President Laurie Patton and members of the senior leadership team sent the following message to the campus community on November 27.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Welcome back to the final weeks of the semester. We hope your break was restorative and restful.
We write with a message of community care in what may feel like a chaotic world. The last few weeks have witnessed a rise in hateful violence in Vermont and nationwide. This past weekend, three Palestinian students from Haverford College, Trinity College, and Brown University were shot near the University of Vermont campus in Burlington. The incident is being investigated as a potential hate crime with a suspect in custody, according to Burlington Police and the mayor’s office. Our hearts go out to these students, their families, and their communities as the students recover.
For many of our Middlebury community members this violence nearby, and other terrible incidents of hate, may be difficult to process and comprehend at a moment when we are already experiencing rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in our nation and our region.
Our community will continue to remain actively watchful for incidents in Middlebury. The Department of Public Safety; Student Affairs; the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, among others, will remain responsive to concerns that you may have and issues that are reported. It can never be said adequately, and it can never be said enough: There is no place for discrimination of any kind on our campus. There is no place for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian or anti-Israeli bias or any discrimination on the basis of national origin. If you experience or witness an act of bias, it is essential that you report it to the Community Bias Response Team (CBRT) or Public Safety.
It is important that we all take time to care for one another and ourselves throughout this challenging time in our world and community. We will continue to ask faculty to maintain flexibility in their course assignments for students. Students, faculty, and staff continue to learn together, talk together, and participate in many different acts of witness to the suffering in our world. We have taken the collective responsibility of offering care and connection, checking in with one another throughout this semester. These acts build and maintain the deep value of our learning community.
Below is some information to remind you of the people and offices who are eager to connect with and support everyone in our community regarding safety and well being, in addition to opportunities for open dialogue, and meaningful engagement.
Please keep in mind that each of us will be processing these events differently. Some may choose to take the time to reach out to a friend, to take breaks in the day to reflect and meditate, or to connect to family members. Even in deeply trying times, we can continue to build relationships and learn while staying connected.
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Associate Vice President of Safety
Resources Available to Our Community
The Center for Health and Wellness staff, TimelyCare, and chaplains at the Scott Center are ready to provide support for any student. The Employee and Family Assistance Program, 866-660-9533 (company code: Middlebury College), is available 24/7 for faculty and staff and their immediate family members, and those residing in their homes.