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.”
Faculty members have been asked to inform the College by yesterday, June 20, whether they would teach in person or remotely if the campus were to reopen in the fall. The academic subcommittee of the working group tasked with determining what an on-campus fall would look like sent an all-faculty email on June 10 to address curricular planning in the case that campus reopens in the fall. The College has not yet decided whether or not to open campus in the fall, with the decision deadline still set for July 1.
In an all-faculty meeting on Wednesday, President Maud S. Mandel announced that she is strongly considering adopting either a trimester or a three-semester model for the 2020-2021 academic calendar. This adjustment to the academic calendar, Mandel said, has the potential to mitigate some of the difficulties posed to the College by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mandel emphasized in a later interview with the Record that no final determination on the academic calendar has been reached, but that both the trimester and the three-semester systems are under serious consideration.
As the spring semester nears its end, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the coming academic year remains unclear, making plans for first-year orientation programs uncertain. Ephventures organizers have been forced to push off their planning until a decision is made regarding the fall semester, which President Maud S. Mandel will announce by July 1.
As institutions of higher education across the world are grappling with the question of reopening in the fall, the College has developed a plan to work toward a decision.
In a faculty meeting conducted over Zoom last Wednesday, President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced the creation of an ad hoc committee tasked with planning alternative options if in-person classes cannot resume in September due to the pandemic. She tasked another committee with planning for next semester based on the assumption that students will return, in order to create a potential plan that will ensure the safety of students and faculty living on campus.
Soraya Membreno ’12 gave a talk last Thursday on her experience as a first-generation immigrant of color at the College titled “These are the things that no one tells you: On navigating primarily white institutions (PWIs) & what comes after.”
Approximately 10 people came to the talk, allowing Membreno to give a more casual presentation that encouraged participants to enter into open dialogue.
She began with the story of her graduation. “It was a day that I realized that as much as I thought I had figured it out, I really hadn’t,” Membreno said.
On Sunday, March 1, the Three Pillars Task Force released the results of its most recent election, which determined the members of the Williams Student Union and the Facilitators for Allocating Student Taxes (FAST).
On Monday, Feb. 24, self-nominations for positions within the Facilitators for Allocating Student Taxes (FAST) and the Williams Student Union, two bodies of the newly structured student government, were released.
The faculty voted last Wednesday to change the weighting of an A+ grade from 4.33 to 4.00. The motion, led by the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA), was presented at the Feb. 12 faculty meeting by Professor of Philosophy and committee chair Bojana Mladenovic.