If you have walked or driven around Williamstown this fall, you have likely spotted lawn signs bearing the names of those who campaigned for last week’s elections for seats on the Mount Greylock School Committee. With campaigns rooted in promises of guidance and support during unusual times, the election results will bring both new and old faces (some of whom are members of the College community) to the regional public school system’s leadership.
10:36 p.m. Mt. Hope Mansion: An officer responded to an intrusion alarm.
In light of recent federal Title IX changes, the College held a Zoom session on Oct. 21, led by Assistant Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator Toya Camacho, to spread information on how these changes might affect those who wish to report sexual assault. The changes were first announced by the U.S. Department of Education on May 6 and took effect on Aug. 14. According to Camacho, it was the first time in 19 years that major revisions had been made to Title IX regulations.
Behind Poker Flats, construction on the College’s first community garden has finally begun. Initially started in 2018, the project was temporarily stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring. Now, although the community garden will face limitations on spacing and participation in light of public health guidelines, the garden should be finished by the end of the calendar year, with plots available for planting next spring. Unlike Parsons Garden and the beds on the north side of the Environmental Center — existing student-run gardens on campus — the community garden will be open for Williamstown community members to plant their own plots alongside students, faculty and staff.
On Thursday, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University Dr. Ruha Benjamin delivered the Davis Center’s annual lecture, which features a scholar whose work explores race, class and education. Named after anthropologist W. Allison Davis ’24 and political scientist John A. Davis ’33, two distinguished Black alums of the College notable for their contributions to the civil rights movement, the lecture offers insight to the College community on important topics pertaining to racial identity, equity and injustice.
This past week, Wesleyan University raised their COVID-19 alert levels to yellow due to changing circumstances regarding the pandemic in Middletown, Conn., where Wesleyan is located. The university was previously at a green level, the lowest, but was raised to yellow, the second level of a three-tiered scale. Additionally this week, Connecticut College faced its largest-ever increase in infections. Both fellow NESCAC schools have implemented similar pandemic restrictions as Williams College, but due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, they have been forced to heighten awareness about the potential risk for outbreaks among students, faculty and staff.
8:19 p.m. Currier Hall: An officer responded to a window alarm in the East Ballroom.
8:25 p.m. The Log: The staff at The Log by Ramunto’s reported that the signs for the restaurant had been stolen. The metal bracket that the signs were attached to remains.
In most Berkshire County races, voters aren’t given any choices. In Williamstown, Neal, state Sen. Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield) and state Rep. John Barrett (D-North Adams) will all be re-elected without major-party opposition; all three similarly escaped without Republican opponents in 2018. In fact, none of the five state legislators representing Berkshire County — all Democrats — face opponents this year.
On Thursday afternoon, a staff member of the College received a hate letter at their home. The letter communicated an explicit threat of violence, as well as racist and anti-LGBTQIA language, and targeted the racial identity, gender identity and sexual orientation of the staff member in graphic terms.
When the College first transitioned to remote learning last March and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered state schools to close in response to the pandemic, the Record spoke with a number of professors about how they were caring for their children while juggling remote learning. Now that the College has settled into an unconventional fall semester, we followed up with some faculty and staff about how their routines have evolved.