A week in Williams history

Oct. 22, 2002

The College considered a project to build windmills on College-owned land in New York and Massachusetts “to end the College’s reliance on fossil fuels and supply 140 percent of its energy needs.” The project was based on a senior thesis by alum Thomas Black ’79, who “set up an anemometer on the Berlin Pass to monitor wind speeds and collect data.” It was felt that the project would support the local community by creating jobs and would also influence the higher education community to support more environmental initiatives. The article listed the objections to the project, saying that people might object to “the windmills’ intrusive presence in the beautiful Berkshire environment” (“College considers windmill farm for power needs,” Oct. 22, 2002).

Oct. 20, 1992

In a Features article published on Oct. 20, 1992, the Record examined the role of Psychological Services at the College. Dr. John Howland, director of Psychological Services, acknowledged that they were understaffed: “I think the service generally works pretty well; it gets stretched a little,” he said. Students also expressed serious concerns about the treatment they received from Psychological Services staff. They complained about staff insensitivity, staff being quick to prescribe medication and the ineffectiveness of group therapy. Students who were invited to dinner with the Board of Trustees spent a good portion of that time discussing the problems with Psychological Services at the College. The article also noted that the number of students seeking psychological resources had increased sharply in recent years (“Psychological Services maintains low profile,” Oct. 20, 1992).

Oct. 22, 1985

College Council endorsed a proposal by the Log Committee for the administration to repeal the two-drink limit at the Log in favor of an honor code system. The honor code system proposed that legal drinkers would agree not to serve alcohol to minors and to not drink and drive and that those who broke these rules would have their privilege to buy alcohol at the Log revoked. Although the Dean of the College Stephen Fix was responsive to the Log Committee’s proposals, faculty and students both expressed concerns about limiting underage drinking and creating party atmospheres without the use of alcohol (“Proposal to remove two-drink limit outcome of survey, campus meeting,” Oct. 22, 1985).

Oct. 25, 1977

In a poorly-attended panel, representatives from Williams Women, the Infirmary, Campus Safety and Security and Buildings and Grounds spoke about safety concerns at the College. Melinda Ballou, a trained rape crisis counselor, spoke about an “attitude of complacency which ought to be dispelled” on campus and in the community. “People seem to think that assault, rape and even robbery do not occur at Williams,” Ballou said. Dr. Robert A. Goodell, director of health at the College, asserted that, “Assaults are very rare,” while also confirming that the Infirmary had never had a reported case of rape (“College panel airs security concerns,” Oct. 25, 1977).

Oct. 17, 1958

About a year after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the Record published a piece in which Professor of Astronomy Theodore G. Mehlin spoke confidently about the ability of the U.S. to put a satellite in orbit around the moon, explaining that the scientific theory behind the project had been long understood. “The only problems remaining are technological,” Mehlin said. “If we can get a rocket going fast enough and control its direction accurately, it could be sent to any part of the solar system.” The article discussed the two previous failed U.S. attempts to put a rocket in orbit around the moon and concluded with Mehlin’s endorsement of a new plane, “which should be the forerunner of the manned satellite” (“Prof. Mehlin Optimistic About Moon Satellites,” Oct. 17, 1958).

Oct. 25, 1938

Alexander Kerensky, a leader of the Russian provisional government that took over after the overthrow of the Russian czar in 1917, gave a lecture in Chapin Hall, urging “’spiritual unity and moral rearmament’ among Western Democracies to combat the onrushes of ruthless dictatorships.” In his lecture, Kerensky stressed that the U.S. must resist isolationist forces and support European democracy (“Kerensky Sure of Democracy’s Future Victory,” Oct. 25, 1938). In a private interview with the Record at the Williams Inn, Kerensky pointed out similarities between the Italian, German and Russian regimes, saying that suppression of individual liberty was common in all three nations. “There is no danger of a Russo-German war in the near future,” Kerensky concluded (“Kerensky Contradicts Prof. Schuman’s Interpretation of Munich Conference,” Oct. 25, 1938).

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