Student cultural organizations oral histories, 2023
Scope and Contents
Collection includes oral history interviews conducted under the auspices of Special Collections. Interviewees include Middlebury College students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators. As of 2020, the vast majority of the interviews are one-on-one, and more group recording sessions are being conducted and added.
- Creation: 2023
Conditions Governing Access
Open for research without restriction.
Biographical / Historical
Oral histories for this project were conducted by Special Collections Oral History Intern Ambar Vasquez-Mitra, Class of 2025, during the spring of 2023.
This oral history project focuses on the aftermath of COVID-19 on Middlebury’s student body, in particular the student-run cultural organizations. Interviewing various members of leadership from the 2020-2023 time period, this project explores the challenges and tribulations faced by board members in navigating a post-COVID Middlebury while also commemorating the experiences of the communities of color at the college. By including the stories of various cultural org members and leadership the histories of people of color and their presence are preserved as part of the Middlebury experience. Those interviewed spoke on their experiences with COVID on campus across various grade levels and as well as how constraints impacted how the organizations operated both during and after the pandemic. Many of the issues raised included the decline of tradition, the lack of expertise on the board, and the continual battle against students' indifference with activities on campus. These conversations describe how student group leaders rebuilt their organizations following a significant social and global shift. However, despite the challenges, these histories functioned as a collection of popular activities, spaces to establish community, and memories made by these groups on campus as well as a manual for upcoming Middlebury cultural organizations. Leadership members had the chance to share words of wisdom and predictions for the future of these organizations through these accounts. This project was also featured in a special collections open house in which students were invited to walk through the archives and peer into the past and present histories of these organizations on campus. --Ambar Vasquez-Mitra
5 Digital files
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English