About The Rope Swing

The Rope Swing is a Green Mountain College Student run blog. We hope that you enjoy learning about the college as you follow each of our eleven bloggers. Each student has a different unique story to tell and will guide you through their own journey at Green Mountain College. Read more  >>


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Freshman Impressions: Miranda Bailey-Russomano

By: Matthias Baudinet

      For my last and final "Freshman Impressions" piece I conducted a short interview with Miranda Bailey-Russomano. Miranda is a freshman from Bridgeport, Connecticut and has a strong academic interest in women's studies. She is also very interested in adventure recreation and feminism. Miranda is part of a large freshman class that is very diverse, which will only add to the positive diversity and the myriad of cultures found here at Green Mountain that make our school so unique. 

Here is the short interview:

1. What was your initial reaction when you first arrived on campus?

- "I was really excited about starting my college career and opening a new chapter in my life. I had signed up for the wilderness challenge, so I was really excited about that. My roommate and I had contacted each other over the break and I was so happy that I would finally meet her. I felt a sense of independence that I never had before, and I knew that I was about to experience things that I had never experienced before."

2. How were your first couple of weeks here at GMC?

-"They were good and interesting. I kind of didn't really know what to expect, but I was very excited. Overall, everything went smoothly and I got the chance to slowly get into the groove of things on campus. I very quickly became good friends with my roommate and a lot of people on my floor. The friends that I now have on my floor really have helped me feel comfortable at the school."

3. How would you describe the ideal Green Mountain student?

-"I would describe that person as really open-minded. They would like to hang-out with friends a lot and overall are very friendly. The typical GMC student is always very accepting and kind. They really try to treat each other with respect, and you always know that they [friends] can be there to help you with anything. My roommate, Rhiannon, would be a perfect example of the ideal GMC student. Even though she is only a freshman, she embodies all the things that I already said and has all the attributes that I think the typical GMC student has. She is just awesome!" 


Talent Show at GMC!

by Krista Lee

Students gathered in the Gorge on Friday night for the Green Mountain College fall talent show. All couches were filled with supportive and encouraging students who enjoyed watching their classmates perform, sing, juggle, and play instruments. Talent shows are great community builders, and give students a chance to find out new things about people that they may not have known before. Judging from the crowd, I think GMC is looking forward to the next show in the Spring!





Freshman Impressions: Mollie O'Hara 

By: Matthias Baudinet

This week I interviewed Mollie O'Hara from Massachusetts. Mollie was on the women's varsity soccer team this season, and is person full of kindness, passion, and humor. Mollie is a good friend of mine, and she always seems to know how to make people laugh no matter how sad or upset they are.


Here is the short interview:

What was your initial reaction when you first arrived on campus?
-"At first, I was unsure of what was to come. Everyone seemed very friendly and welcoming however, and that reassured me greatly. I realized that I had to put myself out there, which was something that I wanted to do, but that felt very nerve-wracking to me."

How were your first couple of weeks here at GMC?
-"My first week was hard and difficult. I kind of was struggling both socially and academically, but that was normal. My second week was a lot better. I got into the routine of things. Soccer was in full swing, and I became friends with a lot more people. In my third week I finally figured out how to make the most of my time here at GMC. I developed more friendships, got into the groove of college life and felt at ease."

How would you describe the ideal Green Mountain College student?
-"I would say that they are their own person. They are not quick to judge others by their appearance and they tend to be very open-minded. Compared to my high school, the typical GMC student is very welcoming and usually does not fulfill stereotypes. Depending on what they study, they are also very committed and passionate about their academics and are active on campus and off campus in events or activities regarding their major/interests."


Orgasms, Power Dynamics, & Purity - By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

WOMEN AND MEN EVERYWHERE- Interested in helping de-mistify sex culture? Like the idea of generating some honest and positive information on what's actually going on with people's sexuality? Want to change the world and help more people feel more sexually empowered? Please take this anonymous survey that myself and a few classmates created for a project we're working on! And help send this on to anyone & everyone you know! We thank you! 

Link below:


Our goal is to survey and study our cultures ideas, interests, attitudes, opinions and beliefs toward sexuality. This will include the purity myth, female orgasms and power dynamics.

We hope to learn more about the honest and unspoken thoughts of all genders, and their real life experiences from our research. We are a group of women who identify as female who have had mostly heterosexual relationships, therefore our cultural awareness is more significant to heterosexual culture but our intention is to include multiple perspectives. Our cultural backgrounds have made us aware of certain widely spread beliefs on chastity, power dynamics and sexual relations which we want to question through our research. 

      Some of the questions we have are: 

  • ·      Who has orgasms- gender/sexual orientation/age/diet & health?
  • ·      How often do people experience orgasms?
  • ·      What are peoples’ views on orgasms? How hard do they think it is to orgasm? How hard do they think it is to make their sexual partner orgasm? Does being in a relationship with someone affect his or her quality or frequency of having an orgasm?
  • ·      Who feels entitled to an orgasm?
  • ·      How does having an orgasm affect the hierarchy of a relationship? Who holds the power when only one person orgasms, or has more than the other person?
  • ·      Whose responsibility is it to create someone’s orgasm?
  • ·      How does the virginity movement suppress sexual feelings/expression? What power dynamic does that create within a relationship, could it lead to divorce?
  • ·      What does purity even mean? What does it mean to be pure? Where was the philosophy of virginity created, how has it been sustained in our culture throughout the years? 

Green Mountain College helps "Carry The Weight"

by Krista Lee

On October 29, 2014 Green Mountain College joined with schools around the country for a national day of solidarity against sexual and domestic assault. My delicate balance project this year is approaching reproductive justice in a comprehensive way  through education and involvement. So far my project has consisted of the consent play & discussion that happened on campus in September, and the “Carry the Weight” photo campaign and Take Back the Night March & Candlelight vigil and survivor speak out that took place in October.  For both of these projects there have been so many people who have been involved to make them the successes that they were, including effort and organizing by first and second year students at GMC.

The photo campaign took place in Withey, outside of the dining hall, all day photographing students with a white board saying “No More___” or “I Carry The Weight For/Because____” and then photographed with a mattress behind them. The Take Back the Night March started in Ames circle at 7pm with students, faculty, and staff gathering. There was an introduction about why we were all meeting and the context of working towards an end to sexual and domestic assault on a national and global scale. Sarah Wallen performed a song, and then we all proceeded to walk as a group carrying the mattress to the labyrinth. With us all standing in a circle with the mattress in the middle, everyone was given a candle to hold, and thus started the survivor speak out. The night was closed with everyone in the circle passing a squeeze to the next person, until it went all the way around the circle. This event was in an effort to make GMC a safer and more supportive environment, both emotionally and physically…and as a part of the national day of solidarity it was a way to ban together with other schools to signify that we are all in this struggle together.

The “Carry the Weight” campaign was inspired by Emma Sulkowicz who is carrying her mattress everywhere she goes on campus for the entire year until her rapist either leaves campus or is expelled. Sexual and domestic assaults are systematically invisibilized and survivors are forced to carry the weight of their assaults and violence on their shoulders alone. Emma’s advocacy and activism has inspired a global campaign to have communities help carry the weight for others, creating a safer culture of support , communication, and dedication.

There are college campuses around the country that are under legal investigation based on how they handled reported rapes and assaults, including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, and over 80 other higher learning institutions. These colleges and universities have violated Title IX, and basic respect to human rights.

My friends Jess & Natalie’s next episode of their podcast “Empathy Entwine” focuses on the Bystander Effect and is directly tied into this issue of assault, support, and prevention through education. Tune in using this link https://soundcloud.com/empathyentwinepodcast and “like” Empathy Entwine” on facebook to stay updated on when they post new episodes.

To learn more about the “Carry the Weight” campaign that students at Columbia University are leading listen to this interview via Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/16/we_will_not_be_silenced_students

To see all the photos taken on this day follow this link to the full album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1021072927919743.1073741829.339243369436039&type=1