Charles Murray Event Update

February 18, 2020 | by David Provost and Jeff Cason

A number of weeks have passed since our community was informed by the College Republicans that they extended an invitation to Charles Murray to speak on the Vermont campus at the end of March. We want to give an update on some of the planning that’s underway surrounding the event.

  • Ticketing—Ticketing for the event will be for members of the Middlebury College community only. Tickets will be available via lottery, will be nontransferable, and will require a Middlebury ID to enter the venue. More information on how to get a ticket will be shared by the College Republicans nearer to the time of the event.
  • Counterprogramming—As is standard practice, other student groups are organizing events that will occur at the same time as Charles Murray’s presentation to provide other opportunities to engage in discussion. They will be sharing more detailed information with you in the weeks ahead.
  • Student Support—A variety of additional opportunities are under development to provide students the resources and information they need, including proactive restorative practice circles, workshops on Middlebury’s open expression and demonstration policies (the next one to be held Thursday, February 20, from 4:30–6:00 p.m. in Davis Family Library 105), and more. We’ll provide updates when we have them to share.
  • Security—To ensure the safety of our entire community, including that of any students who wish to express their views through nonviolent public protest and demonstration, security and public safety plans are being developed. These will include the visible presence of law enforcement on campus. We understand that this heightened security is fairly unusual at Middlebury. However, it’s absolutely necessary, and standard practice, at colleges and universities across the country when hosting a potentially controversial speaker.

Because of the incidents that occurred during Charles Murray’s last visit, this event requires more planning and precaution than most that occur on campus. Our goal for every event, however, remains consistent: to provide a forum in which the Middlebury community can engage in a thoughtful, rigorous, and respectful manner.

Our joint commitment to both open expression and inclusivity are integral to our vision of a world with a robust and inclusive public sphere. As is often the case with dual commitments, there’s a tension here that isn’t easy to resolve. It’s easy to state these values when they’re not being challenged, but more difficult, and more important, to fulfill them when they are.

The College Republicans may provide more updates to you in the future.

And finally, as you may have already heard, our robust Critical Conversations series on race and racism is ongoing this term. More information can be found here.


David Provost
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Jeff Cason
Executive Vice President and Provost


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Coronavirus FAQ’s

Is Middlebury restricting individuals who are coming from China to campus?

Middlebury is actively engaging individuals who are expected to return to campus from China. After a review of travel history, exposure risk, and any pertinent medical information, College health officials may instruct some individuals to delay arrival to campus for up to 14 days after leaving China.

What will happen to students who delay travel to campus?

Middlebury will work with students delaying their arrival on a case-by-case basis and provide academic support.

Why isn’t Middlebury excluding all people traveling from China?  Isn’t that the safest thing to do?

Middlebury is following CDC guidelines. As of January 30, 2020, the WHO and the CDC are recommending that travelers from affected areas monitor and report symptoms if they occur within 14 days of departing China. There are no travel restrictions advised at this time. Excluding all people traveling from China would not be in accordance with CDC guidance.

What are the symptoms of illness from coronavirus?

They can be similar to the flu or cold: fever, cough or shortness of breath. 

What should a person do if they are experiencing symptoms?

A person with symptoms should contact their personal doctor or call the emergency room where they  are located for further care instructions immediately.

What steps is the CDC taking and what are the CDC guidelines?

Enhanced entry screenings are being conducted at designated U.S. airports by the CDC and U.S. Border Patrol, and the CDC health alert notice is being given to all people traveling from China to the US. 

What can I do to prevent getting coronavirus?

Follow the general guidance below on staying healthy and preventing illness:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

Should I be tested?

There are currently no recommendations for screening healthy people returning from China or any other country other than what is occurring at airports.

Yes, if you have traveled in or through known affected areas in the past 14 days and have any of the above symptoms. Students should contact the Parton Center for Health and Wellness. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider or seek evaluation at an emergency room.


The coronavirus situation is evolving. Individuals are encouraged to visit the following websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information: