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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Notes From The Desk: A paper for the whole community

Dear Middlebury,

We are thrilled to see your heads burrowed between the pages of our newspaper once again.

We are writing to you as this year’s Executive Team for The Campus, Middlebury’s only student-run, editorially independent newspaper.

For the first time, the three of us are all students who have never known a Middlebury without Covid-19. Wide-eyed high schoolers at the time, we watched as the Middlebury community shut down suddenly in March 2020, and The Campus staff produced coverage of professors adapting to zoom classes, faculty/staff hiring freezes from their childhood bedrooms.

When we came to campus in fall 2020 and fall 2021, respectively, life at Middlebury included a variety of new pandemic-related complications. From adapted credit/no-credit policies to understaffing and housing at Breadloaf  to address over enrollment, the issues relevant to our campus community, and, in turn, that The Campus covered, changed dramatically. 

As we have returned to a new normal over the past year, the campus environment has allowed us to shift back toward our typical pre-pandemic coverage of in-person musical performances and community events in the town of Middlebury. Still, however, the issues of staff wages, over-enrollment and large class sizes remind us of the changes to Middlebury over the past couple of years. 

Last year, The Campus made it a priority to bring the staff experience at Middlebury to light, reporting on issues such as the new staff compensation skill matrix and chronic understaffing in Dining Services, Davis Family Library and International Student and Scholar Services. We plan to continue this work of holding students accountable for any disrespect and mistreatment of staff while also highlighting the inadequacies of the compensation system for the workers who allow our college community to function as it does.

We checked in on students, too, with Zeitgeist 5.0, chronicling whether they’re happy, having sex and following the honor code — turns out most of us are actually using unauthorized aid, after all — but we didn’t use ChatGPT to write this op-ed, we swear! We promise to continue using our platform as a finger to the pulse of our campus, representing the genuine experiences of students. 

Last year our staff examined the college’s relationship to the town of Middlebury as well, particularly as student enrollment grew, and so too did the number of students living in town, causing clashes with neighbors. This year, we will continue to serve as a critical point of connection — investigating the relationships between the administration, students, faculty and the greater Middlebury community. At a time when many students feel a lack of transparency in our community, we promise to help bridge the gap and be a newspaper for all people of the college and town who will read our pages this year.

Our predecessors held the administration accountable when they failed to communicate what later turned out to be a hoax call of an active shooter. They used their editorial platform to call for compensating student organization leaders, respecting the spaces we live in and the custodial staff we rely on and increasing transparency about where our tuition dollars go. Our weekly editorials will continue to advocate for transparency in our community, hold the college accountable and propose realistic solutions to our most pressing issues.

But it doesn’t all have to be so serious. We also want our newspaper to reflect your genuine interests and where you find joy on campus. Whether that entails how fake weddings have invaded Middlebury’s social scene, perusing our weekly crosswords or telling us your plan to return panthers to the forests of Vermont, we are committed to highlighting the funny, adventurous and entertaining parts of living at Middlebury for four years.

This paper is entirely student-driven, and none of our weekly coverage would be possible without active engagement from students, staff, faculty and community members. We encourage anyone with a story to email us at campus@middlebury.edu or to submit an anonymous tip on our website. To students, regardless of whether you’re a first-year or Super Senior Feb, we encourage you to try out writing for The Campus — speaking from personal experience, it might turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have at Middlebury.

Our hope is that this edition of The Campus and the subsequent 21 issues over this next year will report on what you, our readers, are currently talking about, as well as what we all should be talking about.

We plan to bring you coverage of a diverse range of issues at the college and in town; all we ask is for you to consider picking up a copy of our paper each Thursday morning.


Katie Futterman

Katie Futterman '24 (she/her) is a Managing Editor.

Katie previously served as a News Editor and Staff Writer. This past summer, she was a news intern at Seven Days, and she held the same position at the Addison Independent the prior summer. In her free time, she loves to read, write, and bask in the sun.


Maggie Reynolds

Maggie Reynolds '24 (she/her) is the Editor in Chief.  

Maggie previously served as the Senior Local Editor, a Local Section Editor, and a Staff Writer. She spent this past J-term interning for VTDigger, covering topics from affordable housing in Addison County to town government scandals. She also interned for Seven Days VT as an arts & culture reporter summer 2022 and as a news reporter for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY summer 2021.   

Maggie is majoring in History and minoring in Political Science and Spanish. She was a three-year member of the Women's Swimming and Diving team. Maggie enjoys running, hiking, and iced maple lattes. 


Ryan McElroy

Ryan McElroy '25 (he/him) is a managing editor for The Middlebury Campus.  

He previously served as a news editor and staff writer.  

Ryan is majoring in History with a possible minor in psychology or English. He also takes part in Middlebury Mock Trial and Matriculate.org on campus. He spent this past summer working as a research assistant in the History department studying Middle Eastern immigration to New England.


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