College restores full dorm card access

Fiona Seibert

A lack of significant changes in party activity led the College to restore student swipe access after two weeks of restrictions. (Rachel Buccalo/The Williams Record)

Student card access to all residential buildings was restored on Oct. 8, Chief Communications Officer Jim Reische announced in an email to the campus community.

The College originally revoked universal card access to residential buildings on Sept. 24 in the wake of student concerns about drink tampering, though the College did not receive any firsthand reports of such behavior. According to Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom, the College made the decision to restrict access in response to student worries, largely those of Junior Advisors (JAs), who had heard from students who suspected that their drinks had been drugged at parties. 

“In addition to sending a campus-wide email that just reminded students what the resources were, we wanted to temporarily help students feel like they had more control over who was at their parties,” Sandstrom said.

After two weeks with limited dorm access, the College found that the restrictions did not make a significant difference in party activity. Sandstrom said that, judging from Campus Safety Services reports, there were a similar number of large parties and a similar number of students being medically transported for alcohol-related incidents during this period. Restricting card access also negatively affected Registered Student Organizations that routinely meet in spaces where none of the students live, Sandstrom added.

Sandstrom said the administration, in attempting to prevent drink tampering, has also provided resources to educate students on how to manage parties.

“Sometimes [students] have every intention of having a small gathering, but other students hear about it, and it can be really hard for students to turn them away because they don’t want to feel like they’re being exclusionary, but then [the parties] quickly can become out of control,” she said. “We want to just help students feel like they have the ability to manage who comes to parties that are meant to be small.”

If you are experiencing symptoms that could indicate drink tampering, please ask for medical assistance from CSS at 413-597-444 or from EMS at 911. The College’s medical amnesty policy protects students who seek medical care for themselves from disciplinary action.

If you would like support relating to sexual assault, you can reach out to Sexual Assault Survivor Services at Williams (413-597-3000).