beyond the green: collective of middlebury voices

a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications

We Are Only Alums

aka And Now for Something Completely Different: an Op-Ed That Won’t Make You Throw Something

by Afi Yellow-Duke 15 and Jackie Park 15

As recent alumni, we’re simultaneously unsurprised and outraged by the recent spate of “op-eds.” The articles published in the last few months aren’t the first of their kind: we remember plenty of similar ones during our time as Middlebury students as well. To open a paper and see what language was passed off as a “debate” or an “intellectual exercise” on a given week became an absurd sort of game, a game where we laughed at the words only to keep from crying in public. These “op-eds” were reminders that our well-being did not matter, that our peers found our bodies and our cultures unimportant or uncomfortable, that we did not belong. The longer we were at Middlebury, the more we were reminded that the institution did not have our safety and interests in mind and was created to exclude us. But, we also know the hard work that students (specifically students of color and other marginalized students) put into groups, meetings, and organizing in an effort to make Middlebury even a little bit safer for us. Your resistance and efforts go a long way, but we’d be lying if we said that our efforts were ever fully supported by the administration. Middlebury was a place where we lived and learned, but we felt that our need to feel safe and included in our home (even if it was a temporary one) was sacrificed to uphold the college’s identity as an intellectual space. Colleges like Middlebury are not separate from the power dynamics that exist outside of them.

We remember the days where we steeled ourselves to go to class with *that* person, the same person who just published their contempt for having to respect their classmates. We remember the days where getting out of bed was too damn hard, so sometimes we didn’t. We remember hearing people we thought were our friends say that they didn’t see color, that our sexual orientations were a phase, or that talking about our financial struggles made them feel uncomfortable. We remember the times we got in trouble with our professors for calling out other students’ racist remarks by telling us that we need to practice “calling in” rather than calling out. Or when our professors checked on the white student after class, but showed no concern for how our humanity felt disregarded, once again. Some of those memories still sting.

To the marginalized students who are hurt and triggered by these words: we see you. We love you. While your time at Middlebury may feel like it’s never going to end, or maybe the days until graduation are coming scarily fast–know that there are many people who’ve been there and are thinking of you. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. We need each other. We hope that you are able, if you haven’t already, to find a space–multiple spaces, ideally an entire campus–where you can exist fully. Sit in the Proctor booths all evening and talk to each other, because we all need to make this place our own. We believe that this mindset of radically loving ourselves and our community, as flawed as it can be, can be a powerful way to advocate for change.

We feel as though we barely survived our time at Middlebury.  You deserve to do more than survive. You deserve to thrive and feel safe. Don’t blame yourself for the institution’s failures. Your voice, your well-being, and your presence in this community matter.

Co-signed by:

Athenia Rodney ’04

Sheyenne Brown ’09

Raina Kennedy ’12

Amethyst Tate ’12

Christine Valentin ’12

Wahid Ahmed ’12.5

Christopher De La Cruz ’13

Iracema Drew ’13

Natalie Jorgensen ’13

Sam Koplinka-Loehr ’13

The Lady B ‘13

XiAn Lee ’13

Barbara Ofosu-Somuah ’13

Ada Santiago ’13.5

Syeda Habib ’13.5

Kirsten Aguilar ’14

Lily Andrews ’14

Evan Auguste ’14

Feliz Baca ’14

Veronica Coates ’14

Missan DeSouza ’14

Tim Garcia ’14

Evan Terrell ’14

Jelani Williams ’14

Napol Wills ’14

Daniela Barajas ’14.5

Day Williams ’14.5

Clifford Alexander ’15

Cindy Alvarado ’15

Kimberly Banford ’15

Kelene Chung ’15

Jeanette Cortez ’15

Claudia Esteva ’15

Camila Fernandez ’15

Carter Kelly ’15

India Huff ’15

Karen Liu ’15

Priscilla Odinmah ’15

Spencer Salibur ’15

Andrew Snow ’15

Leandra Urena ’15

Philip Williams ’15



This entry was posted on February 25, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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