For all the complaining I do about Middlebury, every once and awhile I have to give props where they’re due. This morning, I ran into Dean of the College Tim Spears on the way to class. At first, I didn’t even recognize him but alas, he recognized me (nailed my name) which is a plus when you consider that he could potentially come across any of 2,350 students on any given day. We talked briefly about this blog, how long I’ve been blogging, and where I host (answer: Yahoo Small Business). While I’m sure Tim realizes that when someone wants to find a blog on Middlebury, they’re going to find this one since I’m consistently in the top 30 websites when googling anything relating to Middlebury, even higher when official middlebury sites are excluded. I hope that has nothing to do with Tim’s interest but then again, I’ll take what I can get. We also discussed a proposal I wrote on behalf of PALANA Intercultural House suggesting the conversion of a classroom in our building be switched to a lounge or common area for meetings and such. He said that the proposal was moving forward as it was approed by the Scheduling Office and that it was likely going to be complete by spring semester after clearence by the Academic Affairs Office.
Well, how about that. For all the bureaucratic redtape I claim, results like that after a simple letter to Tim Spears is quite amazing. I realize that some I had some outside help too but, again, I’ll take what I can get. The sheer fact that I can run into and talk to the Dean of the College at will is another bonus of a small liberal arts college. A friend at University of Southern California (USC) recently told me stories of how student leaders of her school would stalk the President of USC so that they could put a proposal in his hands. Somehow I doubt it’s that hard to talk to the President here at Middlebury. He has office hours, just as every teacher must have. He has set up meeting times to specifically chat with students. Then again, he probably isn’t accepting proposals because there are clearly defined channels for submitting various types of proposals to change the school.
Interestingly, my post on the bureaucracy of financing student organizations inspired me to apply to the SGA Finance Committee of the school. The board parces out funding for 150+ student organizations for campus life and extra-cirricular academic life. It’s budget is roughly $564,000 based on a student population of 2,350 students and a campus activities fee of $240 per student. Right now, the Committee is basically a one-woman show, a senior student who speaks on behalf of the committee. We’ll see if I am accepted or not but either way it’s been interesting to get to know the more intimate details of how funding works at the school.