Let’s talk about what the cold wind will blow into Middlebury College next year – the first Chicago Posse to join the Middlebury community! When I first heard the news, naturally I had mixed feelings. As a first year Posse scholar who just dove into the Middlebury community as well as the Middlebury Posse family, I felt like a small fish in a big pond. I still don’t know the ins and outs of the campus and the people. I want to get to know the scholars outside my Posse on a deeper level than just small conversations and I hope that as the year goes by, we will all form familial bonds. I am hesitant about how the dynamic will shift among the New York City scholars when the [first cohort of] Chicago scholars arrive next year. I am not sure exactly how [the dynamics] will shift but it will most likely interfere with the New York City “culture” that have unified us all. I am also hesitant about Posse expanding to Chicago because I feel that MPNY14 will not receive the same attention and excitement that my Posse did when we first arrived on campus (because they will be split between the NYC and the Chicago Posse, focusing less on MP14). However, the more diversity on campus, the more enriched [the Middlebury community will be] so while I remain hesitant, I am also very excited to meet the first Middlebury Posse from Chicago. I have never been to Chicago so having them on campus will provide me with a different city culture and perspective. To MPC1!
Suraj Patel (NYMP13)
When I first heard about Middlebury adding an additional Posse, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. Mostly because I am not sure where Posse stands currently and what it really means to the students at Middlebury. There are definitely misconceptions about [the Posse Foundation and] what a Posse is on the Middlebury campus. This is evident when I read the comments in the school newspaper about Posse and [sometimes] I cannot help but feel offended. I am not sure many people understand clearly what Posse really is and having another group [here on campus] might contribute to that misunderstanding but it might also be a way to get more people to understand the nature of what Posse is and what the Posse Foundation strives for. However, regardless of what people may think, I believe that the presence of Posse scholars here on campus has definitely contributed to the diversity of the Middlebury campus. That being said, I stand behind the idea of having another Posse and see it as a step to diversify and create more social awareness [of urban high school leaders] within the student body.
Lili Miao (NYMP12)
Although there have been some hesitations about Posse Chicago jumping on the Middlebury bandwagon, I for one am ecstatic about the expansion. It is such a great opportunity for students from [Middlebury’s underrepresented area such as] Chicago as well as the New York City Posse scholars on campus to learn from each other. Coming from someone who has never visited Chi-town, it would be so much fun to compare and contrast life in Middlebury, Chicago and New York. When I first came to Middlebury during preview weekend, I was welcomed with open arms by all of the Middlebury Posse upperclassmen. I cannot wait to do the same for New York Posse 14 and Chicago Posse 1 and give them the same Posse warmth and love that I got. :)
Cindy Alvarado (NYMP13)
My initial reactions to the idea of having two Posses [from different] cities at Middlebury College were anxiety and hesitation. There are people at Middlebury who are still unfamiliar with the Posse Foundation’s mission and more importantly the importance of having Posse scholars on campus. I was also worried about how the two first-year Posses would interact [when both Posses are on campus for the first time]; “Would they be entirely separate entities or one big Posse family?”
However, despite my selfish reservations, I believe that it is important to have a diversity of ideas and experiences on campus, which is exactly what the new Chicago Posse will provide.
Welcome Chicago scholars!
Aya Gallego (NYMP11)
Overall, I look to this expansion as a very good sign of things to come for Middlebury College and its commitment to intentionally recruiting strong students of color to attend this institution. For Middlebury College to make this kind of commitment is a testament to the things that are important to this school, but it is also a testament to the Posse Foundation and all that it strives to do as well.
I cannot speak to how the two communities (Posse New York City and Posse Chicago) will interact while on campus, but I figure the more the merrier. I think it will be an important time for everyone to keep their egos in check and revel in the fact that the Posse family is growing. I am not suggesting that everyone in Posse needs to be the best of friends, but we have to respect everyone in the community for the simple fact that we are all Posse Scholars.
Shanta’ Lindo (NYMP8)