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Friday, Sep 29, 2023


Author: [no author name found]

To The Editor:

I write today to apologize to the Community Council and to the Middlebury College community for communicating confidential information from our annual house review to the leadership of one of the houses. In sharing this information, I acted rashly and without considering whether the information was to be kept confidential or not. My mistake has been addressed by the Community Council, in part through an official censure. I will remain on the Council as a voting member. I have every expectation that the Council has dealt with the issue and that we will now be able to move onward with a review process which will yield fair and equitable recommendations regarding each and every house.

—Kevin King '02

To The Editor:

Community Council takes seriously the issue of privacy and confidentiality. We regret the breach of confidentiality which took place with regard to the review of the social houses. In an executive session which took place yesterday, Tuesday, April 9, 2002, Community Council voted to censure Kevin King.

—Erica Rosenthal '02 & Ann Hanson, dean of student affairs, co-chairs, Community Council

To The Editor:

Saturday, April 6, 2002, members of the College community exercised their rights to petition and freedom of speech. Officers of the Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Middlebury Police Department denied one particular protester this right when they threatened to "physically remove" her from the premises if she did not stop protesting. Apparently this officer thought it was within her power to deny the right to freedom of speech to this protester and also informed her that she would be receiving an incident report.
If the College seeks this course of action, it will undeniably send the message that should you disagree with any point of view, officers of the Department of Public Safety and possibly the Middlebury Police Department will squash any action that takes place in protest. "Students and student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately," so states the College policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Expression. "Middlebury College is a community of learners and as such recognizes and affirms that free, honest intellectual inquiry, debate and constructive dialogue are vital to the academic mission of the College and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial." This is a statement from the College's harassment policy. Also, "The College recognizes that its students are citizens of larger communities — local, state, and federal — and should enjoy the same rights of petition and freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly that other citizens enjoy."
Middlebury College has made all of the above statements in accordance with its policies on student conduct; however, when given a chance to make good on its promises to the students of the College community, the institution fails to do so. Furthermore, they crossed the boundaries of the law. "Prevention of another's free expression of ideas by intimidation, abuse, or physical force" is a serious offense and also punishable in a court of law. I urge the College to uphold the rights of petition and freedoms of speech. Practice what you preach.

—Dominique Thompson '03

To The Editor:

I picked up a copy of The Middlebury Campus today. Since the date of the issue is April 3, I assume the article, "Smart Security or Big Brother?" is an April Fool's joke. That is, I would assume so, except that I didn't find anything else in the issue that was particularly foolish.
I cannot believe that the College is planning to institute the card system you report. Generally, the system, as described, is outrageous. Specifically, objections can be raised, such as, how would a system like that apply to visitors and other innocent victims, such as the general public attending College plays, concerts or art exhibits? How much security would the system provide when so many hundreds of loopholes per year could not be plugged? Is there, perhaps, provision for carding United Parcel Service (UPS), vending machine re-stockers, parents, alumni, state police and the like? What about people audacious enough to use the street behind Proctor, which is a public road belonging to the town of Middlebury? Just the number who could sneak in from the cemetery is enough to render the system irrelevant. I hope to see an article on the rejection of this idea, or an explanation that it was indeed a bow to April Fool's.

—Helen H. Reiff, Middlebury resident

To The Editor:

Why is Bicentennial Hall strung with clotheslines and the paintings of babes? The answer is that we could have resorted to caustic messages spray-painted on king-sized bed sheets that spelled out our political objectives in bright orange letters, but instead we chose to use the creations of Vermont schoolchildren from the rural town of Tunbridge (maybe some of you have been to the annual World's Fair there.). These painted hands, feet, and suns created by the daughters and sons of the seventh generation will, hopefully, speak more loudly than anything that we might have written.
We wanted people to ask, "why?" A question little children ask all the time, sometimes with annoying frequency. We did not want to annoy you, though, but only to gently suggest something. Those of you who have asked "why?" may already know that Project Laundry List, which instigated this installation, tries to use a positive approach in spreading its message. Our message: 6 to 10 percent of residential energy use is attributed to the electric clothes dryer. Hanging out your clothes is a great way to take personal responsibility for energy consumption. Producing energy is the most destructive thing that we do. Vermont depends on nuclear power and the large dams of Hydro-Quebec's James Bay Project for over two-thirds of its electricity needs. You can make a difference simply by using a wooden drying rack or clothesline.
Our hope is that this message will spread across college campuses, that colleges will seriously consider making drying racks and drying space available to students. If you want to learn more about clotheslines, there will be opportunities as part of the upcoming Earth Week festivities. Contact MISD for more information.

—Alexander Lee, Founder & Executive Director, Project Laundry List