Gargoyles’ defense

Sergio Espinosa’s opinions piece’s (“Gargoyle: Recreate or Disband,” 3/5/02) incoherence was only accentuated by its total lack of substance. Primarily, Espinosa criticizes the self-selective nature of Gargoyle, branding it “a fraternity in a land with no fraternities.” Gargoyle is not a fraternity, nor is it a secret society. While its origins date back to the nineteenth century and its admittedly odd name conveys an elitist aura, Gargoyle is essentially a committee of interested students who are passionate about making Williams a better place. Members are chosen in a fair and objective selection process open to all juniors and seniors each spring. Members of most campus committees and the leaderships of many student organizations, from the Outing Club Board to the Record editorial board, are chosen in just the same fashion, which begs the question – why isn’t Espinosa criticizing them?

In an ideal world, we would like to take all those interested in joining Gargoyle. But to do so would be unrealistic, because we would have to take the fifty or so applicants we normally receive every year and having so many members would hamper the effectiveness of any campus group. This, and not some selfish, “elitist” motivation, is the only reason why Gargoyle’s membership is limited.

Espinosa implores Gargoyle to “abandon its ‘good old boys’ past and become part of the 21st century.” We are uncertain why Espinosa alleges that Gargoyle is a homogeneous, discriminatory group. In our four years at Williams, Gargoyle has consistently reflected the diversity – racial, gender, sexual, religious, socio-economic, athlete/non-athlete – of the student body.

Espinosa’s final criticism, and in our minds the most damning, is his allegation that Gargoyle does not really do anything. This is completely unfounded – in recent years, Gargoyle has helped create the mediation group, attempted to get student representation on AGAFA, held forums on topics ranging from race to the new housing coordinator position, looked into the functioning of the OCC and created the Williams College Debate Union. On a lighter note, Gargoyle also hosts the two most well-attended parties for the senior class.

However, we do understand Espinosa’s frustration with self-selective processes. The decisions can sometimes be seen as arbitrary and capricious. We strive to select members who are well-qualified, dynamic people who will work well together for the “advancement of Williams in every branch of college life and work.”

Dan Elsea ’02

Nishant Nayyar ’02

Presidents, 107th Delegation of the Gargoyle Society.