February 2011

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I have been away too long from this blog, but with the renewed energy brought to campus by the arrival of the “Febs’ (class of 2014.5) two days ago, it is time to start posting again.

I was going to write on the goings and comings of Febs—the class of 2010.5, which celebrated its graduation this past Saturday in a terrific ceremony, capped by the traditional ski down in robes at the Snow Bowl, and the new Febs, the class of 2014.5, which arrived two days ago, in the middle of a snowstorm—but decided to save that and some thoughts on the Feb program for a later post.

Instead, given all the attention Aunt Des has garnered in recent weeks (a piece in The Chronicle of Higher Ed and in several Vermont newspapers), I thought I would use the occasion to follow up on the pointed criticism that has come from the very reason this never-known-before relative has shown up on campus—missing dishes—-and seek some student input and opinion on how to address this issue with some renewed sense of urgency.

MiddBlog’s recent post underscores the issue, which, to the outsider, is quite easy to solve: 1) provide environmentally sensitive “take out” containers for students with schedules that do not allow them to sit down and have a meal; or 2) bring checkers/monitors back to the dining halls.

I am very interested in hearing from students about this issue and some solutions, as many students have reached the point of recognizing that Aunt Des, as wonderful as it is to have her on campus, will not change the student “dish culture” and it is time to do much more.  Many of my administrative colleagues share this view.

I have linked a past post on dining at Middlebury (pre-Aunt Des) to remind readers of the complexities and popularity of our current meal plan system, which relates quite directly to how we might deal with the dish issue most effectively.  I suggest readers review the comments to get the full picture of student views on this issue.  Suggestions welcome.

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