Letter to the editor: College must help manage student ‘party houses’

A question, and a challenge for Middlebury College, regarding its purported commitment to community, environment, and “exemplary land stewardship.”

Is Middlebury College’s stewardship commitment limited to the boundaries of its own lands, or does said commitment also extend into the greater community in which its faculty and students also have impact?

If Middlebury College asserts that yes, its stewardship sensibility extends into the broader community as well, then this community member is challenging the institution to take more responsibility regarding the management of its off-campus transient student population. More specifically, “Party Houses” and the related garbage and refuse that litter our streets, embankments, and the Otter Creek.

Look no further than the periphery of the property located at 14 Cross Street to fully understand the offensive and disrespectful nature of the situation (just around the corner from the College President’s residence). We can agree that landlords certainly have a critical responsibility to manage their properties and tenants in this context, but so should the host college responsible for introducing this shameful and disrespectful behavior into its host community.

If on the other hand Middlebury College asserts that it assumes no stewardship commitment outside of the confines of its own land holdings, then I would call out the hypocrisy, and challenge the college to step-up and take greater responsibility (and pride) of and within the greater community with which it resides. Please be a good neighbor Middlebury College, see something, say something, do something.

Jim Bruce


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