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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

'Lockdown' Protesting the Protest

Author: Margaret Aleks '03

In many ways, I'm being a hypocrite by writing this. But I'm proceeding to do so anyway. While coming back from Bicentennial Hall to my dorm this afternoon, I walked past numerous signs protesting the College's current 'lockdown' policy. I don't know how many; I have better things to do with my precious time than to count them. But, enough that I got annoyed, and I don't get annoyed that easily. It does amaze me, however, that college students at Middlebury can become so adamant in protesting a little issue like whether or not our dorms are locked. Whether or not I support the 'lockdown' matter is irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is the amount of time and energy that has been spent in terms of this matter. Taking the time to hang up signs and to print little stickers that read "Stop the Lockdown" demonstrates how naïve we are as students. We are an environmentally-friendly school (or so, I'd like to think), but we waste hundreds of sheets of colored paper to express our distaste of having to unlock a door. We can plaster stickers on College buildings without thinking of what the consequences might be in taking them off. When these stickers are removed, will all of our doors be left with a mark reminding us of how immature we are so that our tuition will increase only to pay for new doors or the removal of the remaining residues?

While I admit I don't appreciate being told "how it is" by administrative officials, I believe that students' ways of handling this issue have been deplorable. Not only is it a waste of time and paper, but is this really the biggest problem we can combat? Could this energy not be turned to something that really matters? Think about it: When you return to your parents' house, do you protest the fact that they have two locks on their front door? (Or are my parents the only ones with a regular and deadbolt lock?) At home, I have to unlock two locks—what's the difference if I have to here as well? When I visit a friend at home, I can't just open his or her front door and let myself in. I have to knock, call or meet my friend. Many of us will be living on our own in less than two years; we will most likely have to live in an apartment complex with two locks to reach our apartment. Will we protest that? If we live in our own homes, we will most likely have to unlock two locks. Do we really care if we are, at all, inconvenienced by having to get a key out of our pocket as we reach our dorm building because we'll have to find the key once we reach our dorm room anyway? When it comes down to it, I must argue that this really isn't that important of an issue. So, now that I've wasted my time in writing this editorial, I can move on to more important things. But please, just think about whether or not you couldn't be doing something more beneficial with your time and resources.