Students on financial aid face uncertainty as College transitions to online learning

In the days following the College’s announcement that it will move to remote learning, students receiving financial aid faced uncertainty as they prepared to return home without the resources available to them on campus. 

When Megan Siedman ’20 heard the news, she immediately went to Weston Hall to figure out how online learning would affect her aid package. Like many students, administrators in the Office of Financial Aid were also scrambling, and the first 48 hours after the announcement were filled with confusion.

In Other Ivory Towers: NESCAC grading systems

In Other Ivory Towers is the Record’s look at colleges and universities outside the Purple Bubble. This week, we are covering other NESCAC schools’ grading policies in light of decisions to transition to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of publication, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton and Trinity had not yet announced changes to grading systems. Here’s what other NESCACs decided:

Universal pass/fail

Yesterday, President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced that Williams will transition to a universal pass/fail system for all students in all courses.

First member of College community tests positive for COVID-19

The College confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the Williams community yesterday morning. 

The student, who at the time of publication remains asymptomatic according to the College, had been studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, but returned to campus last Saturday to pick up their car and drive it home the next day. While on campus, the student interacted with other members of the College community, including at Sensation Hoxsey, an annual daytime street party that occurred on Saturday.

Coronavirus pandemic causes mass cancellations of abroad programs

A day after announcing the end of in-person classes in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the College cancelled the Williams-Exeter Programme in Oxford (WEPO) for the spring on Thursday and urged students studying in Europe to return home. Most programs in Europe have told students to head home, and the College’s senior staff is assessing courses of action regarding programs outside of Europe.

WEPO tells its 26 students to leave Oxford

The Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford (WEPO) announced to its 26 students today that they should return home by Wednesday, March 18, after the completion of the current term this Saturday. Students will complete their final term, which is scheduled to begin on April 26, online.

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.

Membreno ’12 discusses experience as first-gen student at the College

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.