A week in Williams history

This week in issues past, we can see some things never change. The Lord Jeffs of Amherst keep causing trouble as they did more than 50 years ago and ACE always wants more money to do its job to the best of its ability. Early applicants applied to the College many years ago and still apply in record numbers today. And though Dodd Dining Hall and the Log aren’t used for their original purposes anymore, the facilities still serve the Ephs and will continue to do so for years to come.

January 17, 2007 

A front-page article in a copy of the Record from six years ago discussed the different bailout options for ACE, which was then in a lot of debt. “All-Campus Entertainment remains $20,000 in debt to the College nearly four months after the Record first reported that the group had accumulated a large debt as a result of fiscal mismanagement and overspending,” the editor wrote. The Office of Campus Life offered to pay off half of ACE’s debt, but College Council (CC) was reluctant to give some of its budget to the ACE bail out due to the financial strain it would cause student groups in the spring semester. One solution proposed to prevent the problem from occurring in the future was ACE’s submission of expenditures to the CC treasurer from then on. The student group said they had been saving money by cutting events with low attendance rates, moving First Fridays to venues other than Greylock and holding less movie nights. (“Bailout options weighed for ACE,” Jan. 17, 2007).

January 16, 1996

An article on the front page of the Record from exactly 17 years ago reported on a retreat held by the College for several members of the administration and of CC to discuss and propose changes for the coming year. It was then, in 1996, that the College first began to consider terminating Dodd Dining Hall. According to the article, the College had to choose between closing Dodd Dining Hall and Driscoll Dining Hall, and “Driscoll is tough to get rid of just because there are a lot of Berkshire Quad [now Currier Quad] people,” then CC secretary Peter Everett ’96 said. The news piece also foreshadowed the end of the Log’s days as a center of student life and a transition to its current role as an administrative building, although students were determined to keep it from changing over. The idea of Greylock dining hall’s use as a party space was also first suggested in the retreat, as was the preservation of Goodrich. (“CC, Administrators share ideas at Log ‘retreat,’” Jan. 16, 1996).

January 13, 1987

On Jan. 13, 1987, the Record announced the results from the College’s Early Decision applicant pool. There was an 18 percent increase in number of early applicants and 136 of the 352 students who applied were accepted. The Director of Admissions at the time Philip Smith said, “The higher overall quality of the early decision applicant pool was due in part to the publicity which Williams received” with its number one ranking the fall before by U.S. News and World Report. Of the 136 applicants accepted, the Office of Admission was pleased to report that four members of the Class of 1987 were black, six were Asian-American, two were Hispanic-American, and five were international students – “a greater diversity of ethnic backgrounds,” than in the previous year. They also took note of the uptick in interest in Division III courses and financial aid applicants. (“136 accepted early for class of 1991,” Jan. 13, 1987).

 January 14, 1950

The Record published a news brief in the Jan. 14, 1950 edition reporting the release of a senior student of Amherst College after he was charged with passing counterfeit $20 bills. The Lord Jeff was arrested while driving on the Merritt Parkway near Westport after using the fake money to pay for gas and was discovered with four other counterfeit bills. He told the officer that before his trip to Paris, a blackmarket money-changer exchanged his American dollars for francs, but as he “was leaving the scene of the transaction, he was accosted by another money-changer who accused him of taking unfair advantage of the first and demanded return of the francs for five $20 bills which [the student] believed to be the same as he gave the first money-changer.” The Jeff was released shortly after a conference with the U.S. Attorney Adrian W. Mahar. (“Jeff Student Gains Release,” Jan. 14, 1950).