Students bedeck campus in googly eyes

Nigel Jaffe

On salt shakers and staircases, computer mouses and hot chocolate machines, spread from Driscoll to Hollander and in plenty of spots in between, a legion of faces has arisen on campus. Googly eyes are out in force, bringing a subtle touch of personification to even the College’s most barren paper towel dispensers.

Although several students have claimed credit for the installations, attempts to identify the artist behind the original set of eyes point to Lizzie Ferguson ’22. At first, most of her work was confined to the belongings of people she knew, but her ambitions quickly expanded. “It started in early January when I decorated a teammate’s locker,” she said. “After that, I did a friend’s door, and now my mission is to do the entire campus.”

She acknowledged that her aims are unconventional. “I never thought my college experience would just be me sticking googly eyes on everything.”

Her next target was my laptop case. “Your stickers hold a lot of opportunities,” she said, noting  the wide variety of music-related stickers that adorned my case. My sticker of Neil Young’s head got the honor of its own pair of eyes.

Other students have joined Ferguson in decorating the campus with googly eyes, with many contributions coming from members of prank collective Williams Anarchists for Fun and Lighthearted Entertaining Surprises (WAFFLES). Speaking on behalf of the group, Owen Foster ’22 hesitated to provide specifics on its role in the campaign. “We only put up one googly eye at a time, but we have no idea who’s adding the second one,” he said. “Sounds like a mystery!”

Although Ferguson works independently of WAFFLES, she doesn’t see them as competition, instead welcoming the added efforts. “It’s all in good fun,” she said. “We’re like one big googly eye family.” 

Ferguson said she hopes that the googly eyes provide amusement and comfort amidst the hectic lifestyle students face at the College. “I like to think of them as little friends,” she said. “Like a support system all around campus. Williams is hard, and it’s good to have support.”

Her goal for the future is similarly wholesome: “Bring peace and happiness to campus, one – rather, two – googly eyes at a time.”