2/19/20 Town Meeting Minutes

19 February 2020

Town Meeting Minutes


Minutes are taken by Selectboard Clerk Felix and reflect to the best of my ability goes on during a Selectboard meeting. Due to the fast-paced nature of the meetings and the limitations of flesh and bone, the minutes do not necessarily directly quote those who choose to speak. They do, however, provide a record of the discussions had and decisions made in Town Meeting. With questions, concerns, or corrections please comment here or email selectboard@marlboro.edu.



  1. Dress for Success Fashion Show
  2. International Flag Deliberation
    1. Whereas Marlboro College strives to support a diverse and inclusive learning community;


And whereas the feedback from Town Meeting discussions and student conversations support the need for a welcoming atmosphere that is inclusive of students from diverse backgrounds;


And whereas immense support has been expressed for flying international flags on campus;


And whereas flags can be an opportunity for continued cultural learning;


Let it be resolved that Town Meeting supports the International Office in raising flags in the dining hall representing place-based identities. The International Office will facilitate conversation between any community members who may oppose a particular flag.


  1. Other Business
  2. Committee Reports
  3. Announcements




Kate Trzaskos: this is Career Week, my favorite event of the week is always the fashion show, I’d like everybody to get your smiles on, get ready to cheer for our fellow community members as they strut their stuff


(there is music)


first up, Angie is walking the runway, getting ready for her internship in LA! She’s showing off that she is academic, collegiat, and ready for whatever it takes (Angie has a lovely button-down shirt and gray-and-white striped sweater)


next, straight back from an internship in Boston, Faza (Faza has a stylish black coat)… Faza is also representing Indonesia, he’s got this beautiful shirt (lovely blue patterned shirt)


here he comes everyone, our Oxford to Marlboro classics fellow (Henner is wearing a brown jacket with a pocket square)


Nastia! strut your stuff, in the classroom, Nastia is ready to show off her teaching skills as a farm-to-school educator, nice little dress and then can transition (pretty blue dress with a gray sweater!)


here comes KJ! watch out New York City she’s taking on the dance and drama scene, who says you can’t wear a jumpsuit to work! (she’s wearing a black jumpsuit over a white turtleneck sweater)


showstopper last year, Carmen! (I can’t hear everything, people are clapping, she has a patterned skirt, red shirt, black sweater, and is rocking all of it)


and now… needs no introduction, beautiful business suit (wonderful paisley tie also), Don


we have a Dress for Success closet up in the library! come find us! check out more career week activities, including today, digital portfolio workshop




Text of the resolution:


Whereas Marlboro College strives to support a diverse and inclusive learning community;


And whereas the feedback from Town Meeting discussions and student conversations support the need for a welcoming atmosphere that is inclusive of students from diverse backgrounds;


And whereas immense support has been expressed for flying international flags on campus;


And whereas flags can be an opportunity for continued cultural learning;


Let it be resolved that Town Meeting supports the International Office in raising flags in the dining hall representing place-based identities. The International Office will facilitate conversation between any community members who may oppose a particular flag.


Maggie: this is at the request of many folks over the thirteen months since I’ve been back on campus, they miss the flags, they want the flags, this is a response to those requests.


Emmanuel: would you speak to how you intend to implement this?


Maggie: as I mentioned last week, if this passes I will be hosting open office hours right here at lunch on Monday, unfortunately not tomorrow or the next day, Monday you are able to come and chat about a specific flag that you’d like or just in general, I’ll also be sending out an email soliciting flags


(moving to questions)


(no questions, we are moving on to deliberation)


Felix: I think this is a great way to honor our origins, our family’s origins, places that matter to us… there’s been debate about politics, nation-states, it’s been written not to be about that and people can bring any flag that matters, I love this resolution, I miss the flags


Onur: a flag by definition is controversial, about staking claim on a piece of land, I think if you look at how most other places tackle this issue, places that want to represent where people are from, they do it in the form of having a map or other similar ways, but I do not see, and again for what I hear our issues were mainly around one flag, but regardless of that particular concern, I come from a country myself where even the name of the city I come from (Istanbul/Constantinople) is depending on who you’re talking to, I would want to think about options to do this representation but use different tools


William Ransom: how are we defining place-based identities? I ask that because I feel like there’s a possibility to include territories, flags that represent territories that are controversial, I’m thinking of the Confederate flag, there are people who would say that represents a place-based identitiy for them


Maggie: the short answer is, my role I do not see as a curator or decider if someone asks me for a flag it’s not going to be my decision of judging that flag’s worth, but since you specified the Confederate flag, a week ago I lumped that into an identity-based flag when the question came up, we also have set precedent on this campus, we have had conversations around symbols of hate and hate speech and representations, and I would hope that we would go back to that as a way to talk about that flag, it’s not for me to say, that would be for a lot of people


Matan: the main problem we hit against is we don’t have criteria for what constitutes a flag who flies here, all sorts of flags, everybody here can have a flag, if we start making flags a matter of consensus then we are entering the same issues that got us here in the first place, all sorts of reactions, a number of people have reactions to an American flag, we fly it because we’re on American territory… until we’ve established stable criteria for what’s a flag we should fly in the dining hall we shouldn’t fly them in the dining hall, it’s not to say we shouldn’t, but we should decide… I would be in favor of making it an individual bylaw


Star: so it’s kind of interesting because with the BLM flag being up, we already are proposing a consensus with that, not only that, the BLM flag being up, of course it deserves to be up, but do you guys even know what the Black Lives Matter flag means, or are we just putting it up because it’s something we understand… a lot of cultures have been through colonialism, racism, they should have flags up as well (I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear this one as well and didn’t get it down as well as I wanted)


Sully: argument in favor, we already passed that communities/committies could have flags up, I think flags are a point of pride and self-expression for a community or group, it makes sense that we have place-based identities to have the option to go up, whether we want it up forever is up for debate, but to say no we can’t have these flags flying is not ideal


Charlie Mahoney: argument in favor, I just want to say that having a flag up is a political statement, we have the Black Lives Matter flag up already, which is a political statement without nationality, I think it’s hypocritical to have one up but deride the others as too line-drawing to some degree


KJ: I honestly love the flags, and I love having them up there, but time and time again this community has shown they’re not able to come to a clear consensus of what they want, so I’m going against just because the community is not going to agree, flags are going to be taken down, as for the Black Lives Matter flag, it’s staying no matter what, if other people want their flags up there, go ahead, do what we did, we put it up because no one would agree, we were tired of it, so we just put it up, so if it means that much to you, go put it up, honestly


(move to a vote)


(the ayes have it, resolution passes)




Emmanuel: I will explain briefly what this is, as it was my recommendation. from time to time, we have transition updates, Working Group updates, sometimes these updates are hot off the press, have less than a day to be publicized, so in order to avoid potential conflicts within the agenda for scheduling, I recommended that we add an agenda item for other business in case any working groups wish to report. if you find that it is not helpful, please let me know


Matan: prizes and scholarships, we ended up with a prompt for the MacArthur prize, which is going to be due (didn’t hear it!) prompt is pathways, that is a word that’s meant to generate ideas for some kind of project or essay undertaken by a student independent of their studies, there are prizes involved, so prompt word is “pathways” and the deadline is April 1, thank you very much


Jenny: campus working group, in this room we have a number of people who are on that group, would you mind standing up (it’s Nick Katrick, Allison Turner, Lydia Nuhfer)… working group includes students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees… students and staff have conducted meetings in which ideas could be funneled to representatives, if you have thoughts please direct them to the campus working group, we will do our best to take in those ideas


Seth: curriculum working group, composed of members of committee on faculty, curriculum committee, task force, we’ve been working with counterparts at Emerson, quick overview, before doing that I want to provide three caveats, 1. this thing you’re about to see doesn’t apply to people who have final Plan applications on file and are going as seniors, 2. this is a draft, requires further elaboration and approval of Emerson’s curriculum committee, 3. however it looks, it’s going to be very much a work in progress as we implement it, words on a page but none of us have worked on this before…


(there is a document onscreen, I don’t have access)


“the new IDIP is crafted to uphold Marlboro’s distinctive educational promise that students can craft their own education, engage in self-directed inquiry, and bring a big idea to life from conception to execution” … won’t be the same as Marlboro but the spirit is largely intact…


(there are tables now of curricular progress through each year)


the salient point here is that we’ve got one course which is a required cohort and skills building class, the initial class is designed to introduce students to interdisciplinary studies, the second is to get used to project-based learning, third is like starting Plan, last one is probably like a Plan-writing seminar, you’ll be in a cohort, working one-on-one with faculty to help you generate a specific knowledge that will compose your capstone, in your senior year you can take between 8-16 credits devoted to your capstone… this does not look like what you’re doing now exactly, but it’s a way to carry out your ideas through Emerson’s structure… if you have any questions please contact your working group representatives


Jenny Ramstetter: I’m wondering if this will be available electronically to the whole community


Charlie Hickman: I’ll send this out as soon as TM is over to the whole community




Maggie: making a report on behalf of prizes and scholarships, global engagement, TMSF, grants are due NEXT FRIDAY AT NOON, search grants in Nook, you’ll find a page for all the different applications, if you have questions talk to me or Leni




Nick Katrick: I have several OP announcements, several people have come up to me and asked what the OP is doing, this Sunday, Wendell-Judd Cup, annual ski race, starts and ends at the soccer field, there’s going to be pizza, campfire, please come, you can go on skis, snowshoes, we time it but it’s not all that competitive, we have a stock of board games in our meeting room, I’ve taken the lock off it, so go borrow games, sign them out, bring them back, but use them, they’re in that cabinet. the ice rink, if it’s shoveled it’s very usable, so anyone who has two arms and can help us shovel come find me… ski trails, we have about 10k of trails that are groomed, if you’re looking for weekly OP and rec activities check out the board, we have a sauna, fencing, climbing, trailwork, and skiing, so check that out, we’re going to run Wilderness First Responder in June, if students are interested in doing it for a discount I can give you an extremely good one, there’s an email about that, we’re planning a lot of activities for April and May, if you’re interested in any of those activities come find me or one of the OP staff


Ariana: part of career week, we’re going to be doing a session today on online portfolios, websites, artist statements in the Magnet Classroom


Nastia: I didn’t see any maintenance folks here, but I wanted to thank them for their hard work in keeping us safe and clearing snow off everything, round of applause (everyone is clapping)


Amy: tomorrow night 6:30-7:30 in the WRC is our first survivor skill building workshop, open to survivors of any kind of trauma, come learn coping mechanisms, more about trauma, every other Thursday, tomorrow is our first one


Cyane: I’m helping Mene with his Plan show, we’re in need of extras, if you’re interested in just standing around for three hours, we’re also looking for kids who can speak other languages, if you know anyone who has a child who can speak anything other than English that would be helpful


Maia: a couple of events coming up next week, if you can maybe plan a little bit, next Thursday, very celebrated poet alumna Sophie Cabot-Black will be coming to read in Appletree, 7 PM, and then on Friday, the alumni office, LIC, the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and Events and Lectures are jointly presenting a panel on race, which will sort of examine discussions around race, related to historical, institutional, lived experiences, two wonderful alumnae, (she’s listing names, I’m not catching them all)… facilitate a conversation from different perspectives, it’s going to be awesome, I hope most folks can make it


Lydia: this Friday at the Wunderbar in Bellows Falls is another Drag Cabaret, no cover charge, best way to support rural queer spaces is to show up to them


(meeting adjourned)

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(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)