This space is yours, this space is mine and this space is ours.
In my final issue as Senior Opinions editor, I am engaging in the very exercise that I’ve valued so greatly here at The Campus. The Opinions section is unique; the one section written in combination by the hearts and the minds of students, faculty, staff, alumni or any other member of our Middlebury community at large. Each week, Opinion offers a platform for any of us to bring an issue to light or to share personal experience with our audience and, for students, their peers.
The public historian Jon Meacham once noted that politics is “about the mediation of differences, not the perpetuation of grievances.” I believe the same holds true with this section, and this mantra remained my guiding light in leading this section. Every piece needs to have a specific angle and something to offer our community of readers rather than just serving as a space to vent. These may be particular calls for actions or pointed messages about why we should care, but each piece must be forward-looking.
As such, I offer my own.
As I grew up in The Campus, I spent my first year and a half as the Student Government Association (SGA) Correspondent. Each week, I saw my dedicated peers bring forward proposals to create new and wide-ranging opportunities for the rest of us. Whether it was weekly Sunday meetings about Senate bills or even the 13 Proposals and proposed dissolution, I saw it all across two administrations as one of the few public attendees to these meetings. These meetings sometimes went for hours because there was often thoughtful debate on how best to achieve particular goals.
In our own way, I see The Campus’ Opinions section as a public facing extension of that effort. Civil discourse in the written word is an invaluable tool for a community of passionate leaders and curious learners. We strive to be a space for writers to offer words of support, of concern, and of experience to shape how we think about particular issues on our campus or in our world. As much as we talk about the importance of civil discourse in an oral sense, reaching across difference in the written form can also provide a way in which to offer a thoughtful path forward to our shared community.
My call to you all is to write. To write for your peers and for your community. To make your voice heard. To share your passion and your experience. The Opinions section is here for each and every one of you whenever that moment strikes.
Porter Bowman ’21.5 is the Senior Opinions Editor.
He previously served as the Correspondent to the Student Government Association (SGA) and a Staff Writer for the News and Local sections.
Bowman is pursuing an International Politics and Economics major and a History minor.
During the summer of 2020, Bowman started a podcast called “Why Not U.S.?” where he interviewed young people in their 20s serving in political office across the country.
He also worked as a producer and researcher for “Trickeration,” an investigative sports podcast from iHeartMedia hosted by Campus alum Matt Waxman ’01.5.
When not watching the West Wing or finishing crossword puzzles, Bowman plays on the Middlebury varsity golf team alongside basketball, club tennis, and intramural volleyball.
He lost on Teen Jeopardy! in November 2016.