Letter: College policies make vibrant social life unfeasible

To my chagrin and amazement, the party that Currier and Spencer threw this weekend was shut down. Why you might ask? Well apparently there were too many people attempting to enter the party and security was overwhelmed. Because they were overwhelmed this incredibly fun and perfectly legal event was shut down within 45 minutes of the band starting to play. We did everything right, and the party still got shut down. Let’s just say I was not happy about this at all. Between all the man hours and the dollars that went into planning and executing this event, to have this event shut down, because of the failure to adequately control the crowd is absolutely, unequivocally unacceptable.

I spoke with one officer who, trying to be somewhat sympathetic, said to me, “You should have found a better venue.” While his attempt was noble, his words probably made me angrier than I had been in some time. As we have discovered this year, there is no adequate space on campus to have any party that will have 200 or more people.

Greylock and Mission cost additional money to use and are simply not designed for parties. Paresky is a fractured space, horrid for being used to gather a large group of people. This leaves Dodd Living Room and the Currier Ballroom. Noise complaints consistently come whenever there is a party in the Living Room. This then leaves the Ballroom as the only adequate space for a party that has around 200 people.

Now I am not suggesting that Williams is not a fantastic institution. The support we receive for our studies and for our athletics is unrivaled. However, the College seems to want to put a damper on the social life on campus. We have the Office of Campus Life, which tries to assist students with planning social events for their peers, with mixed success. Outside of this, there is no institutional support. If Williams actually cares about social lives of students on campus, than I am going to issue a challenge to it: Use some of the $50 million outside of the fundraising goal of the capital campaign to invest in an adequate space that will easily allow for students to throw social events. Do not build a building with a dual purpose. Do not try to tell us that Goodrich will actually be able to function like this. If Williams truly values student autonomy, give us the physical space for us to be autonomous, to throw events for each other, to provide fun for our peers. We are investing heavily in the academic life (the new library and academic buildings) and the athletic life (Weston Field and eventually a new gym); how about we actually build a space that we, the student body can easily use and help materially provide for our social lives.

Remington Shepard ’08