Remote physical education (PE) classes began this week, in an effort to allow seniors still in need of PE credit to fulfill their requirements and to provide other students with a healthy option for exercise amidst social distancing. The athletics department announced in March in an all-student email that it will continue to offer five PE classes in digital form.
Since Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order on March 23 ordering all nonessential businesses in the state to close due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the College were directed to work remotely unless their in-person services are determined to be essential. Staff duties had already been significantly altered following the departure of most students from campus.
As colleges and universities around the country were forced to close or move to remote learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, international fellowships and scholarships have similarly paused their programs and encouraged students to return home.
Mandel mandates most students leave campus by Tuesday, announces transition to remote learning after spring break due to coronavirus pandemic
For the first time in over 50 years, the College has decided to disrupt normal operations mid-semester in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced in an email on Wednesday morning that the College would require most students to leave campus indefinitely by next Tuesday, March 17, three days before students were slated to leave for spring break.
As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) has increased to five in Berkshire County and over 1,000 nationwide, the College is scrambling to implement academic and administrative measures to maintain the safety of the College community.
Avery Sharpe, who is retiring this year after 10 years teaching bass, leading jazz ensembles and advising the College’s gospel choir, held a performance of his album 400 last Thursday alongside a band of fellow music professors, students and guests. The album, which was released in 2019, includes 10 songs, nine originals and one arrangement, and was designed to encapsulate 400 years of black history in America.
Last Wednesday, President Maud S. Mandel sent an email to students, faculty and staff announcing the public release of draft strategic planning reports, marking a new phase in the multi-year strategic planning process.
In a Claiming Williams event last Thursday examining the Difference, Power and Equity (DPE) requirement, approximately 40 students, faculty members and administrators reviewed the history of the requirement and discussed potential reforms. The event, called “Reworking the DPE Requirement,” was planned and hosted by Michael Nettesheim ’20, Sim Sohal ’20 and Summer-Solstice Thomas ’20, who could not be in attendance. Sohal and Nettesheim opened the event by sharing their own thoughts on the requirement, which mandates that all students enrolled at the College take at least one DPE-designated course before graduation.
With 22 elected officials and 63 employees, the government of Williamstown is the third largest institution in the town, surpassed only by the College and the school district. But for many College students, who are not registered to vote in the town and who only have limited interactions with its government, the bureaucracy can seem difficult to understand.
This past week, the Record sent out its semiannual approval ratings survey, giving students the options of “approve,” “disapprove” and “neutral” for a variety of campus institutions. Of the 500 randomly-selected students to whom the survey was emailed, 192 responded, a response rate of 38 percent.
For consistency, the fall 2019 approval ratings survey will be compared to the fall 2018 survey rather than spring 2019, unless otherwise noted.