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Friday, Sep 29, 2023

The Middlebury Off-Campus Project

On March 10, Middlebury students received a life-altering e-mail:  “Following spring break, students who can will be expected to remain at  home and not return to campus until further notice.” Many had not  anticipated such extreme measures in response to the viral outbreak so  soon. But within days of the college’s announcement, as the virus began  to sweep across the country, it became clear that we were entering a once-in-a-century period of upheaval and isolation.

Through this project, we’re hoping to  give voice to the despair and hope precipitated by the interruption of  campus life, even while we’re all quarantining in different corners of  the globe.

As a college newspaper, we feel an  obligation to go on. We are determined to continue telling your stories,  no matter how many thousands of miles away we are from one another. We  will try to retain as much of a sense of the Middlebury community as we  can.

The Middlebury Off-Campus Project is a  compilation of these stories — from students, employees, alumni and  residents of Addison County — chronicling this surreal time.

We will publish the submissions we’ve received in phases. The first round was gathered from members of the class of 2020 and 2020.5, graduating seniors whose final semesters were truncated  by the viral outbreak; it was published on April 13. The second round  was published on April 20 and the third was published on April 28. These  two phases feature various individuals from the Middlebury community.  On May 8, we featured the stories of nine international students in  partnership with the International Students Organization (ISO). And this  most recent round was published on May 22, after classes have ended and this unusual spring semester has ground to a halt. Stay tuned for more stories as we publish submissions weekly.

We also teamed up with the folks working on Middlebury’s Engaged Listening Project for the first-ever Off-Campus Podcast. Give it a listen on Stitcher or Spotify.

Do you want to take part in this historic project? We will accept stories all semester. Submit your story here.

Introduction by Amelia Pollard ’20 and graphics by Emma Brown ’21.