Young people are the beating heart of society. Together, we are a beacon of progress and change for a future that seems in dire need of a revolutionary spirit and revival.
“Aliquid non in linguā Latinā (something not in Latin).” Mia Holtze ’22
“Juul pro omnibus (Juul for all).”
On George H. W. Bush
To the editor:
The nephew of George H.W. Bush graduated from Williams in 1996, which is why we were able to get the former president as commencement speaker. Bush by this point was something of a cliché, a one-term president remembered mostly for the uncanny way that Dana Carvey imitated his wooden speaking style on Saturday Night Live. As he mounted the stage, protected by Secret Service agents concealed in academic robes, the students eyed him curiously. Before the commencement address, there were three talks by students, and the last speaker startled us. He opened with the customary salutation (“parents, friends, honored guests, members of the class of 1996”), began his speech, and then interrupted himself: “Excuse me; I committed a faux pas. I forgot to acknowledge that we have a distinguished president on stage.” He repeated the salutation, adding one more name: “and our distinguished college president, Hank Payne.”
Nervous laughter rose from the gathered parents, and he gave a sheepish look: “Yes, I know. That was very rude of me. I should have mentioned that we have a distinguished ex-president here on stage.” Again he launched into his salutation, this time adding the name of “our distinguished former president, Frank Oakley.” There was an audible gasp.
On the cancellation of the play Beast Thing
To the Editor:
Over the past couple of decades, I’ve witnessed unfortunate declines in the quality of theater at the College, but it has reached a new low. When I started reading the Record’s reportage of the canceled production of Beast Thing (“Theatre department cancels Beast Thing,” Nov.
Since before you ever set foot on campus, you have probably heard about the power of the “Eph network.” “Networking” can be a loaded term – sounding daunting, impersonal and self-serving. Yet networking, or relationship building or connecting, is in fact something you do already and is key to success and happiness.
On the cancellation of ‘Beast Thing’: Considering representation and affirming our commitment to uplifting student voices
Last week, the College’s theatre department cancelled its fall show, Beast Thing, in response to students’ concerns about the play’s potentially traumatizing content and their experiences in the show.
Many students involved in the show expressed frustration with their inability to bring their concerns about the show’s content and overall working process to the creative team. The theatre department has a responsibility to treat students with respect and to make sure that their concerns are not being invalidated or de-legitimized.
Pieces of this appeared quoted in last week’s news article (“Theatre department cancels ‘Beast Thing,’” Nov. 7), but here are my fuller explanations.
In 1969, members of the Williams Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall, refusing to leave until College president John Edward Sawyer agreed to address their 15 demands. These demands included the creation of a Black studies program, hiring additional Black faculty, recruiting more Black students and creating a Black cultural center in which Black students could live.
In 2015, many faculty at the University of Chicago agreed with, and signed, a statement advocating that the university not ban speakers. Faculty at other institutions have since voted to adopt similar statements, and one has been circulating among faculty at the College.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have taken three seminars in my first semester at the College. I got a bit overzealous in planning my classes, and might have taken on more reading than a person would reasonably want to do in a single semester.