Posts Tagged 'wealth'

Practice Rooms and Priorities

Tristan Axelrod

Middlebury deserves a pat on the back for the magnificent party held on March 6 in celebration of the naming of the Center for the Arts. Kudos to them, and kudos to Kevin Mahaney for supporting the arts at Middlebury. The food and music were great. Par for the course for the Administration’s CFA soirees.

I hope I’m not the only one struck by the irony of the situation. Was it a great celebration of the arts? If you’re a fan of Market Zero, sure, but there’s something sad about celebrating the arts in a building with few practical capabilities for teaching, producing, or practicing art. With its 100-ft. high leaky ceilings and handful of angular offices and classrooms, the CFA seems to have been designed less for music, dance, and theater, and more for fundraising.

The college has been expanding the music program, as it should, considering the drastic difference in quality between, for instance, Sound Investment (Middlebury’s music fundraising group) and similar organizations at Williams, Amherst, Harvard, etc. In the past decade several faculty positions have been created (Profs. Hamlin, Hamberlin, and Buettner), with more on the way (Forman, an ethnomusicology chair). Funding for the orchestra and Sound Investment has increased, and opportunities for electronic musical endeavors and on-campus performances have increased as well, due to support from the administration as well as student groups such as MMG and MCAB.

The building simply can’t keep pace. The administration knows this—from the CFA, it learned a lesson on program-oriented construction, and the awesome capabilities of Bicentennial Hall testify to the practical approach later adapted. But now, the college is moving too slowly to accommodate the musical growth it has initiated. There are only eight practice rooms in the CFA, give or take performance spaces and the elevator, that are supposed to suffice for hundreds of orchestra and jazz band members, music students, and the rest of the students, faculty, and staff musicians, all of whom are entitled to the use of college facilities. Due to the number of instrumental lessons, finding practice space between 9 am and 4:30 pm is next to impossible, which means all the people taking lessons must compete for whatever evening practice time they can find, often being forced to choose between music and other activities that tend to go on at the same time. And of course, the noise from all of the badly soundproofed rooms is distracting for students, a fact that deters the study of rock, jazz, and other percussion-based music. But frequently, there’s just nowhere to practice. Can you imagine a member of the varsity hockey team unable to use any of the athletic facilities?

Nobody really disputes the practical deficiencies of the CFA. Unfortunately, it has been built and dedicated and we’re stuck with it. However, the practice room situation could be improved, and doing so would raise Middlebury’s musical program and culture to a level commensurate with its academic status. The process has already started with several rooms from the-building-formerly-known-as-The-Mill being donated for rehearsal space, and it can continue. The Mill is a good start, but it’s very far away and there won’t be room for pianos; plus, with other students living in close proximity, noise will be a problem.

The solution seems simple: why not similarly re-dedicate rooms in more buildings across campus, with well-tuned pianos and as much privacy as possible? Coltrane, Ross, Forest, and the Chateau already have pianos, minus the tuning and the privacy. But there are similar and more secluded rooms in Ross, Gifford, Battell, and elsewhere on campus. If two or three more buildings had at least two practice rooms, students could feel comfortable making the trip to another building fairly certain that they wouldn’t be pre-empted by another group or student musician. As the college recruits more and better musicians who have more time and better circumstances in which to practice, we might see some really high quality music and we’d definitely see a more culturally sophisticated student body that would continue to push the college to reassess its priorities.

Living in the Internship Era

Daniel Roberts

The task of finding a summer job rolls around every year, usually by March or April, and it is a burden that weighs heavily on the minds of American college students. Some teens find a job that involves only light work—scoop ice cream down the street from the family beach house, maybe babysit here and there to make pocket cash. Others challenge themselves with a more demanding post, perhaps working construction every day or waiting tables at a fancy restaurant. Still others give up completely and spend the three months watching TV on the couch, lying out at the beach or pool, and generally sponging off Mommy and Daddy for money.

Yet everyone, it seems, shares a general knowledge that at some point down the road, we will have to “get serious,” which, according to general consensus, is code for “find an internship.” Somehow, this was ingrained in us years ago. We have also been trained to understand that the point at which this “getting serious” needs to occur is right around, oh, the summer after junior year.

My summer preference has been, for the past five years, to work as a camp counselor. As far as I can tell, this position affords the best of all worlds. I get to work with kids, spend all day out on the tennis courts (which keeps me fit and tan), live away from home, and still feel like I’m working hard and earning my keep. Of course, as soon as last summer ended I knew the fun was over: my junior year was about to begin, and with it my plans of doing anything enjoyable over the summer would die.

Why the need for an internship? To get a job, of course. An internship is to getting a first job what high school community service hours were to getting into college. You need to get some under your belt in order to nab the prize you actually care about. Companies have bought into this system like never before, prompting many social commentators to call this the “Internship Era” for today’s unlucky college students, and indeed, “unlucky” is exactly what we are to find ourselves in this environment. The competition for internships has never been more grueling, and the percentage of college kids who will complete at least one before graduating has never been higher (that percentage is 78). Clearly, we have all been convinced to participate in this system. We have no choice. But the system is flawed. No, forget “flawed,” it’s downright ridiculous.

First of all, as Peter Vogt has written, “Internships are no longer optional, they’re required.” This fundamentally favors the rich. Think about it this way: let’s agree that an internship is not a “job.” An internship is an “opportunity” that forces a college kid to work his or her ass off, cooped up in some office all summer, scrambling to make photocopies and hoping to God that the adults are impressed and ultimately wooed. The vast majority of these positions are unpaid or offensively low-paying, which is laughable when one considers how hard the interns often work.

By expecting college kids to do summer internships if they have any hope of nabbing a full-time job, companies have established a standard that punishes any students who normally need to make money during the summer. Those who come from wealthy families are fine, because either their spending money during the academic year comes from their parents, or the parents promise to pay them some sort of stipend as a reward for taking an unpaid internship.

Meanwhile, those kids who rely on a legitimate summer job to provide their spending money during the year are forced to either take an unpaid internship and puzzle over how to afford their books in September, or opt out of the internship craze, knowing that it may screw them down the road when they are scrambling for a post-college job.

In addition to favoring the private-schooled, non-financial aid, privileged few, the internship system also undermines some of the most basic tenets of job hunting. It used to be that when a person applied for a job, there would be an interview during which he or she could flex their charm and demonstrate what makes them tick. Whatever it is that makes you want this job— and makes you so sure you deserve it— would come out in a face-to-face sit-down with your potential employer. Now, as soon as those scrutinizing eyes scroll down your resumé and see only one or, god forbid, zero internships listed, they write you off completely.

Where, then, is the drive to learn? To take what you’ve been given from education, to gather up your book smarts and your street smarts and apply them to something, hoping to rise to your potential? What happens if the new system relies solely on a scramble for summer internships, piling them up so as to cash them in later like chips at a casino window?

Something about this system has to change soon, or else investment banks, magazines, publishing houses, fashion design offices, and law firms everywhere are going to be filled only with recent college grads whose daddies were connected enough to get them internships back in college. Meanwhile, businesses will miss out on the overlooked, better-qualified candidates.

What is the Value of Diversity?

Mike Waters

What good is Middlebury’s pursuit of a more diverse campus? Sure, we can all agree on the various merits of diversity both in life and in the academic experience. Diversity enriches us, with its multiplicity of opinion and experience. In addition, its direct pursuit brings people together that otherwise would never have met. These are good things, and by all means, diversity is something we all should look to foster in our lives, but as for the question of what diversity contributes to Middlebury, can we all be so sure that it is valuable? How does diversity translate into a payoff on the investment we all make when we go here?

Now, I’m no economist – and quite frankly, I think that people who measure everything in dollars and cents are the cause of many of our problems these days – but to play devil’s advocate: the encouragement of diversity at Middlebury is a bad economic decision for both the college and its students, for a variety of reasons.

Let’s assume, like an economist (wrongly) that everyone’s goal in life is to make as much money as possible. Middlebury, in that sense, is an investment – one that will reap rewards via more opportunities, better jobs, and ultimately, more money. Clearly the goal of being here, then, is to secure for us that extra advantage, that leg up that will get us the corner office and the big salary. Middlebury’s name alone assures some level of success, but there is more that contributes to our future economic well-being besides the look on prospective employers’ faces when they see where we went to school.

Middlebury is all about connections. We have a terrific alumni network, and our alums have gone on to do a host of interesting things. Many are remarkably successful. They achieved success in the usual ways – intelligence, hard work, etc. – but clearly many of them also benefited from the connections they made at Middlebury. So while “Middlebury” printed in bold at the top of a resume might help in landing a job, it’s even more effective when the person across the desk went here, too. Which brings me back to diversity.

The stated goal of increasing diversity is to bring together more individuals of different social, economic, and racial backgrounds. So while we still maintain a good number of students from our core demographic – rich, white, sweet laxers – we also throw in students who are considerably less privileged. Maybe they’re poor, maybe they’re the first in their family to go to college, or maybe they’re from another country, but what we can be sure of is that none of their parents are the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Clearly this degrades the value of our education. Who is to help us get our foot in the door after graduation if we are suddenly starved for the wealthy, well-educated elites that we have attracted for years?

To this I propose a solution – a new set of recommendations to make sure that we all get the highest return on our $200,000 after graduation (because that, after all, is what it’s all about). Fuck diversity. Who needs it? I may be boring, ignorant, and spoiled, but inside the walls of my McMansion I am all that is Man. Perhaps I’ve never heard an opposing viewpoint or befriended someone of a different skin color (besides Jose, our gardener, or Fabricia, our maid) or discovered that there is something out there besides my stock portfolio and my trophy wife, but damn am I rich. I’ve won. We have won. We went to Middlebury, and it was worth it. My parents might have bought me a Toyota instead of a Mercedes to save money for college, but look at me now: who needs cars when you can just pay people to carry you around?

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well, all this and more can be ours – all we have to do is give up this tired “diversity” experiment, and go back to doing what we do best. Lets increase our recruiting in Greenwich and the rest of the tri-state area. For a little variety, let’s make sure we take a couple from just outside Boston.

The blonde lacrosse player? She’s in.
The tall, handsome prep-schooler? Give him a slot.
The son of an investment banker? He’s in, as long as he brings an extra pair of madras shorts – I lost mine.

Think of the dividends they’ll pay! Money for that Proctor renovation? Got it. Wall Street internships for all our econ majors? A done deal. Paying off the debt for the new logo that the college abandoned? It’s in the bag. And of course, the value of a Middlebury education continues to grow. With connections like these, who needs school in the first place?

In conclusion, a quick message to our friends in the admissions office: let diversity go. Let’s pursue that rosy reality I just described. No one needs the stimulation (read: challenge) of diversity. We’d be much happier if we were all the same. And Diversity never got anyone that cushy job or that house in the right neighborhood, but you can bet your hot secretary that Connections did. Diversity might be nice, in theory, but the bottom line is my bottom line. After all, as far as most Midd students are concerned, if it can’t be measured in dollars, then it doesn’t make cents.

Give Us Our Dining Trays!

Hamza Usmani

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The September 26th issue of The Middlebury Campus ran a story on the decision of Dining Services to remove trays from the dining halls. In that article, they quoted Mathew Biette, the head of dining services, as saying that the decision to take out the trays was made ‘swiftly’ because some students told him that if he put the decision up for discussion, it would never be implemented. Well, that’s obvious.

Dining Services is not exactly a corporation—and hence their primary objective should not be profit maximization. They are service providers, and their main aim should be to provide the best possible service to their patrons.

If we don’t take drastic steps to save the environment, we will regret our inaction in the future. However, environmental action needs to be done intelligently. It is very easy to propose that cars should be banned because they produce pollution, but it takes some creativity and intelligence to figure out a way to save the environment while also not destroying people’s lifestyle by denying them their basic means of transportation. If we make a list of things that produce pollution, we’d never be able to stop. Even the computer that I’m using right now produces pollution. But would I do away with it in order to help the environment? No, because it creates a very insignificant amount of pollution, and removing it would seriously impair my lifestyle.

If the dining service honchos claim that removing trays from dining halls is going to help the environment, they need to prove it. Please don’t tell me that the math they have presented qualifies as proof. In fact, I would think of this as an insult to the Middlebury College students. If they are listing reasons like ‘removing trays would reduce water spillage in the kitchen and less people would fall’ it just means that they themselves are not convinced about the strength of their basic reason to take the trays out. If they are so convinced, they should be willing to answer our questions.

There has been some whispering going on that the real reason to remove trays from the dining halls was to cut costs, and environmental sustainability was used as a cover because we all know it is not “in fashion” to question anything environmental. If this indeed is true, I’d say the Dining Services played their game really poorly. By using environmentalism as a cover-up, they not only put their own credibility at stake but also potentially tarnished the integrity of the environmental cause. If Dining Services were low on budget and they were finding it hard to run the operation with the amount of funding that they had, they should have taken the students into confidence about that. The students, who are interested in having a good dining experience, and who pay a college fee which increases by $2000-$2500 every year would definitely have raised their voices to help the dining services.

Consider this: a regular student who paid a $44,000 comprehensive fee last year was presented with a dining service that offered trays. The same student, after paying $46,910 this year, is now getting a dining experience without trays. If that student comes to know that despite him or his parents paying a higher fee this year, the college dining services is having financial problems, he would want to do something about that because he’d be concerned.

Here I need to reiterate why Dining Services have less of a right to remove trays from dining halls than they think they have. Fortunately or unfortunately, if one is living on campus it is impossible to opt out of the meal-plan. In other words, Dining halls are a student’s primary source of food. Yet another way to phrase this would be saying that students are stuck with the dining halls. So given this, if the dining halls decide to remove a service that students were enjoying before, the students cannot just act like ‘consumers’ in a market economy—they can’t just boycott eating at the dining halls and look for alternatives. This is the reason why I said earlier that dining halls are not commercial enterprises but are rather service providers. They are here to serve the student body, and all their actions—whether aimed at cutting costs or benefiting the environment—need to be sanctioned by the students. Otherwise it would essentially be a breach of contract.

I personally tried to contact the dining managers and ask them the rationale for removing trays. Unfortunately, the crux of the response that I got was that the decision to remove trays was ‘firm and is unlikely to change.’ There are two problems with this attitude. First, they are not open to any sort of dialogue. Second, they are acting stubborn about this, which is odd for a place like Middlebury. Everyone remembers what happened with the college logo episode: the college came up with a new logo without consulting students, the students protested, the college officials maintained their stance that the new logo is good and change takes time to get accepted, the students gave their arguments and the college officials realized that perhaps the students were correct. If the college can revise its decision about the logo, what makes Dining Services think they are infallible?

In the end, another point that I’d like to raise is that the dining services would be unable to provide examples from any peer institution of dining halls running without trays. Even cheap fast food restaurants have trays; the restaurants which do not have trays are the ones where there are people to wait the tables. An eatery with a buffet arrangement simply has to provide trays to save the hassle of making multiple trips and handling more stuff than they could handle.

The fact of the matter is that we are worse off than before, even though we are paying more. What’s worse is that the stated benefit of taking away something we enjoyed, in this case (environmental sustainability) remains dubious, which is quite a shame.

Shut the Hell Up and Do Your Work, You Spoiled Nincompoops

Tristan Axelrod

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I have a problem with you, the Middlebury student body. Far too many of you are insufferable whiners with no integrity, and I am sick of listening to your crap while you devalue my college experience and belittle the opportunities offered by this amazing institution.

First off, stop asking for extensions on every assignment. There are only four reasons why extensions should be granted: the professor didn’t grant enough time, or didn’t explain the assignment properly, or the student had an illness, or a family emergency occurred. There are no other valid reasons: if you have two weeks to write a paper and are suddenly too hung over to write the paper on Sunday afternoon 12 hours before it’s due, it is your own damn fault. The same goes for tests: when the time limit is up, you’re done. You shouldn’t get to sit for an extra 15 minutes that weren’t granted to you. And why not? Because there’s something called a grading system: it’s a sort of ranking/appraisal thingy that theoretically rewards people who complete their work according to the established guidelines. When some people actually follow the guidelines, they should be rewarded, and when other people don’t, they should be punished, all according to the system, because that’s why it exists.

It’s like government: I’m not advocating a totalitarian university dominated by professors, but rather the compassionately meritocratic oligarchy that Middlebury claims to be. If you would like to take part in such a society, then you should have the integrity to accept the consequences put forth by professors if you can’t handle the workload you’ve taken upon yourself. Or maybe you prefer to be coddled: it’s your choice, but at least be honest about it, and don’t pretend you have a right to be excepted from the rules. You chose your courses, clubs, sports, and God knows, your drinking habits, so if you just can’t do it all and get all A’s, you have to accept it.

Speaking of drinking habits, if you aren’t 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal. As in, you have no right to do it. Is that unjust? Probably, yes. So what do you do if a law is unjust? You protest, speak out, and attempt to enlighten and engage the political community in any way possible. If you don’t care enough to stand up and do what’s right, you have to deal with the reality of the law. I shouldn’t have to remind you that most communities are not as insulated as Middlebury College; only a very fragile and nonsensical tradition of non-interference stands between us and open patrols by the Middlebury Police Department. The same goes for marijuana—take a look at the average prison sentence for marijuana possession and distribution for minorities vs. whites, and check out the economic distribution as well. We live in a veritable Bacchanalian paradise of legal immunity, so stop whining about the liquor inspector.

On a related note, there would be hardly any problems with MCPS, MPD, or the liquor inspector if people didn’t find it necessary to get ridiculously drunk in order to have a good time. Here’s a tip: if you like the people around you, alcohol is never necessary. If you need to get trashed so that you can feel confident dancing, talking, or having sex, it’s a sign of deep-seated emotional problems. And do you really think things will ever get better by continuing to abuse your body this way? My biggest point is this: if you destroy property or damage people physically or emotionally while inebriated, you are a piece of garbage.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to need or request an extension, complain about the liquor inspector, or drink heavily. There are obviously appropriate times and places for each. The issue here is integrity: people need to take responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences. Relative to the ‘real world’ outside of our waspy, upper class, ivory tower communities and backgrounds, this is a pretty much unparalleled utopia— a bastion of intellectual and legal leniency, liberalism, and instant gratification. For some reason, you as a Middlebury student have been given these four years here, and will be further rewarded by the institution with political and economic connections and opportunities throughout your life. All I’m saying is, stop acting like you were born deserving it, and at least pretend that you’re worth it.

Tired of the Tire Sculpture?

Daniel Roberts

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Pretty much since the day I returned to campus this past September I have publicly lamented the presence of what has been nicknamed the “Tire Monster,” the “Trash Sculpture” and even “Tire-rrhea.” The work is Solid State Change, an atrocity to some and an eco-friendly work of beauty to others.

So on October 25, when the artist Deborah Fisher was scheduled to give a lecture on her sculpture, I knew I had to attend. After all, it was only fair to hear her out.

Fisher said very little about the piece’s meaning. Before creating the work, she had been looking at charts of Vermont’s geology, and she did illustrate for us how the shape of the piece vaguely resembles Middlebury’s bedrock. In terms of the piece’s symbolism, and what it attempts to do, she insisted on repeating that it was all about moving towards a greater understanding of the environment and the world around us as whole— investigating the “outside” of ourselves. The question remains: how does a heap of recycled tires accomplish this?

The lecture really took off when we arrived at the Q&A period. One person asked Fisher politely what she felt about the criticism that her piece does not use the space well— that it looks more like trash, and less like art, because it sits heaped against a wall. Why not put it out in a public space, perhaps on a platform? Fisher answered that this would put the work on a pedestal, and this is not what she wants. She elaborated that she would not even like it to be on a bed of gravel or something similar, because this would put it on a stage. And yet, it is a work of art that the College spent a lot of money on— why not put it on a stage?

Biology professor Steve Trombulak posited, “Your choice of material may be appropriate for New York City, but not for rural Vermont. What do you say to that?” Fisher was speechless. I couldn’t help but feel Trombulak’s bold query, though aggressive, was a fair one. After all, Fisher revealed that in New York, she lives directly next door to a tire recycling plant that gave her the materials for free. This has to make one wonder if the choice of tires was not meaningful, but rather convenient. Trombulak added, “I ask this because the work was commissioned for a specific place and you were paid to create this specifically for Middlebury. It’s not like you made this on a whim, brought it to the flea market, and then the board of trustees walked by and said, ‘Ooh, we want to buy that for the College.’” Fisher answered, “It is what it is. It’s 6,000 pounds of garbage that I screwed together all by myself.” Exactly.

Finally, they said they had time for one more question. I cautiously raised my hand and asked, “You label yourself an environmentalist, and you purport to make environmental art, so I just wonder how you reconcile the fact that a very rich college paid you a lot of money to make this sculpture. Doesn’t that contradict the whole environmental mindset and seem to only reinforce commercialism?” Rather than taking offense, Fisher said, “That is the best question anyone asked today.” Then she thought for a moment before agreeing that, indeed, “That’s the question to be asking right now. It’s true, it’s a great point.” Her avoidance of any real answer is no surprise— what could she really say? No single person can decide how art can or should be taken in conceptual terms.

After the lecture, I went to a dinner with Fisher and some other faculty members and students. We ate our meal and discussed other artworks, as well as philosophies on art and life in general. Fisher was a genuinely interesting woman who had numerous compelling things to say about art, and I found myself intrigued.

I would love to say right here that eating dinner with Fisher and speaking to her face-to-face made me change my mind about the sculpture. Yet, the experience did not at all lead me to “see the light.” I respect Fisher as a person, and I understand and admire the College’s efforts to find provocative art for our campus, but the truth remains: this thing is ugly and detracts from the beauty of our lovely school.

The main defense that people kept making at dinner when we discussed the work’s reception was that, “It got people talking.” This phrase was repeated as though the sparking of resentment alone creates merit for something’s existence. I cannot agree. By that regard, the homophobic hate speech scrawled on the walls of Ross Dining Hall was valuable artwork on our campus, because it inspired discussion and debate.

It’s like Fisher said at one point during her lecture: “In a cultural movement that feels like individuals have no power, I believe Solid State Change is one person’s way of making an impact.” It’s true, she did make an impact; she got us talking. Yet there was a physical impact as well— she plopped down some trash onto our otherwise pristine home.

Taking Racial Privilege for Granted

Josh Wessler

The words “white” and “non-white,” when used to describe people, create dangerous dichotomies. They imply positives and negatives— opposites. But, as a white American male, I am colored in the same way as Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans. My skin pigmentation— by its physical properties— allows others to see me as white and to assume that I deserve greater access to materials that others are commonly denied. I am not “beyond” race, as I used to believe.

First, I’ll admit my part in this. I have never had to doubt the availability of certain things, such as college, if I worked hard enough and chose that path. This is because of the values my parents instilled, the encouragement of my high school and the expectations among my friends. But it was also because I was “non-colored.” Race, as a limiting factor, was simply not a daily concern. I cared deeply about civil rights, but only as an issue that others had to deal with. Only now do I realize that for every person that had to struggle against the stigma of race, there was someone like me, who took for granted being colorless— like race didn’t apply.

So please, consider me as colored. Consider that only if everyone joins the discussion of race can we begin to see the prejudice among us and between us all.

But why stop at merely welcoming others, such as whites, into the discussion? It is time for each and every member of the Middlebury community to actively place themselves into the dialogue. Privileges and advantages accrued to certain groups can act in invisible ways, but the expressions of these inequalities are glaring. One can see and measure racial segregation and race-based differences in wages, healthcare, higher education rates and varying exposure to disease-causing hazards.

What is especially difficult about these types of privilege is that those who benefit may perceive the inequality but find themselves innocent of complicity. Surely, growing up in a mostly white, affluent suburb and attending a mostly white college like Middlebury does not constitute an explicit act of racism. But what about the next generation? Will your kids grow up in that same suburb? Or will you move into a more socio-economically diverse community where the public schools are not as highly regarded, and risk limiting your children’s access to resources for academic achievement? The answer to this question determines if you participate in, and reinforce the system of white privilege.

If you think that the only problem is that minority kids are disadvantaged, look again. It is very likely that middle to upper middle class whites have disproportionate advantage. Is the college acceptance process fair? Not when most white students can go to college, at least somewhere, because of their wealth. What’s needed is a paradigm shift. Money buys degrees and degrees get interviews. The issue is not whether you believe in white privilege. It’s there. Look around at the faces on campus. The issue is whether you are ready to do something about it.

That’s not fair, you reply— why should you be responsible for fixing a system you did not create? True, it isn’t fair. But this system has no author. There will never be one Spartacus to lay our guilt upon. And if you don’t stand up, no one will. If you don’t have the conviction, why should you expect your children to?

If you don’t agree with this article, ask yourself one last question. Ask yourself what really bothers you: the idea of giving more people a fair chance at education, or the thought that if things were more just, you wouldn’t be able to get in to Middlebury? If you still are choosing to act like this divide doesn’t apply to you, maybe you don’t belong here.