Community Council Restructuring

By CHRISTINA BROOK

The Community Council is currently reflecting on the work that has been done throughout the year, and what the council would like to achieve before the end of the year. This has centered around the election cycle as we welcome in Lynn Travinoka to serve as student co-chair in the Fall, and John Gosselin in the Spring. As they transition into their new positions, it is likely that the council will also be transitioning.

The Community Council was founded some years ago in order to bridge the divide between Old Chapel and the other areas of the campus. The intention was to provide a space for conversation among faculty, student, and staff regarding intersecting community-wide issues. The council would then offer recommendations to Old Chapel for policy changes. So far during Laurie Patton’s presidency, a number of committees have addressed community-wide issues, such as the Restorative Practices Committee, and Diversity and Inclusion. Thus, the role that the Community Council seemed to play prior to Laurie’s tenure is no longer necessarily a priority.

But there still exists many divisions across campus and conversations that require a space where all voices are heard. The Community Council is looking to different ways it can best service that void. Members have put forth recommendations to have Town Hall Meetings be a structural component to the Council, establishing goals and topics to be discussed at the beginning of each semester, and/or creating sub-committees to address key issues before coming together as a council to converse about the intersection.

I will be meeting with Laurie Patton to discuss her vision for Community Council in the future. The Council will continue to develop ideas and implement changes before the end of the academic year.

All members of the College community are invited and encouraged to gather feedback, brainstorm solutions to a problem and present their own concerns, questions or recommendations. Please feel free to contact us at ccouncil@middlebury.edu or attend our weekly meetings on Mondays at 4:30pm in Axinn 104.

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Community Council Restructuring