It has come to my attention that College Council has denied recognition to the Ephs for Bill Bradley group. I am astonished and appalled at the apathy demonstrated by the Council for this cause. Around 125 people (a significant part of the campus population) have indicated interest in this group; for a campus long renowned for its political apathy, this is a considerable grassroots effort. Certainly there are other groups that appeal to a smaller proportion of the school’s population which are fully funded by the Council. And a small number of those seek to educate…as Ephs for Bill Bradley does.
A large number of those signed up to participate in the group are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of party politics, but are either interested in learning about politics, or have heard about Bradley’s ideas and are impressed. Is it not within the Williams College tradition of education to learn about politics? I think that the College wouldn’t have a Political Science department if that were the case. An American president graduated from Williams – James A. Garfield; have we forgotten our roots?
Additionally outrageous is the fact that the group did not request funding, and was argued against on the basis of the College Council’s ruling against funding political campaigns. If the group were requesting funding, perhaps more debate would be in order. Recognition, however, should be an easy thing to accomplish – it requires very little commitment or time on the Council’s part.
I challenge the Council to reconsider its decision not to recognize the Ephs for Bill Bradley group. Williams’ apathy towards politics does not serve the grandest traditions of the College.