I thought, before this year, that I knew the staff of the campus fairly well. I knew the general faces of the Proctor dining hall staff, I worked on projects with many of the Admissions workers, and I always remembered the first name of the three central workers at the Mail Center when I picked up packages. I also thought that I had a fair amount of responsibility on me; it was just me that reminded myself of paper deadlines, set my alarm for those dreaded 8.00am classes, and held myself accountable for heading to the non-proctored but mandatory late-night class film screenings.
Boy, was I mistaken. Until I took up the position of co-chair of Middlebury Open Queer Alliance this year, I had not a clue of the duties that some students shoulder. As far as student organizations go, MOQA is a relatively small one; we do not host weekly dinners like Hillel, throw school-wide dances like the Quidditch Club, or design entire sets and choreograph dozens of songs for performances like Riddim. Still, this position has opened my eyes to a whole different side of hard-working Middlebury. I am accustomed to hearing about terrific academic work loads and amazingly packed extracurricular schedules, but I have never before been in contact with those who arrange the very events that serve as the backbone of Middlebury’s social life.
Constant emailing, coordinating, checking out of equipment, writing up budgets, arranging for speakers, planning party themes and renting spaces are some of the things that come with leadership roles on campus. It is time-consuming but gratifying; I know the inner workings of the MCAB Speakers Committee and all of the people who work behind the scenes of budgeting activities. This coming April MOQA will be hosting a joint dinner with Women of Color and Feminist Action Middlebury, and just in the preliminary organizing I have come in contact with the most amazing people that I don’t normally rub shoulders with. It feels very right, somehow, that in my final year I’ve have gotten this incredible chance to branch out and serve as a representative for a segment of campus, and gotten to know Midd on an entirely new level of operation.