As the Sophomore Council prepares to select its third delegation since its founding in 2006, we feel that it is important to revisit some of the concerns that brought about the group’s creation. In doing so, we hope to reaffirm the organization’s significance on campus and arouse in the Williams community a renewed commitment to proactively addressing the challenges and opportunities of the sophomore experience.
The academic, social and personal challenges of sophomore year are often discussed here at Williams; however, they have yet to be considered in an enduring manner. Last year’s Sophomore Symposium was an excellent way to initiate a dialogue among students and faculty regarding the phenomenon of the “sophomore slump,” but a single event sponsored by the administration is hardly enough to adequately address the complexities of the second year of college. While first-years and seniors benefit from various institutionally-sponsored programs to ease their transitions respectively into and out of the Purple Bubble, sophomores remain without any kind of specialized support system to address their very unique needs.
The Sophomore Council was formed to empower sophomores to advocate for issues directly addressing their class. In addition to providing opportunities for students to engage with the community and simultaneously develop their unique leadership skills, the group serves as a site for various perspectives linked by a singular purpose to intermix and forge one collective voice – a voice that calls for sufficient attention to sophomore issues.
In part, the original Council also aimed to offset the effects of the neighborhood system’s social and geographical partitioning of the campus. While allegiance to one’s neighborhood is not without merit, a sense of connectedness with one’s class is of equal importance; however, such a sentiment is difficult to engender without a body dedicated to its cultivation. For this reason, social planning is another important task of the Sophomore Council. In the past, the group has endeavored to promote class unity through social various events, ranging from class formals to fundraiser dinners.
It is important to note that we did not found this group with the presumption that the Sophomore Council would be the remedy to every aspect of the “sophomore slump.” We see its function instead as a single step towards an institutionalized dedication to exploring and improving the sophomore college experience. We encourage any interested sophomores to fill out a self-nomination (available in the Student Activities Suite) and to e-mail us (09rad or 09scm) with any additional questions.
Rashid A. Duroseau ’09
and Sarah Moore ’09
Sophomore Council Co-Founders