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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Editorial

It is an exciting time for young entrepreneurs at Middlebury College — and consequently, for everyone else as well. With the impending opening of the new student-run Juice Bar, the recent opening of the on-campus thrift store The Trunk, the new micro financing group MiddStart and the grocery-delivery business MiddShop, this spring seems to be something of a renaissance for student-led organizations and initiatives that seek to improve campus life and increase the wealth of resources available to students. Beyond the intrinsic benefits of these initiatives, we also encourage the student body to recognize and appreciate the boom of entrepreneurial spirit on campus.

Although the College weathered the recession admirably, managing to keep our proverbial head above water despite significant hits to our endowment, there was a noticeable downturn in available resources and operating hours of food venues. We fully recognized, both at the time and still today, that sacrifices were necessary to the continued achievement of the College’s mission of providing a top-notch, worldwide education to its students. The administration made many unpopular decisions, but overall it managed to ensure that the necessities of the Middlebury College experience remained intact.

Now, as we emerge from another frigid Winter Term and embrace the coming spring, it is encouraging to see old stand-bys, like the Juice Bar, re-emerging on the wings of student leadership. With creative student minds now running the show both from behind the scenes and behind the counter, we look forward to the revival of a once-frequented beverage option, and we are eager to partake in the benefits of its transformation into an additional food source.

The Trunk, too, represents the ingenuity and determination of Middlebury students. Rather than the enormous piles of too-bulky-to-travel stuff that inevitably piles up outside of dorms on move-out day, students can now bring such goods to Adirondack House attic. Here, students can barter for goods with their trade-ins, or offer cash (nothing over $5). As if recycling unwanted text books were not green enough, all profits will be donated to environmental initiatives on campus.

While the students responsible should be commended for taking these opportunities, we cannot forget the administration that has provided them. The idea to put the Juice Bar into the hands of students came directly from Old Chapel, and while the Trunk was not the administration’s brainchild, it was still receptive to the shop’s growth and provided the materials for the fledgling business to take root.

These opportunities benefit the student body in general and provide an especially valuable learning experience for the students at the helm. The chances for entrepreneurship are not inherent at liberal arts institutions, where the focus is invariably on academics. By providing such opportunities for students, the administration is effectively killing two birds with one stone: returning much appreciated resources to the student body, and adding a new dimension to the education received by the lucky few who have taken charge.

Explore More:
Midd Start
Old Stone Mill
Midd Shop


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