What Mountain Day will look like in a pandemic

Every October, students start hypothesizing about which of the first three Fridays of the month will be Mountain Day, but this year, many were unsure if Mountain Day would even happen due to COVID-19. However, after months of planning for a pandemic-safe day of hiking and getting outdoors, many Mountain Day traditions live on, with a few key changes.

Eight JAs step down to study remotely or take time off

In a normal year, only one or two Junior Advisors (JAs) choose to step down from their role after accepting it. But due to campus restrictions and the option to study remotely or take time off, eight students decided to step down in July, days after the deadline to enroll on campus.

JAs push for first-year affinity spaces

As the College prepares for an in-person fall semester, a large majority of Junior Advisors (JAs) is pressing the College administration to implement changes to the entry system for the 2020-21 academic year, including an affinity housing model for first-year students. Many JAs have raised their concerns with Dean of First Year Students Christopher Sewell ’05 and have asked for a commitment on affinity housing prior to July 10, the deadline for students to announce whether they will return to campus in the fall.

First Days, entry system, JA role modified for fall semester

With the College’s decision to welcome students back for an in-person but socially distanced fall semester will inevitably come changes to first-year student traditions, including EphVentures, the entry system and the role of Junior Advisors (JAs). The College’s decision to make First Days fully virtual will affect first-year students’ transitions into college this coming fall, while JAs currently worry that their role is evolving in detrimental ways due to potential changes to the entry system.

Seniors celebrate graduation off-campus

While an in-person commencement for the class of 2020 has officially been pushed to an unknown future date, some seniors, including Ennis and his friends, are making their own plans to celebrate their graduation off-campus in the weeks to come.

Faculty on sabbatical change plans due to COVID-19

Through all of her 28 years at the College, Professor of Political Science Cathy Johnson knows the ins and outs of the sabbatical. She, like many seasoned professors, has gone on more than she can count. But Johnson’s current sabbatical has proven to be different from the rest.

Love in the time of COVID-19

Since the campus closure, many student couples have had to trade dates at Images and Blue Mango for virtual Netflix parties and FaceTime baking. From first-years who have just begun dating, to seniors who are planning their post-college lives together, all Williams couples — even those in quarantine together — are adapting their relationships to find the best ways to be together while apart.

JA excursions revamped into one-on-one video calls

At this point in the school year, Junior Advisors (JAs) to the next year’s freshman class would typically be in the midst of JA excursions, or “dates,” with the goal of determining who they want to work with in a co-group next year. JA dates usually entail meeting up with a group of three to six JAs and doing an activity on campus together. However, due to most students being off campus as a result of COVID-19, these excursions look very different this year.

One in Two Thousand: Will McCormick ’23

We randomly select unixes from a list of all current students at the College for our weekly One in Two Thousand. So long as the owner of a selected unix is willing to be interviewed and not a member of the Record board, that person becomes the subject of our interview. For this week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Will McCormick ’23, who is at home in Brookline, Mass.