As I left campus in mid-March, packing up my belongings in a daze and scrambling to say goodbyes, there was one thought constantly circulating through my head: I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a senior right now.
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.
In a Sept. 5 email, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom notified students of revised and updated policies for campus protest, postings and speakers, citing the administration’s desire to be “as clear and transparent as possible in describing [its] policies around freedom of expression.” While we at the Record appreciate these efforts in increased clarity, we believe the lack of student input in developing these policies, the ambivalent language of the policies themselves and the potential chilling effect of threatened disciplinary action alongside this vagueness all pose serious concerns to student activism at the College.
Friday’s climate strike at the College and the broader Global Climate Strike movement call attention to the necessity for leaders to take meaningful action on the climate crisis. We thank the organizers of the strike for their work in forefronting this issue in campus consciousness.
In 2014, Yoonsang Bae ’17 sexually assaulted another student while on campus. After lengthy legal proceedings, the Berkshire Superior Court found him guilty of rape on Sept.