A survivor speaks out

May 14, 2014 by Lexie Brackenridge

In October 2012, when I was a 17-year-old first-year student, I was raped at Williams College by a 21-year-old freshman hockey player. I reported the assault to the dean’s office, and an investigative panel was appointed. The panel found the perpetrator guilty of sexual assault, suspending him from Williams for three semesters. My rapist appealed the finding, and the second trial once again found him guilty of sexual assault. At the end of the three-month ordeal, my attacker was suspended for three semesters from Williams. At the time, neither my parents nor I focused on his being suspended rather than expelled; it never occurred to us that the suspension was merely administrative and that Williams would readmit a known sexual assailant. By coming forward and sharing my story, my intentions are to encourage the College to take the adequate measures to prevent another student from being put in the position that I was: victimized, threatened and overwhelmingly isolated.

After the assault at Williams, I took a three-week leave of absence to receive medical attention and emotional support at home in Boston. When I returned to Williams I met with the deans, who not only encouraged me to pursue disciplinary action, saying that they wanted him removed from campus “tomorrow,” and who also told me that other girls had complaints  about or had experienced uncomfortable situations with the man who raped me. They explicitly encouraged me not to seek legal action, asserting that it would be a bureaucratic nightmare and that they, as the College, had my best interests in mind.

The events that followed suggested otherwise. Over the course of the three-month trial, multiple students were proven to have lied or altered their testimony and have since rescinded their statements. Although these statements were made under oath and with regard to the Williams College Honor Code, no disciplinary action was taken against the students. I was also surprised to find the College insensitive to my request for housing accommodations, specifically, that I not be placed in a dorm with members of the men’s hockey team. My fears were substantiated during the spring, when I was repeatedly harassed by members of the team and friends of my rapist. In one instance, they surrounded me, threw full beer cans at my head and chanted that I should have kept my mouth shut. When I spoke to the deans about the incident, I was told that everyone was “exhausted” from dealing with the case and that perhaps it would be better if we all just “took a little break.” Members of the men’s hockey team and my rapist’s friends continued to harass me for months on campus. I received no “break.”

My focus over the past 18 months has been on rebuilding my life. Between the harassment and administrative failures that occurred last spring, it became explicitly clear that Williams would not be a safe place for me. Ultimately I transferred to Columbia University, where I continue my recovery. In the meantime, it has become increasingly evident that the College had, and currently has, every intention of trying to sweep my assault under the rug. For my own conscience and for the safety of every other student on campus, I cannot and will not allow that to happen.

My attacker’s readmission has problematic elements beyond the fact that he assaulted me. During his suspension, my attacker was arrested for drug possession and chose to play on a hockey team called the MILF Hunters (Google it if you must, but rest assured it is misogynistic and offensive). The arrest for drug possession is a clear violation of the Williams College Code of Conduct, which “prohibits the unlawful possession of illegal drugs.” Playing on the MILF Hunters may or may not be a violation of the code, but it certainly shows a flagrant lack of remorse.

Despite the perpetrator’s indisputable violation of the code and his disturbing behavior, both of which President Falk and his administration are aware of, my father was told by Falk that the perpetrator had served his suspension and that the school’s disciplinary response was “just for a period of time.” When he was asked what standards of behavior a suspended student would be held to, President Falk agreed that a suspended student would have to abide by the code of conduct while serving the suspension and that drug possession was a violation of the code. When asked why the perpetrator was not held accountable, President Falk did not respond.

As part of a long Williams legacy, I grew up in an Ephs sweatshirt with a purple cow on my bed. Both of my parents attended Williams, in addition to my grandfathers, aunts, uncles and numerous other relatives. I will never forget the day my mom and I ran around my house, screaming and crying with joy after receiving my acceptance letter. I still hold Williams dear to my heart and would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the incredible support I received last year. I do not believe that the actions of a few individuals encapsulate the identity of an entire team or an entire college. To those members of the Williams community who have supported and continue to support me, I cannot thank you enough. I can honestly say that many of you have saved my life. To the beauty of the Purple Valley and the incredible professors whose classes sustained me: thank you. In a situation with so many bad components, it can often be far too easy to overlook the actions of good people.

By coming forward and sharing my story, my intentions are to encourage the College to take the necessary measures to prevent another student from being put in the position that I was. I am extremely uncomfortable – as are many other students, alumni and trustees – that the now 23-year-old (who is surely emboldened by the mere slap on the wrist he got after sexually assaulting me) may be back on campus this fall. A rapist does not suddenly change over the course of three semesters. The ramifications of allowing a known sexual assailant to return to the College extend beyond my particular case. By allowing a rapist to return to Williams, the College is not only making a bold statement condoning sexual assault but also silencing every victim on campus, while actively fostering a rape culture.

As members of the Williams community, I ask you to speak out against the policy of merely suspending rather than expelling those found guilty of offenses regarding sexual assault and rape in addition to the decision in my specific case: to readmit a rapist who has blatantly violated the code of conduct and acted without remorse. I encourage Williams College to take a leadership position in a matter that has been mishandled at too many other schools and is critical to the safety of its student body, as well as the reputation of the College.

Lexie Brackenridge is a former Williams student from Boston, Mass. She transferred and is a sophomore at Columbia.

{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Fetter May 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Open Question: Will the perpetrator’s dorm mates and classmates and all other students be alerted that they are living near a “sexual offender”?

I so applaud you Lexie. I and many other Eph Alum stand with you and demand the college reform its outdated policies and offer protection to all potential and existing victims, female or male. You have shown such courage to come public. You make my purple blood proud!

Anne Fetter ’85

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Class '15 May 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

No, in the same way that a student who has a history of any other offense, such as assault, does not have his or her prior offenses made public. I am not giving this man a pass, but especially when individuals are demanding that victims of sexual assault not be treated differently than victims of any other crime, the same must apply to the perpetrators.

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Megan May 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

Honestly I would want to know if the person living next to me had a criminal history of any kind. Its surprising and to me that information like that isnt public.

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 16, 2014 at 2:03 am

Mr. “Class ’15″:

See http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html :

“[A] school may non-consensually disclose personally identifiable information from education records […] to any third party the final results of a disciplinary proceeding related to a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense if the student who is the alleged perpetrator is found to have violated the school’s rules or policies. ”

Respectfully, such a disclosure is quite normal at many institutions, and, in contrast to your quip, this is simply how things are done.

In a space as small as Williamstown, I can’t imagine that everyone won’t know exactly who Mr. ——- is, when he gets back in the Fall. It’s as easy as checking the team rosters.

Equally respectfully, I appreciate your perspective, but this is a very, very serious matter. While rape is notoriously hard to prosecute, it is a felony crime that can easily result in several year’s incarceration. Its effect on victims, is probably far worse than almost all crimes in its felony class.

And the simple reality is that it occurs far too often– especially at Williams– is so rarely reported, so rarely acted upon when reported, and so rarely results in consequences except for the victim.

In all of this, as has been stated elsewhere here in the Record, Williams still has much room for soul-searching and improvement– and I deeply hope, for leadership in this matter.

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Me May 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

FERPA privacy laws does not apply to violent offenders so, as far as I know, students can and should let it be known that this criminal is on campus.

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Kenneth Thomas May 26, 2014 at 2:28 am

Me: neither does it on its face apply to non-violent sexual offenders; nor does it constrain the College and others, nearly as much as so many here, wish to facily assert.

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M.J. Prest '04 May 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

Adding my support for Lexie. If the college insists on re-admitting a student who was suspended for sexual assault, I don’t see an issue with requiring him to inform his future dormmates of his status. It’s what we require of sexual offenders in the real world, and if we want to argue there is no Purple Bubble, it should be the standard on campus as well.

I learned of this complete perversion of justice from WBUR, which also cited a student survey that estimated 50 sexual assaults on campus every year. Fifty! Out of a student body of 2,000. That is unacceptable to the point of absurdity.

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'80s Alum June 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm

The comments below this WBUR link are well worth reading:
http://www.wbur.org/2014/05/12/williams-sexual-assault-case

I again applaud the brilliant wording above: “50 assaults on a campus of 2k…. UNACCEPTABLE TO THE POINT OF ABSURDITY.” Say it.

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Mike June 8, 2014 at 12:56 am

Clearly you are a very slow reader. But, whatever….

Say it ? Well, I’ll say this, “50” per year x 9 years (since last ‘rape’ at Williams went to criminal court–2005–‘not guilty’) equals 450. 0 for 450! Hmmmm, it would seem the well-heeled Williams parents are using their well-heeled lawyers to handle other family business. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Bring a criminal case. Hell, bring a civil case. ‘Nahhhhh, I’d rather bring a college case.’

Can I have that option in real life….and still be able to whine about the outcome….please?

“Preponderance or the evidence on today’s college campus?” Very scary!…if you’re the ‘wrong’ demographic.

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Mike June 8, 2014 at 1:01 am

of

Steve Troyer May 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm

You are very brave Lexi and that is a good sign for your life to come. To me the open question is what are the policies and procedures that Williams follows in ANY case like this. While we may never know the details of any specific case for various reasons, as faculty, students and other members of the Williams community…including the “Oldest Society of Alumni in the World” we should demand transparency on understanding the policies and procedures. So far I have not seen a published document with this material.

Once those policies and procedures are clear, then we should decide if they are adequate, antiquated, or position Williams in a leadership position to attract the best students in the world in an increasingly competitive environment. By saying we followed the policies and not publishing them, I start to wonder.

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Current Junior May 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

A clear outline of policy and procedures is available all over campus. Further, Dean Bolton and President Falk emailed the entire student body (and presumably the alums as well) with a detailed account of the process.

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Class of '11 May 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm

No, this was most certainly NOT emailed to the alumni.

However, I’m going to be over here muttering darkly about the fact that the only reason this round’s had such a stink made over it is because the victim’s white and from a good family with plenty of Williams’ ties.

I can think of at least three incidents from my time at Williams where the deans and the health center ignored what happened completely.

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'80s Alum September 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Please notify the auditor at NEASC that signed off on Wms’ accredidation last time, Ms. Barbara Brittingham: BBrittingham@NEASC.org and her boss,the head of Neasc, Mr. Cameron Staples, CStaples@Neasc.org The College’s accredidation as a going-concern college is up again for review in 2 years, but they accept comments/complaints anytime.

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Andrew May 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm
Steve Troyer May 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Andrew…the procedures you posted don’t encompass sexual misconduct…I learned the details of those here….http://dean.williams.edu/policies/disciplinary-process-2/

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Steve Troyer May 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Andrew…thanks for sending. To me this does not differentiate between policy or procedure, and it does not differentiate between one misconduct or another. At best it seems to give much leeway to the committee to determine the policy…and a complete expulsion requires 3/4 vote.

If Sexual Assault has not place on the campus as Adam has said, then let that be the policy…if you do it and we find you guilty, then you are gone. There are no 2nd chances…period

Steve Troyer ’86

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David Phillips '12 May 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Lexie,

Thank you for sharing your story (both of private abuse and gross institutional failure) with the community. I take it that — as your assailant went and got himself a lawyer (who I’m sure will speedily tack his pre-formed statement onto this article as well) — the statue of limitations has not expired, and you are currently pursuing some sort of legal recourse.

Clearly, with regards to sexual assault claims, the administration is predominantly concerned with saving face, avoiding lawsuits of its own, and maintaining its (statistical) supremacy over rival institutions. (…Expulsions don’t look very good on Williams’ record either.)

Both in its treatment of your assailant (not to mention his alibi-accomplice, who also perjured himself without penalty), and more importantly in its ongoing tacit permission of the very conditions that led to your assault and subsequent harassment, Williams’ administration has undoubtedly fallen short of its liberal arts vocation — namely, *the production of good citizens*!!! Though I’m reluctant to think that stricter penalties will effectively deter this particular flavor of sociopathy (which I’d hazard to say has been institutionalized itself), your testimony is invaluable in helping us better comprehend the multifaceted problem of “rape culture” and just how intractable it’s become.

Again, thank you for speaking out. Here’s hoping those who’ve faced similar hardships and still fallen through the cracks will follow suit. I’d only emphasize that Williams College is in need of more than mere reform to its disciplinary policy: the campus culture requires a fundamental overhaul, a task that may (best of all possible worlds) begin with your confession, but certainly can’t end with it.

I wish you the best at Columbia. As I’m sure you know, they have this problem too. Stay safe, be well, and never stop working towards reconciliation.

David Phillips ’12

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Dick Swart May 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm

The news as reported in this story
http://www.wbur.org/2014/05/12/williams-sexual-assault-case

is greatly dismaying to me as a parent and as an alumnus.

I feel great sympathy for the victim and for her Alumni parents who felt so good as their daughter. entered her freshman year.

I see the college attitude and policies as being developed with proper inputs, guarantees of confidentiality, and recently-enhanced and improved methods of investigation.

Yet the criticisms seem valid. In particular:

• The victim’s perception of the college not wanting to ruin the perpetrator’s life at this early stage when as she observes, hers has already been ruined.It is my guess that the perps will almost certainly be male and the victims female. Is the college standing in loco parentis at the final moment of judgement despite the rigorous process of investigation and determination of guilt?

• The parents’ belief as alums that their daughter was going to a safe place and their subsequent disappointment at the eventual steps taken.

• The separate but related question of the sanctity of mens sports, in this case hockey.

From the story cited above:

“She also hopes to bring into question a college culture she sees as too protective of athletes.
“On the Williams campus, it should hopefully generate a conversation about this individual case and the fact that a winning team is not worth sexual assault on campus,” Lexie says.

Lexie and her parents believe that a culture of older, experienced hockey players — admitted as freshmen — played a role in her assault. Her alleged assailant was admitted as a 20-year-old after a year in a Canadian league. That same year, the college accepted five other freshmen hockey players, ranging in age from 19 to 22 years old, who had delayed entering college to play hockey.

• The victim’s treatment on campus by fellow students following the rape. If as the story reports, the word “heartless” comes to mind.

I believe that the statements by the college on policies and practices being referred to by different levels of administration will be seen as a screen and a shield for protection of the College rather than the protection of the victim involved.

Perhaps the college’s best course of action in cases like this is to turn the matters over to the proper level of local police and court authority.

“In loco Parentis” may not be a fitting role for a college in these more open times. Particularly in cases in which the punishments more accurately and appropriately are civil matters.

Dick Swart 1956

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Dick Swart May 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm

My letter above was sent yesterday to John Malcolm ’86 Vice President College Relations in response to the alumni-wide mailing.

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Ken Hillman '85 May 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Dick Swart, Kudos to you! While everyone seems to be focusing on “age discrimination” against “older students”, this recruiting policy of taking student who play up to three years of Junior College hockey is disturbing, particularly when you read the increasing stories of hazing and misogyny rampant in Junior Hockey http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/09/15/boston-university-hockey-culture

http://www.gelfmagazine.com/archives/sports_vicious_cycle_of_exploitation.php

http://espn.go.com/otl/hazing/thursday.html

http://www.smu.ca/webfiles/16MacDonald.pdf

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/rape-culture-has-poisoned-junior-hockey

These are just a few of the articles I have found…and to know that Williams “jumped in” to a leadership position by recruiting six Junior Hockey players in the 2012 recruiting class (more than any other NESCAC school except Hamilton) and we now have eight of the 24 members of the team who list a Junior Hockey team rather than their high school as their affiliation concerns me greatly. Having such a large influx of older players coming from such a misogynistic environment at one time can be a cultural game changer in a small, rural environment, and the college appears to be trying to brush over the issue with the same “no one demographic stands out” brush. Perhaps the leadership position for Williams should be less focused on wins and more on protecting our daughters

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'80s Alum May 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Perhaps the leadership position for Williams should be less focused on wins and more on protecting our daughters.” Kudos to Ken Hillman for this precisely worded statement. I think it has been healthy for the College to find out just how engaged and truly angry some of alums have become in response to so many of the troubling alcohol, drugs and rape issues discussed herein. I don’t think administrators really think outside the year-to-year updated Policies & Procedures box to be EFFECTIVE at rape prevention until forced to confront the fact that LOTS of alums don’t find the “40-50 ‘uninvited penetration (rape)’ ” stats or the “we’re no worse than other schools” pro-forma adjusted nationally averaged, rtc., etc. in having drunk date rapes. And that’s what we’re saying: NO rape is acceptable or tolerable at Williams. If you rape a young woman at Williams after 8/2014, you rape all the angry alums, the Williamstown PD, and the 3rd party rape overseers now hired by Williams. Rape and drunkenness better damn well be done at Williams. Perhaps all Frosh should march through the booking room at Williamstown PD on North St. just next to the Williams Inn and spend a few minutes looking at the fingerprint inkers and the real steel locking handcuffs. And if there’s been another rape by a hockey player, yoh may see some of us (rhetorically) big muscled 6’4″+ 250-300lb. alums in there too. “Misdemeanor for beating shite out of hockey recruiter and hockey coaches” I think is the official charge we’d be (rhetorically) facing.

“Rape-free. MY Williams. Pass it on.”

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'80s Alum June 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Please see my comment of today below. I believe the Deans need to answer to this info on the pot bust. Do they even know it

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'80s Alum June 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Please see my comment of today below. I believe the Deans need to answer to this info on the pot bust. Do they even know it?

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Tracy Mayne May 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm

You should press criminal charges. I know you have been through a lot of trauma, but this crime should be prosecuted.

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An Observer May 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm

“We need to pick one. If college students are children, then the college should have much wider latitude to control and punish their behavior, including taking steps to prevent these assaults, such as requiring students to live in single-sex dorms where no one else is allowed to be and imposing strict consequences for being caught drinking. … But if students are adults, and the college is not supposed to be in charge of their sex lives, then the correct place to adjudicate sexual crimes is in the courts, not the campus judiciary system.”

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-05/rape-on-campus-belongs-in-the-courts

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Howard May 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

That is the problem. Not all college students are children, which is why it is the student who is the adult in this case who need to be held accountable.

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Anon May 14, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Anyone else feel like the throwing of “full beer cans” at her head would have left her concussed, severely injured, or possibly killed?

Also, other articles and quotations from this individual say that it was the family’s lawyer that discouraged her from filing criminal charges. The switching of blame to college is disconnecting for the complete honesty of this account.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that the college was unwilling to find you a new place to live that was not next to the hockey team. People on campus can get special considerations for housing simply because they have anxiety or a bladder disorder. I would like to see the formal request for special housing that was denied for this claim to be upheld.

Additionally, the assertion that this is a problem caused by the recruitment of older males for athletics is baseless. Other teams have older athletes as well like skiing. Also, many of the international students that come to Williams are 1-2 years older than their freshmen peers. Is that to say they are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault. There are just so many causal assumptions made in this article that cannot be substantiated.

I irks me that she is pulling the emotional card here and selling her story to the alumni and singling out administrators in order to run a smear campaign against the college. The college has a very supportive process that protects the interests of both parties. There are immense gray areas both in college code of conduct and in the state laws, which require experienced administrators to exercise judgement. I believe that our administrators are suited for the task and that they will always but their best effort towards making a fair and responsible decision.

Her assailant seems like a jerk, but Williams made a commitment to him and where better for him to get educated about his flaws than at Williams. We have a social responsibility educate these individuals. His return to and remaining on campus should be conditional.

I’m sure I will be subject to allegations of victim shaming, but that’s not the case. I am just saying than some of these statements are skeptical at best and that the characterizations and assumptions made about tangentially involved individuals and the implications of these are harmful and unproductive.

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Trevor May 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Why post anonymously if you aren’t victim shaming?
Call me crazy but unless they’ve taken beer can throwing target practice lessons, chances are they weren’t all hitting her in the head.
Also I find major issue with your statement “where better for him to get educated about his flaws than at Williams. We have a social responsibility educate these individuals.”
No. Williams does not have a “social responsibility” to put the wellbeing and safety of an entire college’s students at risk to educate one severely misguided, allegedly dangerous man.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 11:24 am

Trevor,

Aren’t you writing anonymously? I often do so myself and have no problem with it.

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Dick Swart 56 May 14, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Yours is a rather long dissertation on right and wrong, facts and fictions, and what is or is not “harmful and unproductive’ from one who signs himself ‘anon’. In some publications anonymous letters are not printed. I would look upon your statements with more allowance for basic credibility had you attached a name and a class.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Mr. Swart,

A commentator is not required to establish his/her legal name when posting in public. The name neither adds to nor detracts from the point. That argument is essentially ad hominem as you are attacking the person, not the point. There can be many a good reason not to use a full name, not that one needs to establish one.

I share the questions of the above writer. I find it unreasonable to be pilloried because one asks questions. For instance, I also wonder about the dorm change request. Swapping rooms was common enough in my experience, even in mid semester. While I am not challenging the facts presented by Ms Brakenridge, I am unclear as to what the facts are. Who are the involved parties? A lawyer told her not to go to the police? Why would a lawyer do that?

Read this report, http://www.wbur.org/2014/05/12/williams-sexual-assault-case, and tell me that it does not raise more questions than asked by Ms Brackenridge. Between the Admininstration and Lexie, only Lexie uses the phrase ‘sexual assault.’ The College claims falsification and misconduct.

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Leslie Greene May 16, 2014 at 11:10 pm

can you explain to me why her assailant was even allowed to return to campus? I would like to know that. Please “anonymous” educate the rest of us–and not “anonymously”–have the strength of your convictions. You went to Williams, for God’s sake. Don’t hide behind the veil of anonymity.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

Leslie,

We don’t even know if he was an assailant.

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Leslie Greene May 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

then why was he suspended?

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 11:22 am

I have read WBUR, Williams Record, Dean’s statements, and Brackenridge’s statements and have not determined what complaints were even considered by the board except that he violated the Honor Code. Lying to the board probably is sufficient grounds for suspension.

Me May 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

You’re an idiot.

1) It’s illegal for the college to be discouraging her from filing reports with the police – it makes no difference if her lawyer discouraged her too.

2) The administrators’ bad behavior is responsible for their being singled out. Last time I checked, we had freedom of speech in this country. If they are embarrassed by their behavior when it’s in print, then perhaps they need to behavior more appropriately. They are being paid to look after the students’ well-being after all.

3) Why don’t we send the rapist to rent a room in your house while you educate him about his flaws? He belongs in prison or in a mental hospital. A campus psychologist has experience with homesick students and depression, he/she isn’t going to be an expert at rehabilitating rapists.

4) You “I believe that our administrators are suited for the task and that they will always but their best effort towards making a fair and responsible decision.”

Except that they didn’t. All they had to do was outline options for the survivor and not push to discourage filing reports and they failed at that very basic task. What part of letting a convicted rapist back on campus is a fair and responsible decision? It puts students at risk and incredibly negligent.

Once we stop coddling administrators and making excuses for their incompetence, we can START to make the campus a safer place. Until then, we are paying for a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats to endanger students, most of whom of in their late teens and are away from home for the first time.

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Megan May 15, 2014 at 12:29 am

“Anon” (side note why anonymous? what is the problem with using a name?)
I appreciate your participation in the discussion, however I have a few issues with some of the points you make.
First, with regard to the beer cans just because people were throwing beer cans at her doesn’t mean they all smacked her in the face. The boys could have been throwing anything and it still would have been equally disgusting and offensive. It was an act of retaliation, it does not matter what the object was that they retaliated with. What matters is the fact that they retaliated.

Next, while your issues with her decision to pursue the issue with in the college are interesting I have a few points to make and interestingly they connect to your problem with the beer cans. First I ask you if you have ever been to court? And if you have think about that moment on the stand, and now think about what it would feel like to recount the most psychologically painful night of your life in front of a group of strangers for months on end. Additionally, the amount time that it would take for this trail to come to completion would be incredibly long. While these are fundamental problems with the system, they are not the fault of the victim here. So, unless you have personally gone through a rape trial in court then I do not think you can really truly analyze what the victim should or should not have done in this case. Additionally you should note that criminal trial is also public. So seeing the treatment she received even when the investigation was supposed to be confidential you can only imagine what might have happened.

As a friend of the girl that Lexie was supposed to room with I can assure you that Lexie and her roommate attempted to get special permission for housing but they were unable to. So they attempted to go through the normal housing process. However, they received one of the last possible lottery numbers which consequently put them with a number of hockey players. When they approached housing about this issue they were incredibly unhelpful. Through this process it became clear that Williams was going to attempt to make the remainder of Lexie’s time at the institution as hard as possible. So it isnt necessarily that they denied her things it is the fact that they made her jump through an immense number of hoops. So no Williams was not making things easy for Lexie as a survivor.

While the idea of the age problem with athletes is problematic I want you to notice that this was expressed by her parents not Lexie herself. Lexie in fact argues that the actions of a small few do not reflect the majority in her letter above.

Your ideas about the emotional card bother me a bit. Lexie is not trying to start a smear campaign against the college idk if you read her note above but she has loved Williams since she was a child and while there were fundamental problems with the administration she has not attacked the university as a whole. So i ask that you do a close reading before you make such allegations. Additionally the evidence above shows that the administrators above were not in fact suited for the task.

If you truly believe that we have a social responsibility to educate these people then would you be ok if your sister or daughter was educated along side these men? What if your sister or daughter had to room with someone how was suspended for sexual assault? Would you not be up in arms? Personally I would not want to live anywhere near anyone who had been convicted of sexual assault. So while i appreciate you trying to educate some of these individuals, I don’t think this “education” should cost the safety of those who have upheld the code of conduct.

So while you think that some of the statements are skeptical I hope my comment has given light to any confusion or misunderstanding you have.

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

Dear “Megan”,

From a member of the first/founding RASAN group, thank you for these clarifications.

Speaking briefly and frankly: I almost cannot believe that Williams would not make these basic accommodations and alterations, except, that almost everything I recall from my past quarter-century of association with Williams, is about Williams being too arrogant, to get it right.

What I’m trying to say is that there is a pattern here. At one part in that pattern is everyone at Williams asserting that they are so bright, that everything Williams is doing, just must be perfect– when in reality, it’s usually a lot of stumbling. Another is a good deal of expressed concern and “good intentions,” which, when push comes to shove, are not backed up by either institutional policies, or personnel with the authority and discretion to take action and make things right.

They wouldn’t give Lexie and her roommate whatever room they needed without question? Are you kidding me?

Oh. But now I’m remembering, twenty or more years of the Deans, doing exactly the same…

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NP May 15, 2014 at 1:48 am

I would like to preface my comment with this: I, too, am a rape victim at Williams College. I understand the hardships that follow an act such as this. But I think it is important to remember the difficulty that comes with these trials. Lexie has essentially no evidence against this man. It puts men in a difficult position: it’s your word against theirs. I’m willing to bet that if this man were not a jock, more people would have pondered the possibility that he could be innocent.
Honestly, I have no clue what happened in this situation. But I see issues in the automatic expulsion policy. It leaves men with no hope of rebutting if they truly are innocent. It is my personal belief that, after the Amherst sexual assault incident, if the college truly was convinced this man was guilty, he would have been expelled. From my observations as a student here, the college has always taken assault seriously.

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Howard May 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm

But I think this case is more involved than he said she said. Here is a case, where a 21 year old man, of legal age to drink, was with a 17 year old girl. That alone, is enough to say to this man that society has placed specific boundaries on these kinds of issues. With alcohol involved, it is enough to be a crime on that alone. You do not need to know any more than that to expel in this instance.

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Wilson May 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

16 is the age of consent in Massachusetts. If you can charge him with providing alcohol to a minor, fine, but that means a lot of heads are going to roll at the college…

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howard May 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Wilson- That means no such thing. Various levels of punishment are assigned to the same offense depending on the circumstances all the time.

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Iliyana '11 May 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Automatic expulsion without proven guilt would indeed be problematic. In this case, however, after it conducted an internal investigation, the College determined (twice) that the man was guilty. This is when the man should have been expelled. Recognizing someone as a sexual assailant and then punishing them with suspension sends a very troubling message to the Williams community.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

To date, I have been unable to determine what the College found the gentleman guilty of save for lying before the board and for some form of misconduct. For all one knows, perhaps he inappropriately shared his dorm card or damaged property.

Per room change, how did she make that request and did it hinge on her taking her friend with her?

This is when the man should have been expelled. Recognizing someone as a sexual assailant and then punishing them with suspension sends a very troubling message to the Williams community.

And labeling someone as a sex offender and promptly expelling him when no legal effort is made to establish that fact is also troubling.

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Mr. Kronick:

You can put two and two together? Dean Bolton describes the three issues put before H&D. Only one resulted in a three-semester suspension….

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

Mr. Thomas,

Thank you for your civil response. Pity your class doesn’t go with your writing.

We still don’t really know what lead to the suspension. The strongest indication is that lying to the board was most significant.

If you have a problem with my doubt on this matter, please just say so and show me what I am missing.

Me May 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

No one is asking for automatic expulsions for innocent people. He was tried twice and found guilty twice. The concept of he said/she said is outdated. We now live in an era of cameras, text messages, facebook posts. My friend works on a hearing board and when I asked if it’s hard she said that by the time the case comes to you with statements from the witnesses and all the other evidence it’s clear whether this is a rape, a terrible miscommunication, or a false accusation.

Add to that the pattern os questionable behavior from this man and you have yourself a serious risk to students who will have no idea that their new study partner is a rapist. Shame on Williams for putting its students in harm’s way so negligently and frankly shame on you for declaring that she has no evidence when you have no idea. Colleges aren’t going to expel people without any evidence – it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. But these cases are less complicated than people thing – a small set of rapists are responsible for 90% of rapes and there are patterns that a first year psychology student could spot.

I’m sorry that you’ve been through something traumatic but unsubstantiated declarations like this one: “But I see issues in the automatic expulsion policy. It leaves men with no hope of rebutting if they truly are innocent.” do more harm than good. It’s not like they get accused through a suggestion box and are immediately expelled – there would be a hearing and there needs to be a preponderance of evidence in favor of guilt which is hardly the same as “no hope of rebutting if they truly are innocent”.

The only thing the automatic expulsion policy does is take away the hope that a rapist can return to campus where they have no business returning anyway.

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'80s Alum October 8, 2014 at 11:29 am

NP,
So very sorry for your rape at Williams College. While I would lime to ask “Who raped you and was he prosecuted? Did he lie to The Deans?” perhaps I’ll just ask you to tell your story anonymously to Sen. Gillibrand-NY and Mariska Hargitay of Joyful Heart Foundation (both orgs on Facebook). The more data on what has really gone on at “Top 5% colleges” the better in using today’s delayed response rape trauma laws to prosecute either or both of rapists who got off by lying, or Admins. and Deans which didn’t pursue criminal acts for whatever the cover-up reason was.

Oh, fuçk it. Who raped you? I’d like to chat with him in person this week.

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Mike October 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Boy you really are a sad little….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnkjNEeU6Fk

Still not an alum….80’s or otherwise.

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Meredith '80 May 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

The only information available to all of us alums is Lexi’s account. The college is silent about any details because the law says it must be. And it must be silent to protect students, even Lexie. Remember also that college administrators cannot talk about details to even Lexie’s parents. It is like any health issue — college administrators talk only with students. No matter how irate, horrified, or questioning we alums might be; no matter how empathetic we are for pain experienced by any victim of sexual assault or her parents, we need to remember that we will only hearing one person’s story. Usually there are more facts that matter. Doesn’t diminish Lexie’s pain and let’s support her. But before we all through the college under the bus, let’s remember we don’t know the whole story. And last time I checked, we all did hurtful things in college and we all felt tremendous pain at times too. Let’s rally in support of each other, support a student in pain, educate all students about treating each other well, and have some faith in the institution and the people who run it to deal with a situation that is likely much more complex that it seems, and do their best to do the right thing.

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David Phillips '12 May 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Meredith,

Surely the issue here isn’t whether students in pain should receive support, or whether all students should receive an education on how to treat each other well. Those are putative givens at elite liberal strongholds like Williams. Whether we should have faith in the institution and those who run it to “do their best to do the right thing” is a different story. Of course Lexie’s side of things is the only side to which we’re privy, at least in this instance. And if this *were* the only instance of alleged sexual assault in the purple valley, then faith might come more easily to me. Sadly, it is not. Here’s Dean Bolton, in her April 8th letter to the Williams Community (link to the full letter pasted below):

“Consistent with the national picture, the six reports we received in 2012-2013 likely represent only a small fraction of the sexual assaults that took place at Williams that year. Our anonymous survey data collected in spring 2011 indicate a total of 45-50 acts of penetration without consent (rape) and many more sexual assaults of other kinds occur here each year. These numbers are, of course, very profoundly troubling. We must continue do all we can to prevent assaults, to support students who experience assault, and to hold accountable those who commit these crimes.”

http://dean.williams.edu/policies/sexual-misconduct/april-8-2014/

What’s so infuriating about Lexie’s story is its quite compelling indication that, in fact, the college only pays lip-service to Dean Bolton’s last sentiment — bending its own rules in order to A) preserve its stellar reputation and B) avoid liability. And setting aside the question of Williams’ dubious disciplinary mechanism, Bolton herself concedes that the prevalence of sexual assault on campus is consistent with the national picture. At least by this criterion, Williams is not #1: it’s average. Personally, I expect better of my alma mater and its students (…not to mention the rest of the nation, let alone the world). If Williams, prized institution that it is, can’t even foster an environment with lower sexual assault rates than would be found on any other campus, then how can we rationally expect it to respond to sexual assault in an exemplary fashion?

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Wilson May 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

You have an unrealistic expectation that Williams population could somehow exceed the moral performance of the common run of humanity. Extensive psychological testing of applicants and a puritanical conduct standard would be required, which would reduce the applicant pool to dust. Maybe College procedures could be improved but the bottom line is Brackenridge had no case, and has no case; even now she could call the cops and have this guy picked up but she won’t. Why not, now that she is ready to openly take action, drawing more publicity to herself than a legal process would? It is because she’d risk being charged with filing a false report?

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Mr. “Wilson,”

You write anonymously.

I expect the best of Williams. In fact, I expect and demand, that it be more than the best.

Your assertion that Ms. Brackenridge would be charged with filing a false report is patently ridiculous on its face, if not defamatory. It also shows pure or willful ignorance, of the barriers to prosecuting rape, and the significant burdens pursuing prosecution, places upon victims.

If you’d like to have a discussion– identify yourself by a full name and a Williams class or other affiliation.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

You may want to direct your insistence on name disclosure to Iliana, Megan, Trevor, and others, but I frankly don’t understand why anyone would use their legal name on a public blog.

In classrooms, lunch tables, shopping lines I never demanded someone I was arguing with to identify themselves.

David Phillips '12 May 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

I second Kenneth’s points. And I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect students to refrain from sexually assaulting one another. Who said anything about puritanical conduct standards? This is simply treating others as human beings. That of course includes libel, though I don’t think that’s what Lexie’s up to here: the thrust of her piece is directed at the school, not her alleged assailant. And besides, you really mean to suggest that this young woman transferred on a complete and utter fabrication?

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Wilson May 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Do you suggest that she would continue at Williams if it were a fabrication? And to be fair, her complaint about the college’s restrictive housing situation, which it seems deeply committed to, is good enough reason to leave. But let’s not forget what her campaign to reform Williams College expulsion policies as a representative of all survivors of sexual assault would achieve: the individual of interest to her would continue to have his life substantially disrupted.

Iliyana '11 May 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I keep hearing the argument that we are only hearing Lexie’s side of the story. That is correct because she was the only one who volunteered to tell it. I, and other students and alums, I’m sure, would love to hear the alleged assailant’s side, as well. To my knowledge, however, he has not made a public statement yet. I look forward to it, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm

The accused probably was wisely warned by his lawyer not to join the media babble.

I, and other students and alums, I’m sure, would love to hear the alleged assailant’s side, as well

I take your word for it that you would, but I doubt that the accused finds it encouraging to speak.

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 18, 2014 at 2:44 am

Mr. Kronick:

Mr. —m— would need to reveal his identity in order to explain his “story,” wouldn’t he?

His silence speaks wonders!

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

NMr. Thomas,

Now that Ms Brackenridge has broadcasted her story in any number of versions in numerous media, how could it possibly make sense for the older student to explain his story, and how should he go about doing so?

Should he contact WBUR and request a time slot? Should he write an editorial for the Record? If I were the student, I would exercise my Civil Rights follow my lawyer’s instructions. Legal advice is pricy and protects the client’s legal, social, and financial interests.

Considering how much explaining Ms Brackenridge has done and yet somehow leaving so many gaps, I find it unseemly to demand any more from the older student.

Leslie Greene May 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm

“we all did hurtful things in college”
on the same scale as rape? Wow I’m surprised you would equate the two.

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Anonymous May 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

Rape is generally not that complex, especially for a serial rapist. He was tried twice and found guilty twice by a system that tends to err on the side of innocence.

The college can speak up but in more general terms (these are our policies, etc.). FERPA does not require privacy in the cases of violent offenses.

I’d say let’s give Lexie the benefit of the doubt unless she has a history of false accusations (which she doesn’t to my knowledge) and have the college rework its system and policies so that the problems she encountered will not be encountered by others.

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Mike May 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm

The term “tried” usually refers to a procedure in the criminal justice system.

The standard to “err on the side of innocence ” usually refers to the standard in the criminal justice system.

Then again, these are unusual times.

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Anne Fetter May 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

” I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering or humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim…Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Weisel, Holocaust Survivor

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Mike May 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm

A great statement from a great man!

The term “tried” usually refers to a procedure in the criminal justice system.

The standard to “err on the side of innocence ” usually refers to the standard in the criminal justice system.

Then again, these are unusual times.

Charles Kronick '91 May 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Dr. Fetter,

Please don’t expand this argument to Holocaust proportions. I honestly do not see any person(s)(1) who has been tossed to the curb or murdered under the grindstone of inhumanity.

Mike, yep, there ain’t a stranger time than this. That’s why I make it my personal choice to avoid pollsters, statisticians, and bandwagons.

1) Should that be persyns?(1)

1) Thanks, Mr. Russo. In whose writings we discover the MCAFHLC(1) professor. His true name is lost however to an unrelenting habit ‘o his of correcting his peers in proper language as befits a college campus – “or she!” By novel’s end when our protagonist regains the ability to relieve himself, the other unfortunate character is known as Orshe.

1)Mixed-Community-Aspiring-Future-Homebuyer-Literary-Crit

Mike May 23, 2014 at 1:27 am

CK ’91,

I find your recent post quaintly naïve. I’m willing to guess nobody has categorized you as this before.

The ‘true believer’s” arguments know no proportions.

Facts and evidence are really not a premium.

Charles Kronick '91 May 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

Thanks, Mike.

I charge a premium for my mental real estate, so as such, there are quite a few vacancies there. I have no guesses what people think of me.

Now, if rents are lower on your end then by all means share the wealth.

That’s a cognitive-therapist’s joke, please don’t take it as snippiness.

DF May 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I had an incredibly negative experience with Williams administration. I thankfully was not assaulted but I seem to have become the very embodiment of a problem that Williams did not want to continue on campus. I requested housing accomodations for a very valid reason and Williams provided no help whatsoever. They made it incredibly difficult for me to continue to be a student even though I had broken no rules and committed no crime. Williams faculty seem to live in a bubble and when you throw something at them that they are not used to handling, they do not know what to do with themselves. It’s sad that students are then left to fend for themselves when they are already experiencing extreme hardships on campus. I’m not going to pretend that my problem was on the same scale as this but Williams administration failed me just the same.

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Lauren '12 May 16, 2014 at 8:34 am

You go, Lexie. You are one tough lady and I’m so proud of you for what you’re doing. It is pathetic how barbaric our society is at handling these kinds of cases (because we all know this is not a problem peculiar to Williams), but brave folks like you making waves where they’re needed is probably the only way we can change things. Thank you for not backing down and for bringing this to confrontation.

As for your assailant and his friends–may they never get a good night’s sleep for the rest of their lives. They are scum and I hope they know it.

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Sharon May 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

We have to take a very hard look at the pattern of stories coming not only from Williams but also Dartmouth and other schools in the Ivies as well as major state universities and ask what price students are paying for a big-time sports culture gone awry? I can’t believe that this young woman was not accommodated but her attacker has been … and has a lawyer on major news channels disparaging the victim. By readmitting him, what is Williams saying about their view of the case? Rape is a three-semester crime? Really? Vote with your dollars, alums. Next time you are asked for $$, tell the development office you are donating your customary sum to a Rape Crisis Center instead.

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'80s Alum September 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

For those of us Alums who feel the Fundraising since Pres. Falk consented to let the Brackenridge sexual-offender back on campus DESPITE an actual police dept. arrest for possession and use of pot with a minor female while on suspension in 2013 —– the major credit card companies have already agreed multiple times to REFUND ANY ALUMNI FUND OR ANNUAL FUND DONATIONS if you mention the Brackenridge and Fetter cases, and the fact that Pres. Falk told Lexie’s parents that the suspended student “would have to abide by Code of Conduct while on suspension.” He did not. Pres. Falk knows this. And, as above, the drug bust was with a minor female in a vehicle intended to be driven on public roads AFTER getting high from the pot. Sorry, but, “AreYouF*&^inhKiddingMe,” Mr. MILF Hunter?

ANGRY ALUMS: Want to pressure Williams to do the right thing re: Fetter/Brackenridge cases? Call your credit card co. , ask for a supervisor, write a letter, and get your monies back since either 1984 (Anne’s gang-rape by SIX guys) or Falk’s decision this year to let hockey player student back after a NY State drug bust, lying to Deans, conspiring to lie to Deans, etc. etc. Your call. $$$ YOUR MONEY $$$ . If you have a Chase card, Jimmy Lee, Eph Alum, is Vice Chairman of JP Morgan-Chase Bank. Call him.

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Leslie Greene May 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm

What I just don’t understand is why the rapist has been re-admitted to the College. If he had this on his record before being admitted, would the Admissions Office okay the acceptance of a known rapist? So why should he be allowed to attend the College now?

And…not only did this free pass for the rapist destroy any sense of safety and security for the victim, who was compelled to transfer to another college, but it also shattered the myth that tranquility reigns in the Village Beautiful. All students are harmed by this shocking decision.

Was the rapist re-admitted because he is an athlete? Because he comes from a wealthy family? Or for another reason that is not obvious? Williams administration, please explain! Until we receive a legitimate explanation, many many alumni are saddened and disgusted and ashamed to call Williams our alma mater.

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Kenneth Thomas '93 May 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm

After spending the afternoon with an expert on college rape cases: it is reasonable to proffer the likely possibility that Mr. ——-a’s counsel has threatened the College with suit, should they not readmit.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 11:35 am

That is likely correct, except the Administrators probably did not even need a legal warning. Dartmouth kicked out 4 lacrosse players for an alleged rape. Those students had their reputations smeared nationally before they cleared their names. The college was legally exposed and the prosecutor disbarred.

The only legitimate venue for handling felonies is in court, not on college campuses and the media.

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Andrew Everett '92 May 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Minor correction: it was Duke, not Dartmouth.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Oops. Thanks, Mr. Everett.

Mike May 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm

KT ’93. Are you 3 years old? Your little letter game is pathetic. You should be embarrassed….sadly, I’m sure you’re not. Print the name or don’t print the name.

Everybody on campus knows it. 90% of the people posting on here know it…the other 10% are lazy. Everybody who stated he was 21 knew full well he was not.

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Kenneth Thomas May 24, 2014 at 3:12 am

“Mike,”

Why don’t you post Mr. ——-‘s name, then? :)

Otherwise, I’m posting and acting with my real name, I know exactly the game I’m playing. Post your name and affilition if you wish to have a serious conversation and be considered more than a cowardly, anonymous voice in the night.

Otherwise, this may be relevant: http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

:)

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Mike May 24, 2014 at 6:48 am

“Why don’t you post Mr. ——-’s name, then? :)”
Ahhhhhh……because I don’t want to and you do…….and ‘I know you are but what am I’.
Interesting, you did not post another letter in your Mr. ______ game. That’s progress. Keep it up.

I see no problem with posting anonymously on this forum as it is an option. I do not claim any particular expertise or affiliation.

Students, Alumni, and Faculty/Administration/Staff of Williams College have a particular gravitas in any discussion relating to the school. If they would like an opinion to carry this weight, they should identify themselves. Respond to what I post or don’t. Discount me because I’m anonymous or don’t. I could care less.

But….thanks for the irrelevant link; I stopped reading after the title. Again, I claim no particular expertise or affiliation. There would be few opinions in any forum if a degree in the subject matter was a requirement. I’m sure your expertise, beyond your alumni status, is obvious. Certainly, it’s clear you are sure.

Your childish and irrelevant word game speaks for itself. You’re too into the drama.

But hey, he was 20 not 21 and everybody knew it—no gravitas needed, just google and a passing interest.

I’ll remain a voice in the night, thanks.

Nothing like a discussion with an emoticon guy.

Otherwise this may be relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcpku-nKSR4

Charles Kronick '91 May 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

Ken, that website is hilarious. Thanks! The death of expertise marches on, one webpage at a time.

Mike: the simplest reason he doesn’t print the name is that he also doubts the man is really guilty of a sex crime and doesn’t want to get sued.

By the way, I think that for all my cynicism, maybe I am a quaint naive guy. You have enlightened me.

Dick Swart '56 May 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

I realize that the Williams College administration is under pressures including liability in this particular situation, responsibility for policies in place and their administration, and judgments on their assessing of penalties for those determined to have broken the code of conduct.

As one from an ancient class of a bygone era, I am proud to be a Williams alum. The institution that is Williams and its traditions as a premier campus for academic excellence and student engagement is also a part of the administrations responsibilities. Actions and the knowledge by the concerned public of these actions is a great responsibility as well. In it’s most mundane form, it is called public relations,

An unfortunate comparison comes to mind of the Church and its long history and traditions and the Williams heritage. The question of the return of those deemed guilty to campus at all v three semesters is noted in many comments above. This may be seen as a parallel to the reassignment of priests.

I must say, as one not unfamiliar with PR and image development and limitations, both the Church and the College speak in the tone of “Ex Cathedra”.

I implore the administration to consider to move from a position of defense and justification of current strategies to a more action-oriented public examination and recognition of current grievances, and initiate an open examination of the status quo with emphasis on “in Loco Parentis” and the “Ex Cathedra” voice that seems to dominate actions and their perception. Perhaps to os time to move on from treating students as children and let those deemed old enough to vote as citizens be a part of the larger civil community.

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steve troyer May 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Dick…your class is not so bygone. I am proud of your comments as one of my Dad’s classmates.

The biggest issues I see here are

1. Lack of Empathy…not just for the Brackenridge and students but all other concerned parties which include parents and alumni.

2. Lack of Transparency on the remedy…or review process they have planned. Bring concerned parties under the tent and involve them with the same level of transparency accorded to other members of this team

If the College addresses these issues quickly then we can begin to heal….if they fester….it is going to be a long road.

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Dick Swart '56 May 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Thanks, Steve, we octogenarians need all the reeforcement we can get!

As a side note echoing your inclusion of “empathy” and “transparency”. I find it odd not to have a received an acknowledgement of my two emails to Mr. John Malcolm. Just the autotype one that begins “Thank you for your email. Your comments are important to us. We try to answer all letters to us within 48 hours” etc, etc. would have been fine. I know their mail box must be pretty full.

Are they farting in my general direction?

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Charles Kronick '91 May 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Thanks, Steve, we octogenarians need all the reeforcement we can get!

Nah, just keep plugging away on the golf course, or if you’re likc my father, use the hallways, elevators, and dining hall at the new pad. (Sorry, Dad.)

Are they farting in my general direction?

Not likely, we’re doing it for them.

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Steve Troyer May 19, 2014 at 12:52 am

Dick…I also got John’s email. There seems to be a bunker mentality in place. They need to listen outside the bunker…we are not here to fight…but to help them understand and assure Williams future like those who came before us.

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'80s Alum June 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Yes ! Ditto.

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A Former Gargoyle May 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm

The issue of sexual harassment at Williams cannot be solved until Williams starts to deal its the harassment of students from some of the people at the very top. As a student in the 1980’s there was a certain Dean, who I need not name since everyone knows who this was, who would regularly linger in the men’s shower in Lasell Gymnasium and strike up long conversations with male students. This also happened to me, and anyone who used the pool saw him in there often.

We all thought this was odd, but didn’t think much more of it until several students reported being molested by him. One close friend and classmate once traveled with this Dean to another school. They shared a hotel room. In the middle of the night he found the Dean in the same bed with him, molesting him. The student reported it to the Administration, and was given a written apology by the Dean, bit no public action was taken and the matter was kept secret. The Dean kept traveling to schools with other male students, and no one knows how many more were molested. The College didn’t seem to care about anything but keeping it quiet.

This happened to more than one person who I know quite well, yet this predator, who was very popular, was allowed to keep his job and retire with great praise many years later. There was also a male professor who had female students cook meals for him and clean his home, who would also stay with him overnight. This was well known but the administration again did nothing to stop it.

One year, after several date rapes were reported, sexual harassment became a very big topic on campus. Most of these attacks involved well known athletes, one of whom attacked at least three women before he was caught. His younger sister was also a student and she had to endure the stain of her brothers actions. The incidents went public in spite the Dean’s Office attempts to keep them a secret. As is all too common in these cases, the women who reported the attacks were bullied and ostracized. Friends were forced to take sides, and many friendships ended.

We has teach-ins, seminars, and campus wide meetings. Editorials and articles were written in the Record, which should republish them now to show how little has changed over the last three decades. New policies were enacted. We were promised this would never happen again. Now 30 years later the same thing is still happening, and it seems Williams has not learned a thing about how to handle these matters other than to minimize the damage to its own reputation and fundraising efforts.

I was pleased to see two class agents recently announce they will not raise any more funds until the College can prove it has changed it’s ways, but based on a poor tack record over three decades,, I fear that will be a long time coming.

I hope more students like Lexie Brackenridge and alumni will come forward, and that more students will in the future take their cases to the police and not to the Dean’s office, since this is the only way for victims to receive justice.

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Kenneth Thomas May 24, 2014 at 3:23 am

“Gargoyle,”

Thank you for bringing up old stories, which I am often reticent to bring up and attempt to chronicle.

Several weeks into my first semester at Williams, one of the young women was in my common room, after a sexual encounter with one of the professors. By today’s legal standards in Massachusetts, she had been raped.

Those were difficult times indeed. Three years later, the Deans were still largely unresponsive to the demand to fund RASAN– claiming the (minor) expense was not justified.

Though there was a degree of publicity– I ws surprised at the past ’92 reunion, to discover how many of that class (my original), had no inkling of the events.

The Record’s editors had planned an expose of sorts, as I understand it, and found themselves under extreme … something between intimidation and threat by the administration.

That is about all, I’m willing to convey of the matters and history, at this point.

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Jay Haug May 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

A very brave airing of a difficult and painful subject. However, in my view a college has no business adjudicating these kinds of matters. For the protection of all parties involved, it belongs in a court of law. Particularly if the charge is rape.

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Drew Helene May 21, 2014 at 5:03 am

Absolutely. No more toy cops. And ditch that Director for Sexual Assault.

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'80s Alum June 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I have researched Dean Bossong and I think she truly “gets it.” I think it’s a huge step forward for the College to have her. I fully support her, and have already corresponded with her on brainstorming ideas. She sees all sides of the wide range of pro/con comments posted on these Williams Record boards. She is an asset for the young women and men at Wms in terms of Prevention, INTENSE Education and annual or more frequent reinforcement.

She “gets it.” A quality asset in this fight to protect the future women and men of Wms from being victims.

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Cara May 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm
Alison Earle May 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm

As an alumna and as a mother of two girls, it was deeply discouraging and disturbing to hear about how Lexie was treated, and to hear that her rapist would be readmitted. I admire and respect Lexie for her courage in coming forward and telling her painful story, for standing up for truth and seeking justice. I am appalled by the administration’s response throughout the process and having heard the changes being made at Amherst, am further persuaded that the Williams policies are deeply flawed and doomed to provide inadequate consequences for men who’ve committed sexual assault and deeply insufficient recourse for victims of this crime. Rape is a crime. Why hasn’t the student been brought to justice in a court of law? While a prison sentence would be minimally satisfactory, a three semester suspension is greviously inadequate and deeply insulting. I agree with Lexie that his life — whole life — should be forever marred just as hers has.

The administration and the College have failed you, and have clearly failed female graduates for decades. I am doubtful things will change any time soon. I used to think I would encourage my daughter to go to Williams but will NEVER let her attend and promise to share your story with any young women considering it. I never game much to Williams but I will never give money again and will discourage fellow alums from doing so unless and until they rescind your assailant’s readmission and develop and fully implement wholly new, effective policies for addressing sexual assault on campus and punishing offenders.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The administration and the College have failed you, and have clearly failed female graduates for decades. I am doubtful things will change any time soon

Judging by the average income and professional success of female graduates, I’m feeling a little cheated. Whatever that number is, I’m sure I’m just a little bit shabby. But, I’d still send my daughter to Williams College. I’m teaching her now how to deal with boys, strange places, and weird arguments, and fear not, I’ll sleep well where ever she goes.

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Kenneth Thomas May 26, 2014 at 2:56 am

Mr. Kronick:

Do you have any signficant data, on the income and professional success of female Williams grads. (Caveat: I do. I may have a better dataset, than anyone else).

And what’s up with the mysoginist chip on your shoulder? (Caveat: I’m one of less than 10 grads since ’88 who *attended* an all-male college. Consequently, I have a particularly well-tuned mysogny detector; it’s almost as good as my BS detector, and you’re setting both off)!

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Charles Kronick '91 May 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I will be as brief as I will be direct with you, my good friend, Mr. Honorable Kenneth Thomas, Master of Big Data, Tyrant Of the High Seas, AB, Williams College, Certified Microsoft Technician.

Do you have any signficant data

Reading is ‘fun’-damental as they say. I said, ‘whatever the number is’ which is to say it’s not that relevant. Williams is not responsible for the future success of its graduates.

And what’s up with the mysoginist chip on your shoulder?

Where’s that chip, sir? I dare you to shoot it off.

I have a BS detector too, something smells coming from your quarters, but I haven’t identified the cause.

If you want to direct your attacks to me personally, Ken, I suggest you do the honorable thing and name a place and time. Caveat, I get to choose the weapons.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

(I still got some water cannons left over from my freshman dorm. Arguing with you is like reliving my childhood.)

aec May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

“They explicitly encouraged me not to seek legal action, asserting that it would be a bureaucratic nightmare…” Why isn’t that Obstruction of Justice?

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Charles Kronick '91 May 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Why isn’t that Obstruction of Justice

Well, that charge would have to be leveled at the woman’s lawyer first. Since the police have not been asked to investigate, though, I doubt they will complain of obstruction.

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'13Alum May 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Some people just don’t get it. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t decide to not press charges (upon advice from her own personal legal counsel), and then return, over a year later, to the issue of the suspect, (*important to note*) who was never proven guilty, not being allowed to return to school. Sorry for the choppy sentences, but I’m not sorry. I’m all for this being a legal matter but the administration can’t press criminal charges for you, girlfriend, only you can do that. She moved on, now she has to let the school move on, and stop showing the College in a bad light from your safe haven in NYC. Glad they don’t have a hockey team at Columbia. A note to disappointed alums: don’t let the claims (yes, that is all they are) of one student tarnish the school’s reputation. Get over yourselves, it really grinds my gears.

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Dick Swart '56 May 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

This is far and away the most disgusting comment made on this topic.

I find it hard to believe an actual Williams graduate would write at this level.

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howard May 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Dick-

There are some pretty bizarre justifications and attacks on the victim coming from some of the “Williams people” on these threads. I fear for my relatives who are at that age and living in amongst this kind of entitled sub culture.

I have always been hyper critical of how the college handles it’s position in town and the double standard of laws and rules here. On a case like this though, I am shocked at how many enablers I see from the school coming out in public forum. Defending Williams for growth, taking tips from dining hall employee’s, acting as an aggressive landlord in town is one thing… supporting this kind of culture, is quite another. 50 women self reported rape in an anonymous forum. There is also the general population of visitors and locals who were not surveyed… all of these defensive public statements the administration is making and the kinds of things some of the alum are openly saying on this thread does not give me confidence for change. You cannot change anything until you take a hard look in the mirror and admit that what is going on is wrong. Until as a leader, you step up and make robust changes and fire those who do not follow your lead. This kind of culture filters over into sexual misconduct in other realms as well- profs dating and making advances on students, for example.

No one has been held accountable. It is time for a little “lead, follow or get the hell out of the way” leadership. Not just smooth statements of denial coming from well paid attorneys and PR relations people- but action.

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Leslie Greene May 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I too found “Alum ’13″s comments appalling (and it’s no wonder such vitriol was posted anonymously). It is not the rape victim who is tarnishing Williams’ reputation, but the College itself in its handling of this situation. How can the school justify putting the safety of a thousand female students at risk by allowing the rapist back on campus? The penalty at the time the disciplinary proceedings concluded should have been expulsion. I fear for the young women on campus today.

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howard May 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

It is you who does not get it. If you were at Williams at the same time this girl was… yes, girl of age 17, then you are a reflection of the kind of thing she faced after reporting. Your snide and aggressive attitude is disgraceful.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Howard,

I get that you are upset by this story, and that is alright. You’re a good man. But this response of yours is anything but snide and aggressive.

From my point of view, I have no problem encouraging my daughter to pursue higher education at Williams College, save for the price sticker. Now, if I had a son, it would be different. I’d suggest a men’s only college if they still exist. Too dangerous to hang out with coeds – you could all to easily make a name for yourself prematurely.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

Nuts..

I meant to say that your last comment was fairly well snide and aggressive.

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Kenneth Thomas May 26, 2014 at 2:48 am

Anon-who-claims-to-be-a-’13:

In PHIL 102 in my day, Prof. Little would have labeled the first flaw in your argument, a past counterfactual. Not only *can* Ms. Brackenridge do such; she *has*.

You go downhill from there. Even at a second-tier such as Vanderbilt, your effort would be a Failure. (I suppose that must be an Ephailure at Williams, given the unusual letter system).

Unfortunately, despite frequent primping and preening to the contrary, Williams’ claim that it “teaches how to think,” is so often prooved untrue, by the unconsidered phrases and syllogisms which come out of the minds of its graduates, and that more cautious minds, would hestitate to udder.

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Mike May 26, 2014 at 4:26 am

“Even at a second-tier such as Vanderbilt, your effort would be a Failure.”…I’m sure some might call you an elitist but I won’t. Vanderbilt, indeed. At least it wasn’t UConn!

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Mike May 26, 2014 at 4:31 am

My guess is…much as it pains you…your Williams pedigree has been the highlight of your life. Very sad.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 26, 2014 at 11:49 am

Show some respect, Ken. It was Mr. Little. He was a wonderful teacher but I don’t recall him teaching PHIL 102.

I doubt Mr Little would attempt to degrade his ‘opponent’ with scattergun insults.

I’m a cautious man, twice bitten in the course of life and now hold myself to a higher standard.

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Kenneth Thomas May 27, 2014 at 3:07 am

* Lipton

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'80s Alum September 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

Lexie has 5 years from event to STILL press criminal charges. (Apologies if it’s 3 in MA.)

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Alan May 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm

At every elite college, reports of sexual assaults that go unpunished focus on varsity athletes. The behavior of members of the Williams Hockey team, first by giving false testimony during hearings, and then threatening their victim for months afterward, is typical of reports from other colleges.

Suspending the rapists for a brief period was a way for male administrators to say “No big deal”. If the President of Williams actually cared about the safety and well-being of female students, the Hockey team would have been suspended for the year.

The women of Williams should send the administration a message: they should file applications to transfer to colleges who actually care about the safety of female students. They should intercept female high school students who visit Williams and advise them to apply elsewhere.

If even 20% or 30% of the women at Williams leave, there will soon be a new President, one who values the safety and students over pleasing the louts Williams recruited to play hockey.

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'80s Alum May 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I call on the accused rapist NOT to return to Williams. Whether he raped under the standards of MA law is unknowable unless he confesses, but likely; but beyond that: lying to the Deans, concocting a cover-up, lying about that, implicating another student in the cover-up; and forgive me, but I just can’t reconcile the Williams I thought I knew and want to know again, with MILFs, aka on bumper stickers and patches: MOTHERS I’D LIKE TO fuçk !

Omce he lied about logistics, why no lie detector test for the “he said / she said” part of it? And who served a 20yr.old booze on-campus? I think Williamstown PD Chief Johnson would like THAT name. Also a MA state law violation.

At my high school: one would be bounced out for good afyer the first semi-colon above. Can somebody scour the Code of Conduct and find a morality/respext for women clause that can STILL keep this guy out? He CHOSE to join MILF Hunters. The Deans can choose to let him know he aon’t up to Williams standards.

And respectfully, where are his parents? At what point do you just throw in towel and say we’re burnimg down a college and its alumni. Aren’t there some good hockey schools in Calgary or Edmunton, ay? I think so.

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Charles Kronick '91 May 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

You know, Paul, I credit you and Alumn with some persuasive effect. I can get on board a expulsion policy for students (male & female) who sport the M*** phrase on clothing or join organizations that use it in it’s name. Count that as a win.

I wonder what sort of Dean keeps a lie detector kit in his desk drawer, though.

Hold on sonny, I know I put that durned thing somewhere….Paper’s a bit bit dry but not roadhard”

And why would a Dean at the Nations Finest Institution need a polygraph when they can just import for a fee if necessary, Ken Thomas’ BS detector?

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'80s Alum June 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

No, I meant if there was a Police complaint and trial, a guy who has already admitted to (actually, been found out by swipe card evidence…) cover-up attempt, lying, etc. would possibly be persuaded at some point to take a lie detector test, or answer questions under observed truth serum treatment, as his credibility is shot. Happens in many of the big cities. And lie detector tests, while NOT conclusive, are almost always game-changers, esp. if repeated FAILS.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Are you for real? Truth serums? If you’re on a sarcastic binge, you may want to consider fessing up. The jokes only funny if people recognize it as a joke.

Oh, silly me. Truth serum. You must be referring to that booze again.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Truth Serum:

“Hold still, sonny. This here needles a bit roadworn but still works good. May sting a bit.”

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'80s Alum May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I had a long, engaging discussion with a relative well versed in corp. situations on this area last night. One element of game theory did arise: if we all admit that as of TODAY, The Deans and Admin. of Williams really are tightly bound by Federal Law (and they are), and realizing that fighting a battle with the young man’s lawyer over the 2M’s “MILF and Marijuana” may just be unbearably tedious and lengthy: THEN the fairest course for all is the path of “TRUE COLORS WILL OUT.” That is, many of us have screamed, “2M’s on probation/suspension just ain’t Williams!”
So, let the young man return and give him full benefit of the doubt. BUT, have Security staff and perhaps some J.A. type elder students keep a very close eye and not allow him to have females alone in his suite or room, for example; possibly even weekly counseling sessions with a drug/alcohol/assault counselor (hopefully on Friday and Sat. afternoons, if past is prologue…).
IF he succeeds brilliantly, then The Deans will be vindicated in having taken what very may well have been the only course of action they could have given the evidence on their desks IN LEGAL FAIRNESS TO THE MAN’S RIGHTS (which we still do not know despite the external label of guilty of sexual assault; it may really be guilty of Code of Conduct violations that they did not deem sufficient enough to call rape or full blown sexual assault in MA, etc., etc. as they have never said and can’t say). It very well may be that the Deans and Pres. Falk acted heroically in a very narrow range of options, as often happens in legal battles.
BUT, BUT, BUT…. if as so many of us suspect, this guy IS a non-reformed and non-remorseful sexual predator in a MILF Hunters sweatshirt and a mini-pot-pipe and Strawberry Bambu rolling paper in his knapsack… with an uncured drug, drink and criminal proclivity, THEN it will likely be borne out and the process of TRUE COLORS WILL OUT. He may very well “throw himself out” — and we’d then be praising Dean Bolton and Pres. Falk for saving The College hundreds of thousands of dollars more in legal fees by fighting now whether he can come back in Fall ’14 due to the 2M’s.
With all of your great comments and alumni focus, I do now very sincerely believe that the Class of 2018 women and men will be THE most Rape-Free, Assault-Free and Harassment-Free educated entering college class in The USA, and I commit my own actions to donating money and time to ENSURE no possible course of education or alcohol/drug control on campus is left un-examined.
There were clearly grave errors in the past at Williams and elsewhere, and many victims likely wish they HAD filed those police reports on their own, and likely so many more around the USA that would make us sick to our stomachs. And that awful past has been the catalyst to wake a lot of us up to the volume of reported and unreported assaults — ALL unacceptable.

To quote a great hockey line, and I am not a hockey fan at all….but the writer Russell Baker always said to leave them with a persuasive zinger: so, Wayne Gretzky used to say “I got to look at where the puck is going, not be upset about where it just was.” I call on all of us, incl. Lexie and the returning young hockey player, Alums and students, to help Williams get past this TODAY. And to start the Class of 2018 season in The Fall as the #1 most-aware and most-sensitive college in The USA.

True (purple?) colors will out. :-)
Rape-free. MY Williams.

Thank you for your very adult and reasoned consideration on a tough, ugly, painful, unfair, abusive and just heart-bending topic. My brilliant older Sis went to a similar college, but considered Williams very seriously. I chose Wms after joining her for a “visit weekend” back in early ’80s. She would have been ’86. She was never raped or assaulted. I struggle to think how she would have done all the incredible things she did in her field, coming off something like a campus rape.

Looking to where that puck is going:
Rape-free. MY Williams.
Rape-free. Your Williams.
Rape-free. OUR Williams !!!

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tina May 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm

You are incredible and strong and I wish I could have been the same but just like some responses on here it should just be swept under the rug, it was a mistake, boys will be boys. Disgusting for everyone one of those responses I wish you could expierience being held down, beaten, raped over and over and see what it feels like and I bet your opinion would be different. Whether its a school, home, work it needs to stop . You move on you try to recover but you never forget and it effects your life your entire life. For those who had the amazing responses of support thank you.

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Leo Standing May 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

Please press criminal charges.

We live in a society of laws, imperfect though they may be, and it is imperative to rely on them. Asking an institution to play at “Justice” and stage a “Trial” is not helpful, as it involves a massive conflict of interest.

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'80s Alum May 31, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Ditto to Leo. Thanks Leo.
Lexie has 15 yrs. from her 18th b’day to file for rape. I re-read Lexie’s statements today in researching MA laws. Wow. Rape is up to 20yrs. in prison, and Sexual Battery is up to 5. That’s pretty darn real-world, ay? I just realized that Lexie indeed is referring to the young man as a penetrative rapist and not just a sexual assaulter (very broad definition and why many don’t know what the College really foumd him guilty of); and even if only a 5 yr. prison stay for drunken sexual battery, why not press legal charges now, Lexie? You have already endured all the publicity most victims wojld avoid by not charging, and you and your published statements indeed claim it was rapne, and rape with a person under 18 which has a special category in MA more harsh than rape > 18 (yes, age of consent 16), and MA supports rape even for “she first said yes, then she said No” cases. Anything you signed withoute College likely thrown out due duress, self-interested coercion of a minor, and considering the apparent track record that the Fetter case allegedly exposed (a 6-guy on one girl gang rape on Wms property where the student admitted it and not even suspended or reported to Williamstown PD?). If he raped you, why not rent a car and drive to Williamstown Police Dept. You would also get to make public record all of the harrassment, the illegal booze, the drugs, the drug dealers, the Fetter case and possible negligence or criminal cover-up by the two Deans Ms. Fetter cited who said she “misunderstood a gang rape,” etc. Isn’t there an attorney who would be willing to take this on pro-bono? Call Senator K. Gillebrand who already knows of your case. I think Wms Hockey will survive for 5-20 years without this young man. Especially if they fire the Coaches, demote it to a club sport and have it played by actual 17-18yr. old college Freshmen again.

MASS law summary:
Rape in Massachusetts encompasses nonconsensual sexual acts the defendant forces upon the victim. A related crime—indecent assault and battery—consists of an unpermitted, improper, and immodest touching, such as touching of the breasts or genitalia. (Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 716 N.E.2d 659 (1999).)
What is Rape in Massachusetts?
Under Massachusetts law, a person commits rape by:
having sexual intercourse or “unnatural sexual intercourse” with another person
against the victim’s will
by compelling the victim to submit through force or threat of injury.
The genders of the defendant and victim are irrelevant; for example, a woman can be convicted of raping a man. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 265, § 22.)
“Sexual intercourse” and “unnatural sexual intercourse”
Massachusetts law defines sexual intercourse as penetration, however slight, of the female genitalia by male genitalia. Massachusetts law defines “unnatural” sexual intercourse as pretty much any other sex act, including fellatio, cunnilingus, anal penetration, digital penetration of the anus or vagina, and penetration with an object.
Lack of consent and force
To prove rape in Massachusetts, the prosecution must establish both that the defendant used force or the threat of physical harm and that the victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse. The threat of force doesn’t need to be explicit—even an implicit threat will suffice.
Massachusetts courts have ruled that a victim need not physically resist or struggle against a defendant’s assault in order for a rape to occur. All that the prosecution must prove is that the victim did not consent and resisted the defendant by any means, even verbal. (Commonwealth v. Caracciola, 569 N.E.2d 774, 776 (1991).) For example, evidence that a victim pleaded with an attacker to let her go is sufficient to convict the attacker of rape.
RAPE CONVICTION WHERE VICTIM INITIALLY CONSENTED, THEN WITHDREW CONSENT

If a victim withdraws consent after first giving it and the defendant persists, rape has occurred. Thus, a Massachusetts appeals court upheld the rape conviction of a man who forcibly continued sexual intercourse with a victim who had initially consented to the intercourse but then begged him to stop and tried to get away.
Defenses
There are certain defenses available to a person charged with rape in Massachusetts. Here are a couple.
Consent. As discussed above, lack of consent is essential to the crime of rape in Massachusetts. So, a person charged with rape will avoid conviction if he can show that the victim freely consented to the entire episode of sexual intercourse.
Marriage. Until relatively recently, a person could avoid a rape conviction if he was married to his victim. Massachusetts’s rape law is silent as to the so-called “marriage defense,” but recent cases have held that the marriage of the victim and the rapist is no defense.
For more information about Massachusetts marital rape law, see Massachusetts Martial Rape Laws and Penalties.
Punishment for Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery
Rape is a felony in Massachusetts. A person convicted of rape faces a possible penalty of not more than 20 years in prison. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 265, § 22.) Indecent assault and battery involving a person at least 14 years old is also a felony, carrying a prison term of five years or less, or imprisonment of two and a half years or less in a jail or house of correction. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 265, § 13H.)
Sex Offender Registration
Rape and indecent assault and battery are “sex offenses” for purposes of Massachusetts’s Sex Offender Registry law. A person convicted of either crime may be ordered to register with federal, state, and local authorities upon release from prison. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 6, §§ 178C, 178D.) Sex offender registration restricts where the offender may work, live, go to school, and even be present.”

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'80s Alum June 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm

There are some terrific web resources to educate the incoming Frosh, both from male and female perspectives. There is a very good piece on the USA college rape problem by Giraldo Rivera, another by a BBC team, and a very good one about the many U. Conn rapes and hiring of celeb. lawyer Gloria Allred. I confess a portion of that one where a young woman who in some way reminded me of EVERY one of my fave and accomplished Wms female friends, starts crying during the interview recalling the rape and being asked to remain on campus with the young man who did turn out to be guilty. I also couldn’t hold back a few tears, just watching it.

I welcome your suggestions, too.

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'80s Alum June 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

http://www.trincoll.edu/cs/SART/Pages/Tips.aspx

“Rape Prevention Tips

Protecting yourself:
•Determine what you want and what you don’t want and communicate your limits clearly. No one should pressure you into unwanted sexual activity. If you are uncertain about what you want, ask your partner to respect your feelings.

•Know that you have the right and power to say “No” and the right and power to defend yourself against someone who won’t listen to you. If you say “No”, say it firmly and directly.

•Trust your intuition. If you feel something is wrong, it likely is. Remove yourself from the situation and get to a safe space as quickly as you can.

•Be careful with alcohol and drugs. Some people think that a drunk or stoned companion has automatically consented to sex.

•Attend parties with friends you can trust. Agree to ‘look out’ for one another. Try to leave with a group, rather than alone or with someone you don’t know very well.

•Look for danger signals in a dating relationship. If your partner restricts your activities, isolates you from friends, and displays jealous behavior, he or she may eventually rape and/or beat you.

•Talk with your friends about ways you’ve learned to prevent rape and violence.

Protecting your partner and friends :
•Respect your partner’s feelings and needs. Don’t pressure anyone to go beyond the limits she or he has set. Listen carefully to your partner and ask for clarification if your partner seems unclear or is giving you a ‘mixed message’.

•Respect the person when she or he says “No” to sexual activity and comply. “No” does not mean “Yes”; “No” means “No”.

•If you see someone in a vulnerable position, find a non-threatening way to help. Don’t ignore a potential case of rape– get involved if you believe someone is at risk.

•With alcohol and drugs, remember that they can interfere with your ability to assess situations and to communicate effectively. If you have sex with a person under these conditions, the situation could be understood as rape, meaning trauma and legal consequences could result.

•Be careful in group situations- resist pressure from friends to participate in or be subjected to violent or criminal acts.

•Specifically for men, don’t make assumptions about a woman’s behavior. Don’t automatically assume a woman wants to have sex just because she drinks heavily, dresses provocatively, OR agrees to go back to your room.

•Don’t assume that just because a person has had sex with you previously she or he is willing to have sex with you again. Don’t assume that just because your partner consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies that she or he is willing to have sexual intercourse.”

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'80s Alum June 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm

This will drive most of you nuts (as it did me), but, quite a recent conversation starter: AEI intern (female) debunking some of the extreme stances of some Rape Culture activists. Should be watched along with a counterpoint piece like the U. Conn stories which highlight just how bad and damaging rape is at some well known national schools.

http://youtu.be/vNVFz2evpq8

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'80s Alum June 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Some very interesting and powerful points, mostly in the 2nd Half of this Ontario, CANADA clip. This should be watched by all incoming Frosh over the summer. “Rape is NOT inevitable” is my fave quotation. http://youtu.be/PVitdIUVmHg

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Sad Alum June 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Messrs. Swart & Hillman,
As two of the more senior and reasonable alums on this issue to date, I hope you will make use of this info with Tbe Deans, Trustees, etc. to try and prevent the return of this now 23 (???) yr. old hockey star to Williams: it is publicly avail. info through the local Police Dept. records on the marijuana bust that: a) there were 2 adults of 21 and one minor of 20 conspiring to smoke and hide the smoking of POT in a car at night in a parking lot (i.e. our hockey playing 21 yr. old was not at home lying in bed reading Pliny or The Odyssey and enjoying a harmless joint from homegrown pot); b) all three presumably planned to drive home in their cars, stoned — and we don’t knkw how stoned, but if you’re busted at 10pm in a car in a parkimg lot, smoking pot was limely the focus of your evening as opposed to slipping in a quick toke before going off to a movie or concert…. —- and thus putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk by driving stoned. To those of us who spend aloy of time on roads as hikers, cyclists and drivers… this is just gauling that THAT ALONE is not a violation of the Code of Conduct. c) the pot bust in Oct. 2013 was approx. one year (sic: 12 months AFTER the alleged penetrative drunken, drugged (per Lexie) rape. One year to consider one’s actions and future course, and you get CRIMINALLY busted for pot and corrupting a minor of 20? Is there a snowball’s chance in Hell of a 17 yr. old being admitted to Williams initially with a date-rape and a criminal parking lot automobile venue pot bust on one’s record. Be real. I also have to ask

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'80s Alum June 17, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Messrs. Swart & Hillman,
As two of the more senior and reasonable alums on this issue to date, I hope you will make use of this info with Tbe Deans, Trustees, etc. to try and prevent the return of this now 23 (???) yr. old hockey star to Williams: it is publicly avail. info through the local Police Dept. records on the marijuana bust that: a) there were 2 adults of 21 and one minor of 20 conspiring to smoke and hide the smoking of POT in a car at night in a parking lot (i.e. our hockey playing 21 yr. old was not at home lying in bed reading Pliny or The Odyssey and enjoying a harmless joint from homegrown pot); b) all three presumably planned to drive home in their cars, stoned — and we don’t know ‘how stoned’, but if you’re busted at 10pm in a car in a parking lot, smoking pot was likely the focus of your evening as opposed to slipping in a quick toke before going off to a movie or concert…. —- and thus putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk by driving stoned. To those of us who spend alot of time on roads as hikers, cyclists and drivers… this is just gauling that THAT ALONE is not a violation of the Williams Code of Conduct. c) the pot bust in Oct. 2013 was approx. one year (sic: 12 months) AFTER the alleged penetrative drunken, drugged (per Lexie) rape. One year to consider one’s actions and future course, and you get CRIMINALLY busted for pot and corrupting a minor of 20? Is there a snowball’s chance in Hell of a 17 yr. old being admitted to Williams initially with a date-rape and a criminal parking lot automobile venue pot bust on one’s record? Be real.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 18, 2014 at 10:22 am

You know, I have to hand it to you to appeal to the more senior and reasonable members of the Alumni Community.

When will you try to appeal to the better natures of this community?

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Charles Kronick '91 June 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

You know, I have to hand it to you *for appealing to appeal to the more senior and reasonable members of the Alumni Community.

When will you try to appeal to the better natures of this community?

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'80s Alum June 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Charles, What I meant was two-fold: i think it’s clear a Class of ’56 would have some gravitas in discussing Code of Conduct violations with the Deans; and Ken has been a thoughtful and value-added commenter on the issues… in a reasoned way. Switching gears, what is your opinion on whether the criminal pot bust as detaed above is, or should be, a Code violation. (Whew… made it all the way thru that without using “PRIMA FACIE.” :-) )

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Charles Kronick '91 June 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Gravitas is associated with wealth. If you want a heavy response, sure, let the rich guys weigh in. (I’m probably too poor to be having this conversation.)

If you want value-added, print the comments out and save them for your wood stove. Otherwise, be cheap and toss in a free youtube video. (Bonus Point: Who said this: “Boring banks give lollipops, exciting banks want you to buy a smart phone.”)

Why sure, make getting caught with weed a Code Violation, and make it retroactive to 1957. Toss the bum out for having dirty thoughts, messing with coeds, and smoking weed. But, toss all of them out. You’ll be left with a school population of 49, all of them 100% milk fed.

Charles Kronick '91 June 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

In fact, I’m beginning to agree with you. We could have saved our nation from Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea too with just this modification.

Except, Bill is a liar and he must have inhaled. A poor man from Arkansas would not waste.

So, you’ll be back to 2000 students, 49 honest milk fed ones and the rest liars.

Mike June 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

God help us all.

“As two of the more senior and reasonable alums on this issue to date, I hope you will make use of this info with Tbe Deans, Trustees, etc. to try and prevent the return of this now 23 (???) yr.”: He’s now 22(!!!), Inspector Clouseau. The issue of age seems of great concern to the many weighing in on this case; yet nobody seems able to get it right. Very puzzling.

“As two of the more senior and reasonable alums on this issue to date, I hope you will make use of this info with Tbe Deans, Trustees, etc. to try and prevent the return of this now 23 (???) yr.”: As an “80’s Alum” in possession of this “bombshell” information, your plea for help in it’s utilization is, again, puzzling.

Are you concerned that you are not “senior enough”? Are you concerned that you are not “reasonable enough”? Not “a thoughtful and value added commentator”? Not in possession of enough “gravitas”? Not mature enough as an ’80s Alum? Not an alum at all?

Fear not. You are not alone. I share with you all of these concerns about you.

As I said to you before, I would not be comfortable with you on my side in any discussion….regardless of which side I was on.

Give it a rest. This will play itself out as it will play itself out. Your awkward and seemingly compulsive posts add nothing.

'80s Alum June 19, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Dear Mike & Charles, I respect your views on leniency toward recreational pot and lifestyles. I do. I get it. I’ve shown some good humor to you both in my replies, yes? I’M NOT talking about a poor kid on scholarship like a young Paresky, or a rich kid (a Bronfman heir ‘doing ‘shrooms,’ perchance, for rhetorical illustration only) in her dorm-room smoking a homemade joint. Wealth not part of this. Not. Not. Not. I’ve lived in big cities around the world, not ‘corn-fed’ farm towns in the Mid-West.
But I AM asking you guys who have given this VERY serious issue (ask the 25-50 ladies who get raped every year in Williamstown per Dean Falk’s data), WHERE is the line on Conduct? Give a real example, please.

Would you ask the Deans not to let a SUSPENDED student back, if:

a) he/she was DEALING minor-offense drugs (pot, small amount of coke) in a public area to minors?

b) she was using pot just as described above in a car where driving the likely next step, but happened to get really stoned and she killed an elderly person walking on side of road at night on her way home? Killed a teen? Killed your friend?

c) brandished a loaded firearm, while either a bit drunk or a bit stoned, to show off or scare some bullies at a bar’s parking lot while a bit drunk, but nothing happened?
d) as above “c”, but something clicked in his brain and he shot dead an innocent person, maybe your 22 yr. old relative?

e) dealing instantly addictive “crystal meth” or “rock crack” to minors? To adults?
f) making “crystal meth” or “rock crack” to sell to dealers?

g) another drug or booze or both rape event with someone 17 where he again says “you know, I’m not really at fault” What if with an adult woman?

Seriously, as an Alum, where do you draw a Conduct line showing repeat problem behavior?

With respect, looking forward to your sincere judgment, not a shot at me, ’cause this will likely come up again in the future. Where is the line?

Mike June 19, 2014 at 11:44 pm

“Where is the line?”. Apparently on some other planet in a different solar system.

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Mike June 19, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Please don’t ‘respect my views’…it creeps me out.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 20, 2014 at 12:17 am

You’re a cold man, Mike.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 20, 2014 at 12:14 am

Alum of the Eighties:

Here is my semi-considered response. I’m confused by the awkward use of the negative. It is confusing for some reason.

No, no(1), no, no, no, no, no, and not up to me. I think being under 25 is a valid excuse for displaying repeat problem behavior. The brain doesn’t even complete its development until that age.

If off campus, and beyond the jurisdiction of the College Judicial Branch, you get tried in a real Court. There’s a prosecutor, judge, and lawyers. You’re also innocent unless a Judge or jury says otherwise. If the charge is serious, you may not be attending school in order to face your accuser. If you’re convicted, you may have to postpone your educational plan. The rest is up to the Code Of Conduct. Not that students are capable of having a code of conduct. Perhaps the most successful never buy into that sort of thing.(2)


1) Too many laws based on hoplophobia. I oppose any attempt to inculcate them into the campuses. Plus, females should be able to purchase mace at any grocery store, but in our nanny state, they must get personal permission from a police chief, pay $50 to the state for a license, and submit her fingerprints to the Fed. And pass a background check which of course she will fail since it checks to make sure she never inhaled the stuff.

After all that, she will have to go to dreaded FFL – a gun store! oh my! – and make the discreet purchase tendered in a plain paper bag and wear a disguise or she’ll be shunned by the professors and students alike.

As is inevitable with ad hominem arguments that go on too long, eventually one member hopes to disarm his or her opponent by seizing the moment by conjuring an modest act of violence (A) associated with post-feudal weaponry. I will look aside so long as you agree to keep your hands out of my pockets.

2) I recall walking to Baxter Hall one day, not a good one for me for a variety of reasons.(B) I was hard up for cash but had some in my pocket. Namely, a $20 bill. Acquaintances including John V. ‘9X and some other guy may attest to my fiduciary trials. Proceeding, a friendly woman behind me said, “Why thank you, Sir!” which I ignored since my name was never Sir. Soon after, I realized she thanked me because that beloved $20 bill fell from my pocket and she concluded that I had intended it for her. They say, ‘what falls into the briny deep belongs to he who finds it,’ but I was cheesed and decided henceforth not to trust anybody with a $20 bill.

A) “Something just happened your honor. I just shot him even though he was innocent. I’m guilty of shooting a perfectly innocent and unarmed man.” That’s modest, isn’t it? As opposed to the man who came home and found his nephew with a gun demanding his money. The kid then shot him in the stomach since he refused, but the uncle got to his ak 47 and gave him back what he took with interest. That’s less modest. Then there were the debauched murders in Pittsfield State Forest during Hurricane Irene, guns were produced as a mercy. The forensics could not determined how or when the victims perished. That was not modest at all. Then there was the classmate who played with pipe bombs during the summer. Apparently, he was poorly educated in the combustible behavior of powder and blew himself into a million pieces, so he couldn’t come back. The Code Of Conduct never got to be tested.

B) I cannot recall what was troubling that day, but there are extenuation circumstances that had included the following: I was a college student. I was about 21. I was going to Baxter Hall.

I’m not taking a shot at you. The lines have already been drawn.

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Prospective student's parent June 23, 2014 at 12:10 am

Lawyers are now filing civil cases against universities just like they did against the Roman Catholic church. These are 10 million dollar cases. And, given this hockey player has raped at least once, a credible case will be easy to build should he rape again. While it doesn’t shock me that a university doesn’t act in the best interest of a victim, it seems it isn’t acting in its own best interest either. Certainly this hockey player isn’t worth the risk.

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Charles Kronick '91 June 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Yes, if athletic coaches rape young boys and the school administration covers up for them, lawyers are likely the only avenue to justice. The case surrounding Penn State was not a civil case though, was it?

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'80s Alum July 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Dear “Prospective Student’s Parent,”

a) you are entirely right. I have a friend who handled the claims against the Cath. church in NY area. Suffice to say, the staggering amount of settlement money reported in the media, ain’t even close. Not even same Zip Code….

b) below is very good info to share with teens on their way to college:

“YOUR VAGINA IS NOT A CAR !
HIS ANUS IS NOT A CAR !

(Very informative TEDx lecture on Rape Culture. a MUST-WATCH. )
http://youtu.be/ATISgVUKetI

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Charles Kronick '91 July 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

’80’s Alum:

You win. Your comments are obscene and I’m unsubscribing.

Congratulations.

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'80s Alum June 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

OMGosh…. you unwashed 99%er stoners really are in need of a good joint. I give up. You win. Laws don’t matter. Externalities don’t matter. Ethics don’t matter. Actions have no consequences on campuses or on suspension/expulsion/probation.

The Williams “Administration” has made it’s bed, I guess. You’re right: I guess we just watch this play out. Sorry for trying to have “some balls.”

Best to you both. Don’t forget to de-seed your weed and clean your bong screens. But please stay off Rt. 2, 7 and 43 during Homecoming Weekend! :-)

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Charles Kronick '91 June 25, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Dude, what gives? Take a chill pill.

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