External firm releases recommendations based on audit of CSS

An external audit conducted on Campus Safety and Security (CSS) released recommendations this spring on improving relations between CSS and the College community, and has critiqued CSS as being under-resourced and having vague and overly broad responsibilities. These recommendations come at a time when, according to a report from the audit, there is a need to restore “legitimacy and trust in the department.”

Notes From Quarantine


This year’s move-in for the 1,455 College students who returned to campus was no ordinary one. For some, it was their first time moving in, for others, their last, but all arrived to a changed campus.

Town denies allegations against WPD chief, admits 2014 racial harassment incident

While the Town acknowledged that McGowan’s lawsuit “raises genuine questions or doubts about the Town’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and racial equity,” their response –– the second public statement made by the five-person board on the lawsuit –– disputes several of McGowan’s characterizations of incidents. Additionally, it denies allegations that Johnson committed sexual assault or racial harassment, and claims that McGowan did not experience retaliation for reporting and opposing alleged incidents of sexual assault and racial harassment.

Lawsuit brought by WPD sergeant alleges sexual assault, racial harassment by Williamstown Police Chief and unnamed officers

A sergeant at the Williamstown Police Department (WPD), Scott McGowan, filed a federal lawsuit today against the Department, WPD Chief Kyle Johnson, Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch and the Town of Williamstown for what McGowan described as retaliation against McGowan for reporting instances of racial harassment and sexual assault allegedly committed by both unnamed WPD officers and Johnson.

The College released its data on fall enrollment. It reveals disparities by race and financial aid status.

According to enrollment plans that 2,254 students submitted by a July 10 deadline, approximately 73 percent of the respondents, or approximately 1645 students, indicated that they would be returning to campus during the 2020-21 academic year–– a figure which Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom in an email to the Record said will be “a noticeable difference for all of us.”

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

Last Wednesday and today at two extraordinary faculty meetings held on Zoom, President Maud S. Mandel and Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom gave updates on next year’s academic calendar and faculty voted on changes to the class schedule and Pass/Fail policy, as the College figures out what next academic year will look like amidst the pandemic.

Here are the main takeaways from the meetings.

College faces criticism for response to national BLM movement as Amherst establishes matching campaign

At a time when predominantly white institutions across the nation are responding to widespread protests denouncing police brutality and anti-Black racism, members of the Williams community — particularly students and alums — are placing increased pressure on the College administration to hold itself accountable for what they see as its delayed and limited support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.