On March 10, Middlebury students received a life-altering e-mail: “Following spring break, students who can will be expected to remain at home and not return to campus until further notice.” Many had not anticipated such extreme measures in response to the viral outbreak so soon. But within days of the college’s announcement, as the virus began to sweep across the country, it became clear that we were entering a once-in-a-century period of upheaval and isolation.
Through this project, we’re hoping to give voice to the despair and hope precipitated by the interruption of campus life, even while we’re all quarantining in different corners of the globe.
As a college newspaper, we feel an obligation to go on. We are determined to continue telling your stories, no matter how many thousands of miles away we are from one another. We will try to retain as much of a sense of the Middlebury community as we can.
The Middlebury Off-Campus Project is a compilation of these stories — from students, employees, alumni and residents of Addison County — chronicling this surreal time.
We will publish the submissions we’ve received in phases. The first round was gathered from members of the class of 2020 and 2020.5, graduating seniors whose final semesters were truncated by the viral outbreak; it was published on April 13. The second round was published on April 20 and the third was published on April 28. These two phases feature various individuals from the Middlebury community. On May 8, we featured the stories of nine international students in partnership with the International Students Organization (ISO). And this most recent round was published on May 22, after classes have ended and this unusual spring semester has ground to a halt. Stay tuned for more stories as we publish submissions weekly.
We also teamed up with the folks working on Middlebury’s Engaged Listening Project for the first-ever Off-Campus Podcast. Give it a listen on Stitcher or Spotify.
Do you want to take part in this historic project? We will accept stories all semester. Submit your story here.
Introduction by Amelia Pollard ’20 and graphics by Emma Brown ’21.