October 28th, 2013
Theater Department calls for auditions for a play called “In the Next Room.” The department reaches out to different cultural organizations, such as the African American Alliance, Alianza, Women of Color and UMOJA, to encourage students of color to audition for the supporting role of the character Elizabeth, a wet nurse who was hired by a white couple to care for their child and who is the “object of the infatuation of one of the male (white) characters in the play.”
October 29th – 30th, 2013
Many students react to the invitation by declining it and criticizing the outreach to cultural organization only for the specific role of Elizabeth. More specifically, some students criticize the use of people of color exclusively in “roles of slaves, wet nurses, or roles in which the African American or Latino/Hispanic parts are members of working/lower class families who needed a savior to bring them out of their circumstance” (Missan DeSouza ‘14). Students emphasize the desire to be solicited for roles that were fitting to everyone to be casted in.
November 7th, 2013
A forum moderated by Dean Collado is held to discuss students’ concerns. Faculty from the Theater Department and a few other departments and students engage in a conversation. It becomes evident that the response to the invitation from the Theater Department is not a critique exclusive to the Theater Department. Rather, students are making a general critique of the exclusivity and euro-centrism of the curriculum at Middlebury.
Alianza board members begin talking about ways to move from discourse to action and how to actually effect change that will make Middlebury a more inclusive space for everyone. We brainstorm about how we can concretely make our campus community and institution better for all students. Angelica Segura ’16 points out that changes in the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements to represent a more egalitarian system would be a good first step in making our academic institution more inclusive within the classrooms.
November 20th, 2013
Rana Abdelhamid ’15 and Daniela Barajas ’14.5 draft a proposal to change the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements. They spend the rest of the Fall 2013 semester getting feedback from some professors and students and editing the proposal.
January 04, 2014
Rana Abdelhamid ’15 and Daniela Barajas ’14.5 post the proposal to change the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements on We the Middkids, and launch a campaign along with the other Midd Included coordinators, David Ollin Pesqueira ’17, Adriana Ortiz-Burnham ’17, and Jiya Pandya ’17, and other supporters.
January 15, 2014
The SGA Chief of Staff, Jake Nonweiler, responds to proposal on We the Middkids by saying that “changing the AAL requirement is a significant curricular change that necessitates time and further discussion,” and that the SGA would update Midd Included if there were any important changes. In response, Daniela Barajas ’14.5 emails SGA President Rachel Liddell ‘15 to schedule a meeting to discuss further the issue.
Midd Included has meetings with people who want to be involved and creates a FB group to keep people updated and engaged. The campaign continues through Facebook, Twitter and on campus through posters and face-to-face conversations.
January 20th, 2014
Daniela Barajas ’14.5 meets with SGA President Rachel Liddell ’15 and SGA Director of Academic Affairs. They agree to look at the issue further and even possibly passing a SGA bill about the issue.
January 22nd, 2014
SGA President writes an article on the Campus, in which she reiterates her support for a revision of the Cultures and Civilizations Distribution requirements.
A couple of students write articles on the campus opposing the propose changes in the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements, and Midd Included writes an article in response. At the same time, the Midd Included team continues to reach out to students and professors to hear their feedback while also encouraging students to vote for the proposal.
March 13th, 2014
SGA President Rachel Liddell ‘15, Adriana Ortiz-Burnham ’17, David Ollin Pesqueira ‘17, Jiya Pandya, ’17 and Daniela Barajas ‘14.5 write the SGA Resolution S2014-SR1 on the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements.
March 16th, 2014
The SGA Senate reviews the resolution, but does not have enough time to actually pass it.
April 6th, 2014
SGA passes Resolution S2014-SR1, supporting the change in the Cultures and Civilizations distribution requirements.
April 15th, 2014
Midd Included coordinators meet with Andrea Lloyd, Dean of Faculty and Chair of the Educational Affairs Committee, and Bob Cluss, Dean of Curriculum. In this meeting, they talk about the step-by-step bureaucratic process that must follow to actually implement the proposal. The process is as follows:
- Educational Affairs Committee drafts legislation.
- The issue is put on the agenda to be presented at a faculty meeting.
- Legislation is presented at a faculty meeting.
- Faculty has open meetings to discuss legislation and propose amendment(s).
- The Faculty Council makes a final vote.
Moreover, they establish open lines of communication and ask for regular updates about the progress of the process to ensure transparency. Further, Midd Included hopes that open communication and transparency will allow for better collaboration between students, faculty and administrators in an effort to ensure the thorough review and consideration of the issue at hand.
May 1st, 2014
Midd Included coordinators meet with President Ron Liebowitz and other administrators, and received positive feedback and support.
October 31st, 2014
Midd Included coordinators meet with Andrea Lloyd, Dean of Faculty, and new Dean of Curriculum Suzanne Gurland. Administrators and coordinators agreed that the ultimate goal of creating a more egalitarian and rigorous curriculum is extremely important and necessary. With that in mind, the Educational Affairs Committee will be working on a potential reform to the overall distribution requirements.
November 9th, 2014
David Ollin Pesqueira ‘17 and Daniela Barajas ‘14.5 meet with SGA to speak briefly about the history of Midd Included and the AAL reform. They answer questions and concerns from different senators, and request that SGA once again show official support for this curricular change.