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.


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Diversity: Overcoming Stereotypes Exhibit in Surdam

by Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

This past Friday night, three GMC students students Luz Guel, Martha Howe, and Rosemary Connelli worked together to put on one of the most beautifully powerful art shows I have seen as of yet in my college career here. Their artist statement was:

Diversity: Overcoming Stereotypes

The purpose of this exhibit is to talk about how different racial, gender, religious, and body type stereotypes affect people personally here in Green Mountain College. These words, phrases, or stereotypes were written on their hands or body to symbolize the labels people place on them. Its critical, especially with so much racial turmoil in the United States, to document the stories of marginalized individuals.

All three of these students had/have faced stereotypes being placed on them, either due to their race or gender or behavior, and all three of these students are acknoweledging how harmful said stereotypes can be. 

Within the GMC community, we have the opportunity to live amidst so many different kinds of people on campus ranging from people all over the US to a large marjority of international students. If we, as Green Mountain College, a tiny bubble within Vermont, cannot begin addressing certain harmful stereotypes we face as world citizens then that is a problem. I'm so proud of these ladies for beginning this project.

I highly encourage everyone to check out this exhibit while it is still in GMC's Surdam Art Gallery, as well as join one of the artists Luz Guel and myself in the Moses 1st lounge this Wednesday night at 7pm for an Activism Club presentation on Mexican immigrants, border patrol, and what is going on just a few states away from us.


Spring Concert: Moon Hooch!

By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

This past weekend, Green Mountain College held their annual Spring Concert and co-existing day of festivities! With the schedule as following: 


Jousting, mechanical bull riding, a rock wall, and trampoline bungee.

Cree Parking Lot and Moses Lawn.  



Cree Lawn 


Tony Trischka Territory featuring special guests Sarah Middlefeldt and John Gillette

Cree Lawn


Fire Spinners

Withey Lawn


Laser Tag

Waldron Gym. People under 18 years require signed parental permission to participate.


Moon Hooch


Local Food Vendors

Withey Lobby, featuring local Farmer’s Market food vendors, Ana’s Empanadas, Caroline’s Pies, Taste of Asia, and Mediterranean Mix.  


It was a lovely day filled with wild rides and giggly faces of family's, friends, babies, incredible musicicans and amazing food.


Chartwells dining hall was turned into a fabulous concert venue by CPB (community programmig board) and amazing volunteers for a classic GMC guest jam band, and many hula hooping, dancing, excited students, both current and alumni.

Overall, I would say that the entire campus could agree on the fact that it was an exhausting weekend, but a very satisfying one at that. 



Eleanor Tison & The Social Justice Film Series

by Krista Lee
Eleanor Tison is a professor for the Sociology/Anthropology and Sustainable Agriculture Program here at GMC as well as a loved and active community member of Poultney. This semester as an extension of the Food Justice class she is teaching, Eleanor created a Food Justice Documentary Film Series that happens every other week for the entire semester. The films that have been chosen are content-related to the Food Justice class, for example when "A Place At The Table" was shown the class was discussing and reading about food access. The films that have been shown thus far have been: A Place At The Table, The Garden, Fed Up, Growing Cities, Ingredients, and Food Chains. 

The Film Series is open the the campus and students from outside of the Food Justice class have attended the screenings and the discussion following the films. The thought and purpose behind this series is to go deeper into the issues and supplementing the analytic side and lectures with personal stories, interviews, and a more sociological focus to help people better understand and retain the information on these important topics. Eleanor believes that film is an important medium that really affects and teaches people on topics that affect the lives of people every single day. 

The last film of the semester will be shown on Tuesday May 5th at 8pm in the East Room with a Potluck happening as well. The film is yet to be announced...but it is sure to be a great one and I would recommend you coming out and bringing a dish!



Benson Series: Pulitzer Prize Winner Dan Fagin 

by Krista Lee

On Monday April 20th, Dan Fagin was the Spring 2015 speaker as a part of the Benson Lecture Series. This was the 9th year of the Benson Series, and was named after a past GMC president from 1994-2002, Thomas L. Benson, who served our community for 8 years and was an important part of transforming GMC into the environmental liberal arts school we all know today. Dan Fagin is a professor at NYU and won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Toms River: a Story of Science and Salvation.    

"Fagin is director of the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University and one of the best investigative journalists working today. His Pulitzer Prize citation refers to Toms River as "a book that deftly combines investigative reporting and historical research to probe a New Jersey seashore town’s cluster of childhood cancers linked to water and air pollution.""

 In his talk, he discussed environmental pollution and tragedies of our time and how they can and should be considered in a historical context. He focused on a seashore community in New Jersey where people, specifically children, were dying due to childhood cancer caused by industrial pollution. Fagin has been an environmental reporter for the past 25 years and has emphasized public health catastrophes and connecting the dots between disease clusters. In Tom's River, NJ there was a chemical plant that would dump over 40 billion gallons of waste water in a way that polluted the air and water for the residents of the community. The company drilled many wells and would create billions of gallons of waste and have no way to dispose of it properly thus the community suffered, and many people died.

In Tom's River, NJ compared to other parts of the state, residents had 50% more cancer, 80% more leukemia, 300% more brain and CNS cancer, and 700% more brain and CNS cancer in residents that were under the age of five. The Tom's River community got educated as to what was happening and came together and engaged the media and the world to let everyone know what was happening in their communities. The book helped memorialize the struggle and stories and Fagin reflected on the time that he did a book reading in Toms River when the book was published and how meaningful that was to him as an environmental author.

Dan Fagin finished his talk as the Benson Lecture series keynote for this year telling the audience that there are power in numbers, and the importance of being an active community member who is aware of what is happening in their community. He emphasized individual and community responsibility. 


Congratulate Susanne Claxton!

By: Natalie House

Susanne Claxton is a well-loved faculty member on campus. Her class "Body & Being" is very popular among students because it incorporates belly dance with philospohical lecture. The class was created by Susanne soon after she started teaching in the fall of 2008, and is the first course of its kind in the nation. She also frequently teaches Environmental Ethics, Existentialism, and other topic-specific philosophy classes.

Recently, Susanne completed her PhD degree in Philosophy after working on her dissertation for 9 years. Though the process was long, she is overjoyed to be working with like-minded people in the philosophy field, including her advisor at the University of New Mexico. Her dissertation will be adapted for book publication this summer.

Susanne loves to teach - her favorite area of study is Environmental Ethics, which is an ELA elective. Susanne is a truly inspiring and intelligent professor, as well as dance instructor. All students are encouraged to try belly dance every Tuesday night in the Bogue Movement studio!