Our Year in Review

By EDITORIAL BOARD

This year, The Campus has grown its online presence, extended its investigative reporting, and most importantly, extended its reach to include the perspectives of more members of the Middlebury community. We are proud of the work we have done this year, but we recognize there is room for improvement. Reflection is always valuable. We hope by recognizing how we can improve our paper, we will resist complacency and continue to enhance our publication and its reputation.

We see ourselves as a paper for students, alumni, staff, faculty and town residents. Middlebury is a small community filled with engaged and passionate people. We know The Campus reaches audiences beyond the confines of the college. This is why we covered the local elections during the 2018 midterm season and why we devoted an entire issue to staff at the college and the workforce planning process. After all, students are stakeholders in the broader Middlebury community too. We hope to continue reporting on local issues, paying special attention to the ramifications of the workforce planning process, local governments and the economic development of the town in the coming year. 

We believe one of our most important roles is to create a public historical record of life on campus. We hope our reporting continues to include as many voices as possible to create a more comprehensive record. Early in the year, we ran four powerful student responses to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Recently, a wide array of students, faculty members, alumni and even academics outside of our community have written in to comment on the Legutko controversy. We want to keep doing this: providing a platform for impassioned opinion pieces. Thank you for submitting your thoughts to our publication. We hope you continue to do so. 

This publication is reliant on thoughtful and inquisitive student writers. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication. Next year, we hope to organize more events in which writers and editors can meet. Perhaps, having “live edit” sessions could help writers feel appreciated and supported. 

We’d also like to thank our copy editors. They are often the last students to read over our content before we send the paper to print. We are grateful for our online editors who upload all of our content to our website and help spread our news beyond the physical boundaries of the college. Our photographers and cartoonists work hard to capture footage and create illustrations which not only make the paper look nice but also make wordy content easier to digest. 

In our latest issue, we relied on graphics to detail the results of Zeitgeist, our first general survey of student opinion. The goal of the survey was to capture student attitudes about campus culture. We are grateful that nearly 50% of the student body responded to the survey. We hope, in the future, to continue reporting news stories, creating surveys and constructing graphs which indicate students’ concerns and feelings about life on campus. Zeitgeist was special because it revealed some of the common concerns students on campus have, like, for example, feeling a lack of belonging.

We published more news in real time this year — delivering news to the community online instead of waiting until our Thursday print issues. Especially during the recent weeks of controversy over the inappropriate chemistry test question that referenced Nazi gas chambers, a professor’s decision to show a cartoon referencing the slave trade in a classroom, and the Legutko controversy. 

Our investigative work this year also delved into the long-term impacts of the events of the past several years. In March, we published a retrospective piece following up on the ramifications of the Charles Murray incident and the disciplining of student protesters two years later. This week, we’re publishing the results of a monthslong investigation into mental health services on campus.

We fell short this year when we failed to break the story about the inappropriate chemistry test question that referenced Nazi gas chambers. But in the future, as we try to provide a record of campus life that our whole community feels they can contribute to, we hope that similar incidents will not go unreported. We need to keep calling attention to the incidents and factors — both positive and negative — that affect every member of our community.

In order to do that more effectively, we need to diversify our editorial board. We work to explore a broad range of Middlebury experiences in our reporting, but we cannot do that if we have a limited set of perspectives in the room. We want more students of color to serve on our board. We’d also like to have students on the board who have a wide range of academic and intellectual interests. You don’t have to be a English major to write or edit for the paper.   

To our writers, and to those who have never written for The Campus before: we want your voices, not just on our pages, but on our editorial board. If you are interested in joining the board, keep writing for the Campus, pitch us your stories, and let your section editors know you want to join us. We need your perspectives to report Middlebury’s history.

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Middlebury College's only student-run newspaper.
Our Year in Review