During the hardest of times and facing insurmountable challenges, those who keep Williams running have risen to the occasion. That having been said, no plan is perfect.
In our June 6 statement “In solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” our editorial board expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called on the College, its students and its alumni to make monetary donations. We made a donation as well, giving to three organizations that support grassroots journalism and journalists of color: the Marshall Project, the National Association of Black Journalists and Unicorn Riot.
For us at the Record, as for the rest of the Williams community, the past several months have been tumultuous. Since we departed campus, scattering ourselves around the country and globe, the Record board has been wrestling with how to provide trustworthy and compassionate journalism during a trying time.
Over the past two months, our publication schedule, our editorial process and much of our content has shifted.
We commend the College’s decision to move to a universal pass/fail system, which we believe is the best way to account for the unevenly distributed challenges to students’ lives posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe it is critical to continue sharing our community’s stories. In doing so, we will seek to shine a spotlight on both the physical campus and the dispersed Williams community. We plan to report ethically and compassionately, both with the knowledge of our shared struggles and with the consistent goal of faithful and accurate journalism. As we continue to publish, we welcome any questions, comments or concerns regarding our coverage.
In what direction is our community headed over the next 10 and 15 years? How will the College improve to become more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and transparent?
Three Pillars: Imperfect but improved; The Record endorses Task Force proposal, despite shortcomings
Voting on a referendum that offers the choice between two distinct paths forward for student governance at the College opened last Sunday and will close on Friday night. A Yes vote would abolish College Council (CC) and endorse the Three Pillars Plan, a proposal put forth by a student-elected Task Force to create three elected bodies that fulfill and reform the primary functions of CC.
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.
Last week, students circulated a petition calling for a boycott of classes taught by the English department that do not “engage critically with minority issues.” The petition came directly following Professor of English John Kleiner reading a quote including the N-word in class. It also includes recent criticisms of the department concerning issues with the number of positions, hiring and experiences of faculty who specialize in minoritized literature, student experiences within English classes themselves and the curriculum of the department.
Given the substantive lack of composting options in and around the College and Williamstown as a whole, we at the Record believe that the College and town should develop a more holistic solution to managing and reducing waste. We hope that productive solutions will prioritize waste reduction, awareness and stewardship in the community.
Composting is a process by which organic matter is broken down to create natural fertilizer for farmers, as well as to fill for construction projects.
As College Council (CC) begins its fall term following the chaos and controversy of last semester, we encourage its members to consider the following issues and suggestions. We recognize that there is much work and thought required to restore confidence in CC and acknowledge that this list is not comprehensive, but hope that it is a constructive first step as CC begins reform.