Diversifying programming requires collaboration

Kareem Khubchandani’s assertion in the April 23 edition of the Record is correct – programming at Williams needs diversification. However, while Khubchandani’s premise is sound, some of his assertions as to the reasoning are not.

Khubchandani implies that the Office of Campus Life dictates and generates much of the programming on campus – this implication demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Office of Campus Life. To clarify, Campus Life’s role with student-initiated programs is to help students (any student and any student group) bring their own ideas to fruition. Although Campus Life encourages students to think about how their programs appeal to the campus population, the decision about what events to put on lies with the students. Campus Life has not been charged to decide for the students what events are acceptable or unacceptable in regards to diversity; but we do challenge and encourage students to consider broadening their horizons by embracing new and varied programming ideas and to consider the ramifications of their programming decisions.

Please note that this letter does not speak on behalf of the student organization leaders whose groups were also mentioned in Khubchandani’s letter. These students are thoughtful, intelligent and energetic people who are more than capable of speaking for themselves, should they choose to do so.

So, rather than calling out specific groups in a public forum, perhaps the time has come to have a frank dialogue with all of the programming groups on campus about this issue, providing a venue for MCC staff (and others) to offer their wisdom regarding specific steps for improvement. This would be a much more constructive and collaborative approach, allowing for positive communication and the opportunity to work together toward improving the programming atmosphere at Williams. Let’s do it.

Doug Schiazza

Director of Campus Life

Aaron Gordon

Assistant Director of Campus Life and Residential Programs & Housing

Jessica Gulley

Assistant Director of Campus Life and Student Activities