News Brief: police look into new reports of vandalism, assault

On Saturday, April 13 at around 2:00 a.m., Williamstown Police Officer Thomas Garner was informed that a student had locked himself in the bathroom at the Spice Root Restaurant on Spring Street.

Garner and Officer Scott Skorupski proceeded to the restaurant, where they discovered “that the subject had allegedly been locked in the bathroom and that beer bottles were smashed all over the floor; also, the bathroom sink had been smashed,” according to the Williamstown Police Department Press Release.The student was arrested for malicious destruction of property.The student was held overnight and released on his own recognizance, as he was unable to come up with bail. The student will be arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court at a future date.

The restaurant owner of Spice Root declined to comment on the incident, but has estimated the damage at roughly $250.00.

On Thursday, April 10, Williamstown Police caught two Williams students jumping on the hood of a professor’s car in the faculty-staff parking lot behind Stetson Hall. The hood of the car was dented.The students involved were cited and summoned for wanton destruction of property and disorderly conduct.

Stephen Sneed, associate dean of the College, acknowledged that the Dean’s Office was aware of both of these incidences, but did not go into any specific detail regarding each matter due to the ongoing police investigation and out of respect for the students involved.

Alcohol was a factor in both cases.

Two new sexual assaults alleged

Two students have come forward alleging they were sexually assaulted since Spring Break. The two incidents were unrelated to each other, according to Dean Roseman, who said she considers them to have been “acquaintance rapes.”

In a letter to the student body last week, Roseman and Jean Thorndike, director of campus safety, informed students of the incident and warned students to be careful when consuming drugs or alcohol.

“Research shows a very strong correlation between sexual assault and the consumption of drugs and alcohol,” the letter read. “It is important, then, that all of us avoid drugs and control or eliminate our drinking, encourage healthy habits among our friends, and reach out to them when we see that their judgment has been diminished.”

Historically, there have been a number of allegations of sexual assault in the spring, and according to Roseman, the spring is the worst time to be a dean. “Spring brings with it an increase in people making bad decisions,” she said.The letter encouraged students to report possible sexual assaults in a timely manner to the College or the police.

College bans smoking in stands

Williams’ new smoking policy, which was announced in February, has been extended to seating areas at athletic events. Signs will be put up in the stands informing spectators of the ban in time for next fall’s athletic schedule, College spokesman Jim Kolesar said last week.

In February, the College announced it would not allow smoking in any residential dorms or within 25 feet of a College building. A town resident, Ray Warner, said he e-mailed President Schapiro after hearing about the policy asking it be extended to athletic facilities.Warner said he believed sitting next to a cigar smoker for three hours at a football game was “worse than walking through a door that had smokers outside.”

When the College did not immediately act, Warner started getting support for a petition to the Town that would ban smoking at outdoor sporting events.

According to Kolesar, the College would have banned smoking in seating areas eventually, and Warner’s petition was a factor in its decision to make the move at this time.

Earlier this year, the Town Board of Health banned all smoking in local bars. The move, which went into effect on April 1, primarily affects establishments like the Red Herring, which previously allowed smoking in a separately ventilated area. The Purple Pub will still be allowed to have smoking in its outdoor seating area.

College change s policy on AP / IB credit

Beginning with the class of 2008, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores will not qualify as College credit toward the degree. In addition, AP and IB scores will not be allowed to be used to reduce a student’s course load in a given semester, make up an incomplete or failed course or satisfy any distribution requirements. Students may only use these tests to enroll in advanced courses or to receive course credit toward a major, at the discretion of the appropriate department.

Currently, students can be awarded up to one year of College credit based on their AP or IB scores. But, in what many faculty members consider to be an inconsistency in the educational philosophy of the College, no credit is given for college courses taken prior to enrolling in Williams. Therefore, it is contradictory to award credit towards the degree for courses taken during high school.

Several faculty members expressed a desire to allow the current policy to persist because it affords students who are missing credit due to extenuating circumstances the opportunity to graduate on time. However, Dean Roseman said that the Committee on Educational Policy will continue to “bend” the rules in special situations.

Courtesy of The Record Board

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