Three Pillars or new ironic columns? Why splintering student government is not the answer

Behind Lawrence Hall and the Williams College Museum of Art stand the “ironic columns,” so named because their Ionic capitals in truth support nothing but the air above them. With the Task Force on Student Governance’s pending “Three Pillars” plan to abolish College Council (CC), I worry that these three pillars might turn out to be all too much like the ironic columns: ornate in appearance but unable to bear the weight of the work they’re tasked with.

A letter from the editor: Why town and gown matter

I remember, when I first found out about Williams College, wondering whether the town was named after the College or the College after the town; I later found out that Ephraim Williams, in a display of extraordinary humility, dictated that both the College and the town be named after him. Truly, neither the chicken nor the egg came first.

Interim Catholic ministry takes shape

Chaplain to the College and Protestant Chaplain Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer recently announced interim arrangements for the College’s Catholic ministry, following the departure of former Catholic Chaplain Fr. Gary Caster in May.

Denise Buell leaves role as dean of faculty

Dean of the Faculty Denise Buell will leave her post in June. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.)

Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Religion Denise Buell will step down from the dean’s post in June 2020, returning to her role as Cluett Professor of Religion where she teaches and researches the history of early Christianity. Buell’s departure, which was announced to the College’s faculty last week, comes after the second year of her second three-year term in the role.

College resolves federal investigation of antisemitism in WIFI registration


The College entered into a resolution agreement with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on July 3 to resolve a complaint filed against the College alleging discrimination in the College Council (CC)’s refusal to grant registered student organization (RSO) status to the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI). The complaint had alleged that CC’s decision on WIFI constituted discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity against Jewish students, a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal statute preventing racial discrimination in programs receiving federal assistance. 

Per the resolution agreement, the College did not admit to violating Title VI, nor did OCR make any findings of fact about whether the College violated the law.

Letter from the editor

We at the Record are thrilled to begin another semester in the Purple Valley, and I am personally grateful to have this opportunity to address our readership at the beginning of my time as editor-in-chief. My goal for this time is simple: to publish good, truthful and important stories.