Four Years through the Headlines: Capturing the Class of 2020’s experience

Members of the Class of 2020 have seen two United States presidents, three College presidents and two different forms of student government during their four years at the College. They’ve celebrated two homecoming wins, danced to Shaggy live at Spring Fling and witnessed Papa Smurf win a write-in nomination for College Council (CC) –– which later got abolished. They’ve seen the fall of Vine and the rise of TikTok. And most recently, they’ve become the first class to complete their Williams education remotely amidst a pandemic.

In our senior issue celebrating the members of the Class of 2020, we went through the Record archives from the past four years to capture their time at the College through the headlines.

Pandemic brings financial uncertainty to students and their families

Jesus Estrada ’20.5 lives with his mother and sister in Huntington Park, Calif. Estrada’s mother provides most of the family’s income, and as an employee at a fast-food chain, she’s classified as an essential worker. But she also has diabetes, a condition that makes her more vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19.

Miles Apart: Four stories of the pandemic

A note from the reporters:

In the weeks after students dispersed across the globe in light of the pandemic, the Record sent out a survey to 500 randomly selected students to get a sense of their living situations. We received hundreds of responses, revealing some of the many ways COVID-19 has affected our lives.

Three Williams students experienced COVID-19 symptoms. These are their stories.

While many students at the College have felt the effects of COVID-19 from afar — financially, emotionally, academically — relatively few have come into close contact with the virus itself. But for three students, it has become intimately familiar. Tania Calle ’20, Kalina Harden ’21 and Max Mallett ’23 all experienced telltale coronavirus symptoms and either lived in or passed through an epicenter of the virus.

The pandemic in the Berkshires in three charts

In recent weeks, Berkshire County, like the rest of Massachusetts, has seen a continued increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH). The figures below show the current severity of the outbreak at the local and state levels. Map and bar graph data is courtesy of the Massachusetts DPH, and pie chart data is courtesy of Berkshire Health Systems. Both sites update their numbers daily; the figures for this article were most recently updated yesterday afternoon.

What is a pass? Professors have different answers

Passing Abstract Algebra, a 300-level mathematics class which is a prerequisite for several other courses, has remained demanding for many during this semester of remote learning.

In a shift from his normal pass/fail policy where an average grade of D- constitutes a pass, Professor of Mathematics Tom Garrity is requiring that his students pass each content unit of the course. Concerned about content comprehension, Garrity said that he is looking for his students to make “a good faith effort” on the remaining two exams and final

How staff at the College prepared for the changes that came with campus closure

With President of the College Maud S. Mandel’s March 11 decision to bring normal College operations to a halt, staff at the College faced one of the biggest tasks in their entire careers: shutting down an in-person college campus and moving 2,000 students off campus, all while keeping the College running. And it has been a task that the College had been planning far in advance of Mandel’s email.