able to arrange a 15 minute discussion about the play with Sir Ian after the curtain. The production has been running in reperatory with Harold Pinters’ No Man’s Land. Both productions close at the end of March.

Sounds like an incredible learning experience!  Kudos to O’Leary for putting the trip together.  Click to see a video of McKellen discussing Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” with the students. 

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Brother to Brother Information Session

Brother to Brother 2

CALLING ALL MEN (and women interested in discussing masculinity).  As part of a new initiative to promote the idea of positive masculinity, The College has enlisted students’ help to create some new programming.  There has a lot of talk about women’s issues lately, which is fantastic. Tonight is an opportunity to have an often overlooked conversation about what it means to be a man here at Middlebury, a conversation that can surely take many forms. Student organizer Mzwakithi “Prestige” Shongwe ’16 writes in about tonight’s event:

As part of Middlebury College’s initiative to foster a dialogue
about positive masculinity on campus and beyond, we are setting up a
Brother to Brother mentorship program for middle school boys.
Brother-to-Brother college participants will organize a boy’s summit
at the end of the spring semester to explore, acknowledge and
challenge expectations about what it means to be a “man” in today’s
world. We are looking for male-identified students who enjoy
interacting with young boys and engaging them in entertaining and
enriching activities.

There will be an information session in Hillcrest 103 (the Orchard) tonight at 5:30 for those interested.

What: Brother to Brother Information session
When: Tonight, 5:30 PM
Where: Hillcrest 103 (The Orchard)

Voters Approve Town Construction Plan

Look forward to this.

Look forward to this.

After extensive debate at last week’s School District meeting and last night’s Town Meeting, the voters of Middlebury have decided to move forward with a plan to demolish the Town Office Building and Municipal Gym to be rebuilt in new locations.  The election results were released after a day of open polls and hours of counting ballots.  The tally for Article 6, the main point of discussion, was 915 for and 798 against.  For those like me who need a calculator for basic math, that’s 1,713 total votes and a difference of 117.  Pretty darn close.

Regardless of your feelings about the outcome, we can all appreciate the impressive amount of community involvement in this major decision for the Town. Many concerns were expressed during this process about the divisive nature of this issue and the potential for lack of consensus to create a rift in the community.  Let’s hope that such an outcome can be avoided.  After hearing many impassioned speeches at last night’s town meeting, I certainly hope that concerns about space for teen and senior programming and accessibility issues can be appropriately addressed, a hope shared by at least 798 people in this community.

Residents of both the Town and Campus can look forward to some new additions to the landscape in the coming months: a beautiful park connecting the Town and College, a welcoming new Town Office building located on the rotary downtown, and a multi-purpose gymnasium available for public use on the new Creek Road site. Extensive details of the plan are available online, as well as lot’s of cool pictures from the future.

An early design for the park.  The College will own this land and be responsible for demolition, landscaping, and maintenance.

An early design for the park. The College will own this land and be responsible for demolition, landscaping, and maintenance.

Thanks for following Middbeat’s coverage of this process, our first foray into local politics.  As always, please submit anything and everything, town-related or otherwise to middbeat[at]gmail[dot]com. Read after the jump for the full election report, including results for the Selectboard, Schoolboard, and Articles 6-9.

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