October 16, 2012
On October 12, 2012, Middlebury College welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama to campus. An announcement was made that in honor of the visit from the Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, the college had chosen to demonstrate ethical leadership in divesting its endowment from war and environmental destruction. In reality, the satirical notice about Middlebury’s divestment was written by the Dalai Lama Welcoming Committee, a group of students concerned that the college embraces practices inconsistent with its own proclaimed values.
The press release brought attention to the unsettling reality that Middlebury has millions invested in industries of violence, while it claims to stand for universal compassion and peace.
The administration attempted to expel the students, but this effort ultimately backfired. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education voiced concern about the school clamping down on students’ free speech. The students were granted an open hearing. In front of an audience of nearly 300, filling the largest auditorium on campus, they articulated the tradition upon which they drew and the morals that compelled them to act. Not only did the judicial board give the students no official discipline, they expressed their desire to see Middlebury divest from violence and environmental destruction.
Click to read the Press Release.
Click to read the Reveal.