Marlboro was founded in the wake of World War II with the explicit goal of redefining democracy in a world of uncertainty, a world where ideas such as fascism and communism were fresh, raw, and frightening. With the foundation of democracy in mind, Marlboro pushed its students to participate democratically through Town Meeting.
As the editor of Marlboro’s school newspaper, The Citizen, I have seen and participated in my fair share of democratic messiness. Marlboro is a small institution and is dramatically affected by the actions and opinions of the individuals who make it. When people talk, they talk to each other, they challenge each other, and they force each other to fully articulate their opinions. A diversity of thought and opinion forces them to think harder and learn how to interact more reasonably and intelligently with one another. When people are silent, the college stagnates, and so do students’ minds.
When people talk, the result is a gorgeous, frightening, and entirely unpredictable organism. The beauty of Marlboro is that people are not only encouraged to speak their minds; they are expected to. And if people speak enough and are able to find common ground, they can make real and tangible changes to the college. I’ve seen it happen over and over. I have seen students stand up, either through a speech or through articles in The Citizen, and demand more from their school, and I have seen those demands transformed into action.
Marlboro absolutely needs disagreement and its resulting discourse. Marlboro needs opinions that clash. Marlboro’s students, no matter how much they have changed over the past six decades, still expect their voices to be heard. And they should make them heard, because nothing here is more beautiful than the knowledge that someone is listening.
– David Amato ’14
Former Editor, Marlboro Citizen