The Middlebury Campus

An Initial Statement of Our Principles


May 10, 2017

This document represents an initial statement on the principles of inclusivity, civil freedoms and community, drafted by a group of more than 40 faculty members at Middlebury, which formed in the wake of March 2nd. We share it with all members of the Middlebury community in the hope that it will ini...

Open Letter to President Patton

By Multiple Authors

May 3, 2017

Dear Dr. Patton: We write to protest the Middlebury administration’s punitive response to students involved in the events surrounding the Charles Murray lecture on March 2, 2017. Middlebury students have reported being placed on probation and having disciplinary letters added to their files for pr...

On the “Staff Appreciation Day” Spread

By Hye-Jin Kim, Middlebury Student

May 3, 2017

I would’ve liked to know more about staff members’ personal interests, hobbies and opinions about the College. Questions that were more critical of the way students treat staff would’ve been more valuable (and interesting) to read, than simply a list of “memorable interactions.” Instead of ...

The Need for More Protests

By Divesh "Parli" Rizal, Middlebury Student

May 3, 2017

The remarkable series of events that followed the announcement of Charles Murray’s visit to campus contains more than a few lessons for both the community and the individuals. The debate of free speech and Murray’s legitimacy in Middlebury’s liberal academic setting will, and should, continue. At ...

An Invitation to Inquiry

By Jonathan Miller-Lane, Middlebury Faculty

May 3, 2017

The context in which we do our work in higher education has changed dramatically in recent decades and these changes have an impact on our specific experience at Middlebury. Institutions such as Georgetown, Brown, Harvard, Princeton and others have publicly shared how they historically and systematicall...

Learning to Engage the World

By Carly Thomsen, Middlebury Faculty

May 3, 2017

A couple of weeks prior to Charles Murray’s much-discussed visit to Middlebury, I was asked to write a piece on student activism for a spread that the Campus had intended to put together on the topic. In the wake of Charles Murray’s visit, this plan — like many of our plans for the semester ...

Donald Trump and Raúl Castro Will Not Shake Hands

By Orestes Rafael Betancourt Ponce de León, Middlebury Student

May 3, 2017

On November 8th, 2016, perhaps you did not sleep from disbelief, joy, or rage. In Havana, the nomenklatura of the communist party also lost sleep; a new situation emerged that broke the plans of a diplomatic approach prepared secretly and meticulously. The new tenant of the White House was a piece on ...

Open Debate, Free Speech and Respect On Campus

By Bert Johnson, Middlebury Faculty

April 26, 2017

What did I just do? Last week in the Middlebury Campus newspaper I published an apology for the “closed decisionmaking process” by which I offered a departmental co-sponsorship to the Charles Murray event earlier this year. I’ve since been called lots of names online, mostly centering on my ...

Leave Your Attitudes at Home

By Esme Valette, Middlebury Class of 2016

April 26, 2017

Donald Trump has proclaimed April as “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” affirming his commitment to reducing and ultimately ending sexual violence in our Nation. Kind of ironic coming from the man who’s been accused of sexually assaulting more than fifteen women and caught ...

A Letter From a Professor on Leave

By Jon Isham, Middlebury Faculty

April 26, 2017

In “A Letter to the Well-Intentioned Liberal Professor” (April 12), Travis Sanderson states that Middlebury faculty whose “support of ‘free speech’ ... does not include protection of shut-downs and other methods of expression” are “on the wrong side of history.” Comparing us to the white mode...

Free Speech vs. Elevated Speech

By Elizabeth Lee, Middlebury Student

March 9, 2017

“Let him speak,” I hear some of my peers say, looking upon the Charles Murray protest with distaste. “He has a right to free speech.” As a firm believer in debate and civil discourse, I wonder if such a critique may be misguided. For too long a flawed notion of ‘free speech’ has given w...

Nuance, Free Speech and Responsibility

By Erik Bleich, Middlebury Faculty

March 9, 2017

Like many who have written already, I want to provide my perspective on the events during Charles Murray’s recent visit. I write as a professor of political science, a scholar of free speech and hate speech, a teacher of courses on race, ethnicity, and diversity and a straight, white man, whose chi...

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