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Welcome! If you’re reading this post, it’s probable you were directed by the above flier to go/gc (which usually redirects to our main page). We’re thrilled you’re visiting our site, and encourage you to poke around a bit—particularly at our “About,” “Projects,” and “Structure” pages, which will give you some more info about what the People’s Gender Council of Middlebury is, and what work we’ve been up to.
As for the poster itself, we don’t have too much more to say: here’s a letter we wrote [PDF] on February 14, 2011, to President of the College Ron Liebowitz, Vice President for Administration Tim Spears, and Dean of the College Shirley Collado—the first formal declaration of our intent to form the People’s Gender Council of Middlebury—in the aftermath of the Community Council meeting referenced in the above piece.
For more info about all of our sessions with Community Council meeting, check out their minutes: from our first meeting on November 29, 2010 [PDF]; our second meeting on January 17, 2011 [PDF]; and their final recommendation following a vote on January 24, 2011 [PDF]. Here’s the text of that recommendation:
Community Council strongly recommends the following outcome for the Gender Council Proposal that was presented to us in November 2010 and on January 17, 2011.
We strongly recommend a standing body composed of students, faculty and staff to address issues of the intersection of identity. After careful review of the Gender Council proposal, Community Council recommends that this standing body seriously examine identity issues, including gender. We would like the name of the council to be more broadly reflective of diversity, identity and inclusion rather than specifically gender. This recommendation is in line with the outcomes of the 2006 Human Relations Committee Report.
(We invite anyone to point out to us what outcomes of the 2006 HRC Report they’re referring to [the quick list of recommendations is in Appendix A], because we’re not really sure. Additionally, we’re not sure why they chose to focus solely on the 2006 HRC Report, given that our presentations to them and our Executive Summary indicated our focus also lay on the even more recent 2008 Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women.)
We say they rejected our proposal for a council focusing on gender because they did—in favor of a council “more broadly reflective of diversity, identity and inclusion rather than specifically gender.” Is this a bad thing? (Who’s to say?) All we know is that what we proposed has been called for by institutional reports for more than twenty years.
You can also find the 1990 Final Report of the Special Committee on Attitudes Towards Gender on our “Institutional Memory” page, in addition to other gender- and diversity-related reports from the past two decades. One of the core goals of our Institutional Memory Subcommittee is to gather, examine, and even create/capture this memory, with the goal of making it accessible to activists who want to know what kinds of Middlebury ‘diversity’ ideals the College has met in grounded ways.
Isn’t it time to hold the Administration accountable to the repeatedly-made recommendations of the reports they’ve been commissioning for the past 23 years?