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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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Who's behind #Greenmtncollective?

by Natalie House


For their Delicate Balance Project, students Russell Stone and Daniel Schechner have created an outlet for folks to share their photography on one platform. The “Green Mountain College Collective” uses the hashtag #greenmtncollective on Instagram to create a dymanic album of work by students and members of the greater Poultney area.

"Originally Daniel and I were planning on having the Green Mountain College Collective the title for a photo and short writing book. Now the Green Mountain College Collective has become a website and Instagram where students can share their experience of Green Mountain College through their photography." -Russell

On their website, Stone and Schechner write, “we strive to highlight the talent of emerging artists, students and alumni alike in the Poultney Vermont community. By sharing these images, students get a better sense of life at Green Mountain College through the eyes of it's students.”

Students can submit their photos by emailing them to greenmtncollective@gmail.com or by hashtagging their photos with the #greenmtncollective hashtag on Instagram. The current website is www.greenmtncollective.wix.com/greenmtncollective but the domain will soon be changing to www.greenmtncollective.com.


Below are some snapshots from this collaborative social media project.






First Ever Student-Led Community Conversation

By: Matthias Baudinet & Natalie House

     On November 12th, 2014 the GMC Student Senate organized the fall 2014 Community Conversation. The Community Conversation is a platform that allows anyone in the greater GMC community to attend a discussion about community issues, problems, concerns, and then relaying all of those to the appropriate department heads in order to figure out solutions.

In the past years, it was usually Student Involvement and administration members that have organized and planned community conversations at Green Mountain. This year under President Erondu's leadership, the Fall 2014 Student Senate were the first to plan a community conversation that was created by students. This took a lot of time and effort on the part of all the Senators.

  Students were divided into six focus groups which were as follows: River & Social Events, Enrollment/Retention, Security, Food at Chartwells, Drug & Alcohol Use, Residence Life, and Wellness. All six groups had an even amount of passionate and dedicated students that really interested in voicing their concerns about things in all the focus groups. Each group had a representative from the Student Senate that acted as the person that would then present this information to the appropriate administrator or staff.

     Students expressed a lot of concerns with security issues such as possibly placing cameras around campus, having more security officers on duty during the nighttime, and reducing parking permit costs. Students also stated that they wanted more diverse professional staff, as well as free transportation to health centers and more support groups for students. 

After half an hour, students were then joined by faculty and many other professional staff which only enriched conversation. In my group (security), President Paul Fonteyn, two faculty members, and the assistant to the Provost (Gerry Fitzgerald) sat down with the rest of the students in that group and participated in the conversation. 

Obviously, during the conversation certain students became very passionate and some group conversations became very heated. This was expected by the Student Senate. Many students claimed that they had not been given a formal platform for voicing their administrative concerns, so when the community conversation was planned, many students saw this as an opportunity to finally have the chance to unleash their bottled-up emotions. 

Overall, students, faculty, staff, and the administration came together and participated in a very successful Community Conversation. A large population attended the conversation which speaks to the importance of having these types of conversations. The Student Senate has realized this and has committed to planning more of these talks.


After having time to reflect on the process, here are some thoughts from the community:

 The community discussion was very eye-opening. I hope the administration, staff, and students understand the issues that the college is facing, and begin to develop goals for the community to reach. I believe that every one (faculty, staff and students) on this campus has a responsibility to help the college out in every way. However, in order for us to do so, we should have more transparency, communication among departments, and mostly trust within the community. 

  • Corey Fletcher, student


The senate saw the community conversation as a need to bring everyone at GMC together through a round table solution based community conversation. According to the Provost, the 2014 community conversation was the "first ever community conversation hosted by Student Senate." The event was a success not because of the number of people that showed up, but because it was solution based. After the conversation, some student said to me that, " most of the staff at their table was unknown to them." This implies that we need more interface with faculty, staff, and cabinet at GMC in order to create a sustainable campus. I also want to use this medium to reiterate my commitment to the entire student body through the senate, I will continue to serve to make Green Mountain College a better place. 

  • Erondu Jude Chisom, Student Body President.


I thought the community conversation was an incredible opportunity for students to voice their concerns. As a transfer student, I know that having an open conversation like this among faculty and students at other colleges would rarely happen, if it even happened at all. If real solid change comes out of the conversation that was had, this will have been an incredible success that will hopefully continue every year. Props to student senate! 

  • Jess Butzke, student


I'm not a student, but the Residence Life meeting was useful for me -- I didn't realize that some of the items that students brought up were concerns. 

  • Codie Tedford, Community Director


I was in the Admission/Retention group. As someone who was so close to transferring that I actually had already put down a deposit at another school before I changed my mind and decided to come back, I felt like I had a unique point of view and some pretty valid concerns to discuss. I think that, overall, the conversation was really productive and well organized and I hope that there will be some follow-through in terms of the ideas discussed during the conversation. I really appreciated the student-led approach and was especially grateful for the "safe space" created by the first 30 minutes without faculty/staff members present. My one concern, though, was that one hour really wasn't long enough to talk about everything my group wanted to talk about. 

  • Jillian Paris, student

The community conversation was informative and brought members of the college community together to discuss issues that matter to the student body. Hopefully, this event ultimately results in the creation of more interactions among the people part of the GMC family and that together we can creatively discover solutions to our problems. 

  • José Galvez Contreras, Outreach Coordinator for Sustainable Community Development

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."