Last Thursday, student dissent peaked in response to a Dean of Students email outlining a newly proposed Middlebury policy which expressly forbids civil disobedience and disruptive forms of protest. While this news was jarring to many of Middlebury’s activists, those students on campus who care about issues larger than themselves, the vast majority of students grew indifferent to the update after learning that losing their protest privilege will not in any way affect their countless other privileges.
In response to the immediate defensive reaction of the student body, college administrators were quick to point out that the proposal is still in draft form. They also second a follow-up email reiterating that students are still invited to a round-table discussion on the topic, so long as they do not disrupt the meeting and all their statements are pre-approved.
However, these measures to pacify the student body quickly proved redundant, after the vast majority stopped caring about the policy after reading the sentence, “This proposal only limits your privileges to dissent. No other privileges prevalent on campus have been affected.” At this point, they returned to munching on their MiddExpress sushi and completing the L. L. Bean orders in their cart.
A spokesperson for AEI confirmed that though this lost freedom will disproportionately impact some students, specifically those who are already overburdened on campus, other student privileges like race and class will eventually trickle-down to benefit all of campus.