Middlebury is an institution built for students who are thin, wealthy, cis, straight, white, able-bodied, American citizens, free from any mental health struggles—for this reason, many resources are not capable of addressing the actual needs and experiences of its student body. On this page, we want to explore the various offerings and limitations of important resources on campus. We also want to chronicle efforts to create new resources and to make College resources more inclusive, effective, and safe. Please contact us if you have other resources you think we should include, or if you know of alternative resources surrounding certain subjects.
The Anderson Freeman Center (AFC) works to support for students of color, first-gen students, students from low-income backgrounds, LGBTQ+ students, international students, and other students who have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in U.S. higher education. It provides mentoring and advising, and also support for student orgs.
Parton Health Center is supposed to provide health services to students. It fails to do so in many ways, so we hope we can compile alternative resources/struggles to make the services Parton provide more inclusive and conducive to a healthy campus, for everyone. We all deserve health services, and they should always be free, inclusive, and capable of responding to the challenges and experiences we all have. There is also Planned Parenthood in Middlebury if you are looking for reproductive healthcare and aren’t getting what you need/what you are comfortable with from Parton.
- Counseling: You can and should get counseling through Parton. Unfortunately, the school hasn’t hired enough counselors, so there’s often a very long wait to get appointments. One of the SGA’s 13 Demands in 2019 were to get more counselors of color, and counselors who are feminine-identifying and queer, as many students feel that their counselors are not able to understand or speak to their experiences. Hopefully they’ll act on it, and provide enough counselors for everyone. You can also refer to services offered by CSAC.
- Check out this old Disorientation blog post: Mental Health at Middlebury
- Eating Disorders: Middlebury’s obsessive “wellness” culture that holds up “athleticism” and “healthy eating” can make it a really tough place, especially for those of us who struggle with relationships to food. Parton doesn’t have a nutritionist, but is working to hire one, and right now they sometimes work with Amy Rice. Here is the most recent campus article about this issue! Parton has a history of poorly addressing eating disorders: not only does Parton lack the resources and knowledge to properly address EDs (there aren’t counselors who are trained to treat EDs) but it generally just doesn’t provide people struggling with the support they actually need, and has forced students to take entire years off even if they have had access to treatment (for students on financial aid or for whom going home is not an option, this can be really damaging). Check out this op ed for more info. This sucks, but it doesn’t mean that you are alone. If you are struggling with disordered eating or your relationship with food, please reach out to your friends and/or family, check out the Adams Center, (in Shelburne) who has an ED recovery support group. There are other, smaller support groups, and counselors outside of the college who can also help you, but we recognize that for many this is not a financially feasible option. Check out what services CSAC (more below) might provide.
- Substance Use: For folks struggling with substance use, Middlebury can be a really tough place. Once again, Parton doesn’t have counselors with the background to provide support for students looking to change their substance abuse patterns. There are local AA groups in Addison County, and a Narcotics Anonymous group on campus. However, we recognize that anonymity is hard to achieve in such a small community, and that many folks don’t agree with the politics of AA or NA. Students for Sensible Drug Policy was started fall of 2019 to respond to the lack of resources and punitive framework with which Middlebury responds to substance use on campus. SSDP advocates for harm reduction strategies (harm reduction is a framework that “recognizes that drug use is a part of our social reality and so strives to mitigate its harmful effects rather than punish those involved in the use and proliferation of licit and illicit drugs”). SSDP meets 7-8 pm Tuesdays in QSH. Also, look into services offered by CSAC (see below)
Student Financial Services Office is “your one stop shop for Financial Aid, Education Financing, Student Accounts and Cashiering.” Navigating the costs and bureaucracy of Midd is ridiculous, but sometimes this office can be helpful or at least answer questions. There are also different options offered by the office and the SGA to support students on financial aid while on school breaks — more resources on this coming soon.
- Check out this old Disorientation blog post: Advice for Saving $$$
- Midd Moving Money was a project started in the spring of 2017: the organization described itself as “a group of class-conscious activists who hope to facilitate the movement of money in an explicitly anti-racist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, and anti-sexist way.” The site is a great resource for rethinking wealth and the moral implications of having it.
- Also, check out this piece in the New York Times about the extreme amount of wealth at Middlebury.
- Here is an op-ed written by Rebecca Duras (class of 2019) to fellow first-gen students.
Chellis House is the Feminists’ Resource Center. It serves as a space for organizations and events pertaining to feminist issues on campus, as well as an educational, cultural, and informational resource.
QSH is an academic interest house that focuses on queer studies, examining sexuality and gender—and their relationships to race, class, ability, and geography. They host events and meetings, and are a great space to get involved with if you’re doing social justice organizing.
PALANA (Pan-African, Latinx, Asian, Native American) is an intercultural academic interest house. PALANA has done a lot of work to create social spaces that are accessible to people of color on campus. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply to live there.
There are a lot of great resources off-campus and in our local community for both personal support/help and for social justice organizing.
Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) is a local community mental health center in Middlebury, offering a wide range of mental health and developmental services. They have folks trained in developmental services, substance abuse treatment, psychiatry, psychology, mental health counseling, social work, family therapy, and child therapy.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a group of mostly white folks works to combat white supremacy by delegitimizing racist institutions, fighting for a fair economy, and shifting culture to undermine white supremacy.
Addison Allies is a group of volunteers working to support migrant farmworkers in Addison County by teaching English, providing needed services like transportation or interpretation, and hosting social opportunities.
Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante organizes for the dignity, respect, and rights of migrant workers in the state of Vermont. In particular, Migrant Justice is fighting to for migrant workers rights to dignified work and quality housing, freedom of movement and access to transportation, freedom from discrimination, and access to health care.
Planned Parenthood has a center in Middlebury. They don’t provide abortions, but can provide referrals, general health services, STI testing, and LGBTQ+ support. Check out the entry we have written under Current Actions about the crisis pregnancy center (CPC — fake abortion clinic) in town, the Pregnancy Resource Center of Addison County. PRCAC might come up on Google Maps when you search for Planned Parenthood, because it is located in PP’s former building, but it is infamous for its pro-life mission and for targeting student and faculty reproductive justice activists.