Letters

The Williamstown Elementary School (WES) Governance Council – a group composed of parents, community members, school administrators, faculty and staff – would like to express its sincere appreciation to Williams College students and acknowledge the many forms of support these dedicated students provided to the WES.

This past year Williams College students volunteered as: classroom science instructors through, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, reading tutors through America Reads and math tutors through America Counts; and instructors in Adventures in Learning, an afternoon enrichment program, and Sunrise Spanish, an early morning program attended by over 60 children.

Serving as role models, members of the Williams Men’s Hockey team volunteered to assist with afternoon recess this year, helping children to balance competition and sportsmanship.

It is heartwarming to see the meaningful relationships that develop among the children, teachers and college volunteers. Often, they provide a special bridge between the generations. We are deeply grateful to these extraordinary young men and women who are dedicated to giving back to the community in which they live. Their enthusiasm and commitment to our school is inspiring and has contributed enormously to the healthy educational culture at WES.

David Rempell, principal

Rose Ellis, superintendent

Joelle Brookner, Kate Seid, Russ Norton, Wendy Valentine Martin, Steve Fogel, Ray Hiley, Anne Hogeland, Laurie Glover, Jay Merselis

No help received

Last year a small group of students decided to initiate a non-profit used book sale project at Williams. Occurring first in the spring of last year, this project saw a promising, but limited, level of achievement. In order to attain a success this fall, the project was introduced to the Gargoyle Society and taken to the College Administration for organizational assistance. Ultimately, the Administration failed to cooperate with the organizers of this project, and in doing so, denied the Williams student body the potential benefits of a more successful used book sale.

While organizing this book sale, we recognized flaws in the Administration that limited the success of student efforts on this campus. The coordination of student activities at Williams is often characterized by inefficiency, bureaucracy, and a general lack of respect for the concerns of students. Specifically, during the preparation for the book sale, the Activities Coordinator failed to be of any assistance. Despite requests on our part, the Activities Coordinator neglected his professional duties and showed a lack of support for our project. Our requests were simple: twelve tables and a space on Baxter Lawn. An acknowledgment was not received. A follow-up letter was sent. Upon arrival on campus, we directly contacted the Activities Office, which displayed little knowledge of this project and offered a limited degree of help. Throughout the course of the three-day book sale, the existence of the Activities Coordinator was of no benefit to us.

Despite the lack of administrative assistance, the highly positive response of the student body towards the sale proved its success. Students were able to save money and get rid of extra books while availing the opportunity to sell texts at better prices than their pre-existing alternative. Over the course of the sale, students saved over $2000 on textbooks. With the help of the College, we hope this spring will see a far more successful used book sale. We hope that the unresponsive attitude that we encountered this semester is not repeated for any student organizations during the course of this year.

Shenil Saya ’02

Michael Nazarian ’02

P.S. Our first letter to the Activities Coordinator was sent over two weeks ago. We’re still waiting for a response.

Why more for a burger?

I have long believed that change is good. Though I often reminisce of old times gone by and I worry about what the future will bring to the natural environment and our civic institutions, deep down I’m a progressive. I’m pretty sure that change and innovation can lead to the perfectibility of our world. In returning to campus I delight in seeing how my friends have changed over the summer. I look forward to the leaves changing color in a few weeks. But I write about a very, very bad change. I’d even go so far as to say that this change just blows. Why has the snack bar changed its prices so that I have to break out five or six dollars just to buy lunch?

I want a good answer,

Morgan Barth, ’02