We must do better

When students from the Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall on April 4, 1969, the Record published an editorial that day responding to the students’ demands for, among other things, the formation of an Afro-American studies department and affinity housing for students of marginalized identities. The editorial offered broad support to the majority of the Afro-American Society’s demands but couched its language in calls for moderation and critiques of the “uncompromising tone” of student activists, terming them “a narrow and selfish interest group.” 

This was hardly an isolated incident.

On the need for affinity housing

Creating space for minoritized students

On Friday, the Coalition Against Racist Education (CARE) Now released an open letter to the Board of Trustees with a list of 12 demands calling upon the College’s trustees to fulfill their “obligation to the well-being and safety of its students, faculty and staff.” A group of student activists seeking to continue “in the legacy of Black-led organizing efforts on the Williams College campus,” CARE Now was formed last year, its name recognizing the original CARE movement that occupied Jenness House in 1988. CARE Now’s letter indicates ways in which students believe the College can work toward making the College a less harmful place for those of marginalized identities and to take steps toward becoming a more inclusive institution.

Bolin Fellows find sense of community, productivity in writing residency

The Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowship was established in 1985 to recognize Gaius Charles Bolin, an 1889 graduate and the first Black student admitted to the College. Now, some 34 years later, the Bolin fellowship continues to honor Bolin’s legacy by promoting diversity among faculty, accepting two to three fellows each year from underrepresented backgrounds. 

This year, Prisca Gayles, the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Africana studies, begins a two-year residency at the College designed for fellows to finish their dissertations and to hone their teaching and research skills.

Push for affinity housing builds

Students at the College have articulated a vision for living spaces of affinity around a common identity – including but not limited to race, culture and sexuality – as an antidote to feelings of tokenization and isolation that students say the College’s current housing options fail to address. Students say that they have began conversations on affinity housing last spring with administrators, who say that affinity housing will be a key topic of consideration as the College moves forward in the strategic planning process.

Letter to the Editor

To the editor: 

I am writing to express my exasperation regarding the op-ed “Standing against the right of return: Analyzing the logical inconsistencies in BDS’ arguments,” published in the Record last week. I am a proud Jewish student, and I stand in unwavering solidarity with the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and the Palestinian Right of Return.

Conference explores democracy, freedom

Panelists address “Pluralism, Economy and the Public Sphere” as part of the conference on democracy and freedom. SABRINE BRISMEUR/PHOTO EDITOR

On Saturday, the College hosted a conference, “Democracy and Freedom Between Past and Future,” that explored the meanings of the terms “democracy” and “freedom” within the contexts of slavery, gender, class and power.

CC pressed on racial bias in funding

At Tuesday evening’s College Council (CC) meeting, a student publicly called for accountability from CC for its conduct at its April 9 meeting and its funding process for a student-led event for Black admitted students during the College’s scheduled Previews period. Isabel Peña ’19 called for CC to “establish a permanent fund to support efforts like Black Previews,” to investigate the conduct of Office of Student Life (OSL) Associate Director Mike Bodnarik and implement bias training for CC.