Wright Out, Brook in as Co-Chair


John Schurer


Tina Brook ’18 is the new face of the Community Council, serving as co-chair with Baishakahi Taylor, dean of students, for the remainder of the year. Brook, who ran a joint campaign with Kyle Wright ’18 last year, returned to campus this winter term from a semester at sea. She took the reins from Wright, who is studying abroad in Spain this spring. 

Brook plans to pick up where Wright left off, prioritizing the three recommendations the Council has in the works. These include a proposal to review the residential life system, a proposal on supporting students and communities of color and an inclusive bathroom recommendation.

This academic year, the Community Council was tasked with kick-starting the process of reevaluating the residential life system. 

“Residential life does not just mean dormitories, it also extends to libraries, it extends to the dining system,” Brook said, “So there will be an external review of that system and that will look at how we function as a whole community.”

In addition, the Council has been drafting a proposal on supporting students and communities of color in response to recent events at the college in the past year. The plan outlines seven points including hiring an anti-racist consultant and support for establishing a black studies major at Middlebury.

Though the Council has a developed draft, Brook also hopes to take into account of the voices of communities of color in moving forward with the proposal. 

“We do not want to (take) over for communities of color on this campus so we are making sure that we are engaging with cultural organizations on this campus to ensure that they have a voice in this recommendation,” Brook said. “Although that may slow the process, that is definitely part of the process that we think is the most pertinent.”

Finally, Brook plans to finalize the inclusive bathroom recommendation pioneered by Wright.  The recommendation drafts a timeline for the college to transition bathrooms in public spaces to all-gender and disability-accessible. 

While Brook wishes to propel Wright and the Council’s previous work to the finish line, she also hopes to leave space for new recommendations in the second half of the year. 

“I do not want to take away from the work that Kyle has done and so I hope to truly continue them, but also leave space to work on some recommendations of my own and to leave space for other Community Council members to bring up new recommendations,” Brook said.

Brook campaigned on a vision of encouraging inclusivity at Middlebury and plans on fulfilling that promise this term. 

“I would like to support more recommendations to make sure that people from the athletics department to dance classes, from arts to sports to outdoors, all feel like they can have a vested interest without having to necessarily be a senator, or be on SGA or Community Council,” Brook said. “I think that there are always the same people speaking, which has not necessarily represented the entire student body, nor the full community’s interest.” 

Community Council is a cross-sectional body comprised of students, faculty, staff and the administration which convenes weekly to seek multilateral solutions to community issues. The Council makes recommendations to specific offices or members of the administration and serves a consultative role to the President and the SLG. Weekly meetings are held on Mondays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Axinn 104 and are open to the community.