Category Archives: Student Groups

Come Watch the TEDx Student Speaker Competition

Come be a part of the awesomeness!

Be a part of the awesomeness!

Like TEDx? Want to hear some fantastic ideas? Interested in hearing what other Middkids have to say? Enjoy Grille food?

If you answered yes to any of those questions (which you know you totally did), come out to the annual TEDxMiddlebury Student Speaker Competition! Support your friends and other fellow Middkids, listen to some fantastic ideas and eat FREE cookies and brownies!

Date: September 30th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Place: Crossroads Cafe, McCollough
Cost: Free

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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YouPower Opens!

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Tired of walking to the gym? Starting to feel like you’re going to elliptical yourself insane? Looking for a better, sweatier version of the Atwater party last weekend? Check out the YouPower spin room! The YouPower spin room officially opened Monday with a full class schedule and full classes. For those of you new to Midd’s frenzied fitness culture, the YouPower spin club offers student-lead, drop-in cycling classes for all levels, 7 days a week. Class offerings vary by instructor, so be sure to check out a few different classes for the full YouPower experience. New this semester is Sunday’s Yoga/Spin class, where veteran spin instructor Sarah Fossett ’17 and Midd’s favorite yoga teacher Sayre Weir ’15 have combined forces to offer a full mind and body workout. No idea what that means? This combination class offers 45 minutes of spinning followed by 30 minutes of flow. Whether you’re trying to get rid of the hangover or get a jumpstart on Monday, this class is worth your time. Caveat: this is YouPower’s one sign-up only class. Sign-ups open each Friday at 9 am and close at 7 pm, and riders will be offered spots using a lottery draw system. 

The YouPower studio is located on the Bi-Hall side of the FIC. Once you pass the main entrance to the FIC, take a right on the grass and follow the exterior of the building until you reach the cement step. Bring a water bottle and clean shoes and get ready to get sweaty!

Otter Nonsense Auditions! (Improv Group)


Conor Grant ’15

This Thursday and Friday the Otters will be having auditions from 4:30-6:00 in Forest East Lounge. Now If you just read that and thought “I can’t audition I’ve never done improv before,” or “I’m not funny enough,” come audition anyway! Many Otters, current and former, had never done improv before the first audition.

Date: Thursday and Friday
Time: 4:30-6
Place: Forest East Lounge (by Registrar)

Hidden Gym: Middlebury’s Rock Wall


Sasha Digiulian in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, on Pure Imagination (5.14d)

With the beginning of a new year on this idilic college campus, we returning students have found ourselves blessed with a half a thousand or so new students to populate our school. All the new faces, in fact, bring me back to the early days of his own Middlebury career, and conjure up old memories and impressions…

Stumbling through the first couple of weeks on campus I remember seeing great imposing green mountains, plenty of marble buildings, fluttering flannels, Patagonia clothing at every corner like a plague, and many, many athletic-looking people.

While there are plenty of other things that make us Middlebury students unique, the athletic stereotype is something that has stuck out to me even before he was a student here, and still does. While there are all types of body types, levels of athleticism, and different styles of people on this campus, as a student who never played organized sports, the abundance of fit-looking people on this campus was a bit of a surprise, as I’m sure it is for most people who have spent some time at Middlebury. Where on earth did all these people come from that made them so damn athletic? The Olympics? Sweden?

While 27% of the student body are varsity athletes, this statistic doesn’t seem to give a full explanation. A simpler way to explore this phenomenon would be to head down to the Nelson arena at 2 pm on any given day and observe the literal fuck-ton of students either on their way to, in the middle of, or just finishing up exercising. Shocking as it may be, the easiest answer to this question of why so many people look so damn fit is that so many damn people work out. A lot. Before class, after class, late at night, between homework and labs, before meals, after meals — anyone who has spent any time near the athletic center has most likely been witness to the constant ant-like stream of students that plow in and out of that sweaty smelling corner of campus.

However, for the rest of us, those who don’t take any pleasure in sprinting many miles on an obnoxiously humming treadmill, or pushing metal weights over our chests (though there’s a place and time for every exercise), it’s easy to feel a little left out. So, it is for the sake of all the students at Midd who are not natural born Greek Gods and were never close to being varsity athletes or long distance running junkies, that I’d like to provide an alternative the traditional, and fanatic, Middlebury fitness world. It’s called Rock Climbing.

Whether you’re new here or have just never heard of it, I am writing to let you know that Middlebury does indeed have a rock wall, and that you should all definitely at least come to check it out. Read more about this awesome place beyond the jump…


The Middlebury Rock Wall in all its resplendence.

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Middlebury’s First Running Club!


Do you love to run but get tired of running the same trails alone? Want to meet more recreational Midd runners, and explore new trails? This year Middlebury’s first running group is tearing up the TAM! The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays on the track at 4:30 pm. Tuesdays are long runs and Thursdays are a variety of track workouts. Check it out no matter what your fitness level is! The mission of the club is to connect runners around Middlebury and give runners the opportunity to switch up their routines with some fun workouts! If you are interested in joining you can email or come out on Tuesday or Thursday!

JusTalks 2015 needs YOUR Support!


Middlebury will host its 3rd Annual JusTalks event on January 10th, 2015!

JusTalks is a one-day J-term event for first-years and sophomore Febs dedicated to communication, personal discourse, and self-analysis. We will engage in dialogue related to different aspects of identity including, but not limited to, gender, race, class, age, disability, and sexual identity. There is a pressing need for these discussions, but there are few spaces on campus in which to carry them out. JusTalks aims to provide a safe space for students to grapple with these issues. Created and organized by students, it is a chance for all first-years in their first J-Term to think about their own identities and the identities of the 2,500 other Middlebury students we walk past every day.

Think this is something the Campus needs? Get involved!

We are looking for first-year and sophomore-feb to participate and sophomore/junior/senior (fens included) as facilitators. Visit our website (go/justalks) for a complete description of ways you can help out!

On Tap Auditions Sunday


Tap Pic (1)

Laura Strom ’14.5 writes in:

Calling all Tap Dancers! On Tap, Middlebury’s performance tap dance group, is looking for new members. For our shows each semester, we learn a variety of student-choreographed and classic tap pieces, in a wide range of different styles. We would love anyone with tap experience and a free hour on Sunday nights to come and dance with us! Auditions will be held Sunday, September 21st, at 7:30 pm on the stage in McCullough Social Space.

We will being doing a basic warm-up and then teaching a short combination. Bring your own shoes or use ours!

Email lstromATmiddleburyDOTedu for more information.

When: Sunday, September 21 at 7:30 PM
Where: McCullough Social Space
Cost: nope

Middlebury Disorientation Guide Pt. 2: Current Student Activism, Advice for Saving Money on Campus, and LGBTQ Community

This is a continuation of yesterday’s feature on a pamphlet created by Middlebury student activists called the Middlebury Disorientation Guide. Today’s post features an introduction to some of the most vibrant pieces of current student activism on campus, as well as advice for saving money, and avenues of expression and support for the LGBTQ community.  See after the jump for the second portion, and find the full guide here.

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TEDx Student Speaker Competition

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Are you thoughtful? Feeling inspired and/or reasonably confident?? Have an idea worth spreading??? Do you hate the new tailgate policy????? If you answered yes to any of these questions, apply for the TEDx Student Speaker Competition for a chance to give a full-length, professionally recorded TED talk at the fifth annual TEDxMiddlebury competition. To apply, submit your talk title and brief summary (150 words) to tedxATmiddleburyDOTedu by September 28th at midnight. Participants will give four-minute pitches to a panel of judges in Crossroads Cafe on Tuesday, September 30th [7-9pm], then a winner will be selected to give a full TED talk at the event on November 9th. All students are encouraged to apply, as well as attend the event–free snacks provided!

When: Submit your proposed talk to by September 28rd
Where: The internet
Cost: Courage and imagination