Letter from the editor: A return to print, 18 months later

Irene Loewenson

The last day the Record came out in print was March 11, 2020: the day Williams students got the email sending us off campus, the day the United States banned travel from Europe, the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the day the world seemed to be ending. The world didn’t end, but it did change.

And so, on a much less monumental level, did the Record. Since the Record became an online-only publication in March 2020, we have started to report on breaking news events as they unfold, created a team dedicated to Williamstown news, and greatly expanded our staff. I believe these changes have been for the better, and we will keep them in place this semester. But one way the Record will be different this fall, as compared to the last year and a half is that we are once again producing print issues.

The main reason we decided to revive the print version of the Record is to reach more readers. There are some students who would never check williamsrecord.com on a Wednesday morning but do flip through the print issue in a dining hall over breakfast. Some members of this community — faculty and staff in particular — have told us that they strongly prefer the print version of the Record. Moreover, people are more likely to read beyond the most eye-catching news stories when they have a physical copy of the paper in front of them.

Just as the Record is returning to something like its pre-pandemic routines, so, too, is the College. This is the first time since March 2020 that the College is convening fully in person. Readjusting to in-person campus life — and, for newer members of this community, just plain adjusting to it — will bring its own challenges, especially amid the surging Delta variant. We will continue to report on the long off-ramp out of the pandemic. It is also important to us to reflect on the tragedies of the last year: in particular, the deaths of three members of the Class of 2024. We hope to honor these students’ lives in the coming weeks.

Our goal is to celebrate that which is good about Williams (and Williamstown), to bring to light that which is not good, and to push Williams to be a better community. We will strive to do our reporting with integrity. Fairness, accuracy, respect — these values matter to us and guide our work. But student journalists are, of course, still students, and we are always learning. If you ever take issue with an aspect of our reporting, please let us know by writing a letter to the editor, filling out our online comment form, or emailing a member of the editorial board.

After all, we depend on this community for feedback, just as we depend on it in many other ways. Is there something you hope the Record covers? Our editors would love to hear from you. Do you feel strongly about some issue? Whether you are a student, professor, staff member, alum, or Williamstown resident, we welcome you to submit an op-ed or a letter to the editor.

Something that has not changed for me since March 2020: I am still proud of the journalism the Record produces, proud to work with the many wonderful people who make the Record possible, and proud to help report on a community I care about.


Irene Loewenson ’22


Email: [email protected]