The Williams Record

Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson resigns following months-long outcry over WPD misconduct

Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson resigns following months-long outcry over WPD misconduct

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Rebecca Tauber December 14, 2020
Kyle Johnson has resigned from his position as Williamstown Police Department (WPD) chief, Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced at tonight’s Select Board meeting. Hoch announced that WPD Lieutenant Mike Ziemba would take responsibilities for Johnson as interim chief. In the meantime, local residents called during the meeting for a nationwide search for a new police chief.
Amid dissent, Town Manager Hoch retains WPD Chief Johnson

Amid dissent, Town Manager Hoch retains WPD Chief Johnson

Johnson apologizes, announces investigation into new report that WPD officer shared racist Facebook posts
Jack McGovern, Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Ella Marx November 11, 2020
At a Williamstown Select Board meeting on Oct. 26, Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced his decision to retain Kyle Johnson as the chief of the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). The announcement comes as Johnson faces allegations of sexual assault and racial harassment in a federal lawsuit filed in August, and as local police accountability organizers have called for his removal. Following this announcement, in a Monday Select Board meeting, Johnson apologized for “some poor judgement” early in his tenure, and “tolerating and participating in behaviors that should never have occurred in the workplace.” He also said that an investigation had been initiated into new reports that a WPD officer shared racist posts on Facebook.
After student criticism and external audit, CSS proposes reforms

After student criticism and external audit, CSS proposes reforms

Jeongyoon Han November 11, 2020
Campus Safety and Security (CSS) has proposed changes to its organizational structure and purview which would go into effect this academic year, some that have been already implemented and others to be enacted later this year.
Margolis Healy & Associates, an external firm, found Campus Safety and Security to have ambiguous and vague responsibilities. (Devika Goel/The Williams Record.)

External firm releases recommendations based on audit of CSS

Jeongyoon Han October 28, 2020
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

Notes From Quarantine

Jeongyoon Han and Arjun Pothuri October 15, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/embed/py65gFIWH20 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...

One in Two Thousand: Madeline Rawson ’21

One in Two Thousand: Madeline Rawson ’21

Jeongyoon Han October 7, 2020
This week the computer (using a script in R) chose Madeline Rawson ’21, who discussed gender and race in academia, the study abroad experience, her Etsy shop and seven houseplants.
Town denies allegations against WPD chief, admits 2014 racial harassment incident

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

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Lucy Walker August 30, 2020
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

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

Jeongyoon Han and Kevin Yang August 12, 2020
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.

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

Jeongyoon Han and Lucy Walker July 15, 2020
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

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

Jeongyoon Han, Rebecca Tauber, and Annie Lu June 24, 2020
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

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

Nigel Jaffe and Jeongyoon Han June 7, 2020
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.
Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

At an extraordinary faculty meeting Wednesday, faculty overwhelmingly approved a motion put forward by the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA) to temporarily adjust graduation requirements, allowing students who are enrolled next year to graduate with a minimum of 30 courses and three Winter Study credits.
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