A Week in Williams History

May 5, 2010

The College announced that Greylock and Dodd dining halls would close their doors at the end of the semester. The decision was made in order to save the College an estimated $880,000 each year. While closing Driscoll was also considered due to its status as a stand-alone building (“Greylock, Dodd to end service at semester’s close, May 5, 2010), the administration chose to close Greylock in order to save an additional $160,000 per year. The closure of the two dining halls was accompanied by a critical evaluation of the services provided by the three remaining dining halls: Driscoll, Mission Park and Whitmans’.

 May 9, 1995The College was shaken by a hacker who managed to delete students’ e-mails. The hacker first broke into a staff member’s account and then attempted to send the entire student body a two-megabyte copy of the English dictionary. The e-mail crashed the entire mail delivery system, and students received an e-mail saying, “Mail deleted because of lack of disk space” (“Computer hacker breaks into college files, deletes students’ mail” May 9, 1995). The hacker was not identified when the story went to press, but students were encouraged to use more complex e-mail passwords to protect their mailboxes.May 6, 1986Students protesting apartheid deconstructed four shanties that they had raised for Parents’ Weekend in Baxter Lawn. The shanties were a product of a protest designed to encourage discussion and College participation in divestment by members of the Williams Students Divestment and the Williams Anti-Apartheid Coalition. The groups decided to take the shanties down as a “sign of good faith in the continuing struggle against apartheid,” Mark Averitt ’86 told the Record (“WSD Shanties Go Down,” May 6, 1986)

 May 9, 1967Due to financial difficulties, the Williams Flying Club was forced to sell its only plane this week in 1967 (“Low Membership, Rising Expenses Cause Sale of Flying Club’s Plane,” May 9, 1967). The club was founded in 1911, but by 1967 had only 15 members, five of whom were faculty members. The team had purchased the plane in question, a beat-up 1964 Cessna model, in March of 1966, but by 1967 no longer had the membership necessary to financially support the operation of the plane. The sale forced the team to sacrifice its status as a corporation and instead become a campus organization. The club hoped to continue its operation by renting planes at Harriman Airport in North Adams.

May 11, 1962

In a piece of exceptionally snarky reporting, the Record announced that it had been banned from Social Council (SC) meetings (“SC Shrouds Self in Secrecy; Cites Snide Reporting,” May 11, 1962). SC was unhappy with the Record after it published a story criticizing SC’s attempt to pass a liquor proposal as “delegated stupidity” and “a masterpiece of political ineptitude.” The editor-in-chief attempted to sneak into the SC’s meeting, but was ultimately ousted by the president upon his discovery midway through the meeting. Objections were reportedly raised to the censure, as SC meetings were by constitution open to the entire student body.

May 8, 1967

After reviewing a proposal from a group of 22 students to abolish fraternities at the College, then President James P. Baxter III and the Board of Trustees “unconditionally condemned the anti-fraternity plan” (“Fraternity Abolishment Opposed by Trustees,” May 8, 1957). The Trustees issued a statement rejecting the proposal, claiming that, “the social units on campus are serving a useful purpose.” The proposal requested the creation of 15 social units out of the existing dormitory and fraternity systems, but Baxter called the request “totally unrealistic.”

May 12, 1928

The Record reported in that Professor John H. Williams of Harvard University lectured in Jesup Hall on German finances. “’At present there is no economic reason why Germany cannot pay the reparations,’” Williams stated. He expressed great admiration at the “ingenious flexibility” of the Dawes plan, saying that “‘Reparations do not present an insuperable economic problem, and we have gone far towards its solution.’” (“Economist lectures on German finances,” May 12, 1928).