What’s Really Going On

By Guest Contributor

While I don’t agree with the manner in which the College administration revised the tailgating policy, I understand it. Especially with the advent of social media, we have the need to play up our college experiences. There’s the constant pressure to make our normal college experiences align with those from the University of Miami while on spring break. Every one of us wants to go out on a Saturday night and find a room packed with hundreds of people rhythmically beating their arms in the air while subject to a laser show, loud trap music and a fog machine. And, while I’m not offering this as an excuse for our behavior, I am acknowledging the pressure arising from beyond the Middlebury bubble.

Clearly, if the students who are in an uproar about the change in policy were present during the meetings, the policy change would have been more moderate or wouldn’t have happened at all. There are two problems with this, however. One, the College would have had to involve the students, which logistically wouldn’t have been difficult — it’s been done it before. And two, here’s the big one, the students who care about their tailgates would have had to attend the discussions. I find that, with the exception of a select few, the right people who have the most to contribute to the conversation are the most absent in the college’s proceedings (task force on alcohol). It’s not without invitation either. The president and dean of students hold office hours, we have student representatives and we are flat out extended an invitation to attend discussions on specific issues by our president over email.

I argue that we need to take more responsibility. Traditionally, social change arises from student movements. How can we be taken seriously when we only communicate with one another when we are five-deep? The privilege wouldn’t have been taken away from us had our peers taken-it-to-the-face in moderation. The privilege might be re-granted if we could speak our minds appropriately and devote more time to a cause than being angry for a week and forgetting about it. As far as I can tell, conversation has declined due to our receiving a couple of carefully worded emails. 

People need to speak up. I’m talking about more than just the tailgating policy. I’m talking about the poster outside Ross that I’ll admit I was infuriated by at first for belittling something that is very important to us as a student body — democracy. Then I realized it was a call to action. It’s literally begging us to ask ourselves what we believe in and so far it’s been up for a week and is still 50 percent blank. We are allowing things to happen to us rather than, as the future leaders of this country, the ones making things happen. Through and through, I have to disagree with Barstool Sports on this one. If we want to be treated as adults, we should begin acting like them.

TAYLOR SHORTSLEEVE ’15 is from Medfield, Mass.

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