We all know the image that graces most promotional material for the school: the College Gates, perfectly centered, framing the red and orange tree-lined Middle Path.
How different would that image be if Middle Path was made of something other than mud, dirt and pebbles? The prospect of paving Middle Path has been a contentious issue for years. In 2011, Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman said that Middle Path was “never going to be paved,” according to a Collegian article from that October. In December, the Collegian staff called for the College to pave Middle Path “to stand in solidarity with past, current and future students with disabilities” in an editorial. Seven years later, we are reiterating that call.
Each year, as the heavy rains of early winter fall upon the campus, Middle Path turns into an obstacle course of puddles and mud patches that even the most able-bodied students may struggle to navigate. When students arrive back in January for spring semester, the pathways are often icy and dangerous.
Concrete is ugly and tradition is important, but mud is uglier and safety is more important. To be clear, we are not advocating for Middle Path to be paved over in a way that detracts from its character; there are ways to make paved pathways look like gravel. Or, maybe there are ways to maintain the aesthetic of the path while also maintaining the structural integrity of the ground beneath our feet. Either way, something needs to be done about Middle Path.
The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Cameron Messinides ’19 and Devon Musgrave-Johnson ’19, managing editor Grant Miner ’19 and executive director Matt Mandel ’19. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.