History

For an interactive event-by-event illustration of how far Go/Refuge has come, click below:

Origins

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  • 3 Nov 2015: Middlebury College Hosts Expert Panel on the Syrian Refugee Crisis
    • "The program included brief lectures from Jennifer Hyndman, the director at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto; Judith Kumin, the former director for the United Nation’s refugee agency in Europe; Alison Mountz, a visiting professor of Canadian studies at Harvard University; and Roman Graf, Middlebury professor of German and comparative literature." --Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs
  • 8 Nov 2015: "A Call for Conscience" Published on the Middlebury Campus
    • Inspired by the Rohatyn Center's expert panel
    • "If we do nothing [to aid refugees], we distinguish ourselves as an international college without an international conscience," Travis Sanderson argued, advocating for the College to admit Syrian refugees as students and to help alleviate the crisis in the region.
  • 2 Dec 2015: "Our Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis" Response Published on the Middlebury Campus
    • 'I argue that bringing even just a few Syrian refugee students here would make a huge difference for the students, for us and for American higher education as a whole," Jeff Holland wrote, expanding on Sanderson's editorial. "Most importantly, however, we would be setting an example for colleges and universities all across the United States."
  • 9 Dec 2015: Go/Refuge Founded
    • Travis Sanderson and Jeff Holland began a petition called "Go/Refuge" urging Middlebury College to acquiesce to their demands to help refugees. They also published a third editorial and blanketed the campus in posters for the campaign.

The Movement

  • 20 Jan 2016: Sanderson and Holland Reach Out to Supporters for Editorials
    • Three petition-signers submitted editorials to the Middlebury Campus:
      • Sammy Abdulrahim, in "Syria Through the Eyes of an Arab Jordanian," pointed to his experience in Jordan as a member of a Palestinian refugee family to argue for higher education's role in relieving the refugee crisis; 
      • Sophie Hudson issued "A Call for Empathy" against media portrayal of Syrian refugees
      • Rebecca Duras delivered a searing attack on fear and xenophobia that prevents refugee relief in "Standing with Syrians."
  • 20 Jan 2016: First Faculty Member Endorses Go/Refuge
    • Professor Roman Graf, who previously represented Middlebury at the Rohatyn Center's refugee panel, publicized his official support for Go/Refuge. 
  • 24 Jan 2016: Endorsements from Matt Dunne and College Democrats
  • 25 Jan 2016: Go/Refuge Meets With Laurie Patton
    • Travis Sanderson and Jeff Holland brought the arguments of Go/Refuge directly to the President of Middlebury College. She promised to discuss the movement with her senior leadership team.
  • 27 Jan 2016: "Go/Refuge: The Syrian Academic Emergency" Published
    • Shaheen Bharwani followed in other supporters' footsteps in an editorial that channeled Go/Refuge's arguments specifically toward urging the College to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)'s Syria Consortium. Previously, the Consortium was considered just one option
  • 18 Feb 2016: Amnesty International & the International Student Organization (ISO) Endorse Go/Refuge
  • 26 Feb 2016: "The Liberal Arts and Go/Refuge: A Brazilian's Perspective" Published
    • "And while debate and discussion on the topic are not only encouraged but necessary," Tatsatom Goncalves conceded in his article on College's most popular blog, "the impact that Middlebury could have by empowering Syrian youths with the tools to make a better future for their homeland and to their people is definitely an argument worth considering." 
  • 21 March 2016: Go/Refuge Meets with Kerstin Wilsch
    • Jeff Holland represented Go/Refuge in meeting Kerstin Wilsch, the Director of the Middlebury School in Jordan, to speak about ways by which the movement could benefit the situation in Jordan. Go/Refuge agreed to fundraise for Wilsch's recommended organization, the Collateral Repair Project.
  • 29 March 2016: Peter Welch (D-VT) Endorses Go/Refuge
    • "Wonderful effort," the Congressman wrote. "I admire your efforts... I endorse Go/Refuge."
  • 30 March 2016: Middlebury College Joins the IIE Syria Consortium
    • Acquiescing to Go/Refuge's demands, Middlebury College publicly announced its move to join the Institute of International Education's Syria Consortium to provide scholarships to Syrian refugee students.
  • 30 March 2016: The Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) Joins the IIE Syria Consortium
    • Acquiescing to Go/Refuge's demands, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) announced its move to join the Institute of International Education's Syria Consortium to provide scholarships to Syrian refugee students.
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The Organization

  • 2 April 2016: "Higher Education Steps Up to Help the Syrian Refugee Crisis" Published
    • In an article for the millennial SLANT News, Travis Sanderson discussed the actions and successes of Go/Refuge in the context of other efforts and successes both at other American colleges and around the world to help Syrian refugees. It ended with a call for other colleges and universities to follow suit in a comprehensive movement.
  • 9 April 2016: Go/Refuge Website Launched
  • 22 April 2016: Go/Refuge's First Event, "Refugee Diaries," Hosted
    • Representatives of Go/Refuge and Amnesty International worked together on an event which invites refugees and those with substantial experiences in refugeeism from the Middlebury community to tell their stories.
    • Two students, one nurse, one faculty member, and one facilities employee delivered their stories at a community gathering.
  • 25 April 2016: Go/Refuge Motions to Become an Official Student Organization
    • Go/Refuge agreed in a team meeting to work toward becoming an official student organization, although official application is not possible until Fall 2016. They also restructured into three informal committees: events, fundraising, and outreach.
  • 1 June 2016: Go/Refuge Agrees To Include All Refugees in Organization's Mission
    • However, Go/Refuge agreed also to maintain its current focus on the Syrian crisis for the foreseeable future.
  • 9 September 2016: Go/Refuge Stages its "Chalk Up" event
    • Utilizing refugee justice and human rights poetry, scattered quotes across campus to advertise to new students the presence of the organization
    • Wrote "Refugees Welcome" in dozens of languages marching to Mead Chapel
  • 26 September 2016: Letter Drop supporting refugee resettlement on VT. Congressmen
    • Based on a template, individuals within Go/Refuge all sent letters to the representatives of Vermont urging them to support refugee resettlement in their local state
  • 10 October 2016: Campus campaign to raise awareness of refugee plights
    • Run by Hannah Krutiansky, posters and quotes were spread across all poster boards.
  • 25 October 2016: Go/Refuge Screens "A Requiem for Syrian Refugees" on campus
  • 3 November 2016: Becomes involved with the Rutland refugee resettlement project
    • n addition to aiding refugee resettlement through Arabic teaching lessons to community members, Go/Refuge helped set up apartments for incoming refugees.
  • 7 November 2016: Go/Refuge Approved as an Official Student Organization
    • fter presenting a to the constitution committee, student government approved the request of Go/Refuge to be recognized and granted funding as a student org.
  • 10 November 2016: Go/Refuge Screens "Salam Neighbor" on campus