We must do better

When students from the Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall on April 4, 1969, the Record published an editorial that day responding to the students’ demands for, among other things, the formation of an Afro-American studies department and affinity housing for students of marginalized identities. The editorial offered broad support to the majority of the Afro-American Society’s demands but couched its language in calls for moderation and critiques of the “uncompromising tone” of student activists, terming them “a narrow and selfish interest group.” 

This was hardly an isolated incident.

On the need for affinity housing

Creating space for minoritized students

On Friday, the Coalition Against Racist Education (CARE) Now released an open letter to the Board of Trustees with a list of 12 demands calling upon the College’s trustees to fulfill their “obligation to the well-being and safety of its students, faculty and staff.” A group of student activists seeking to continue “in the legacy of Black-led organizing efforts on the Williams College campus,” CARE Now was formed last year, its name recognizing the original CARE movement that occupied Jenness House in 1988. CARE Now’s letter indicates ways in which students believe the College can work toward making the College a less harmful place for those of marginalized identities and to take steps toward becoming a more inclusive institution.

CC pressed on racial bias in funding

At Tuesday evening’s College Council (CC) meeting, a student publicly called for accountability from CC for its conduct at its April 9 meeting and its funding process for a student-led event for Black admitted students during the College’s scheduled Previews period. Isabel Peña ’19 called for CC to “establish a permanent fund to support efforts like Black Previews,” to investigate the conduct of Office of Student Life (OSL) Associate Director Mike Bodnarik and implement bias training for CC.

CARE Now demands formal response from Trustees to twelve-point open letter

On Friday morning, Coalition Against Racist Education Now (CARE Now), a self-described “active and growing collective of student activists born out of resistance to the 2018 faculty petition on free speech,” sent an open letter of 12 demands to the College’s Board of Trustees in an email to the student body. The letter demanded a “formal and public response by the Board of Trustees” addressing CARE Now’s twelve objectives by today.

Students of color raise concerns about CSS

Black students and students of color have, as early as 2017, expressed discontents in experiences with Campus Safety and Security (CSS) that they believe demonstrated implicit bias. Students and administrators are collaborating in hopes to begin listening sessions among CSS, Vice President for Campus Life Steve Klass and those who have reported negative interactions with CSS.

We forget ourselves under the title: Reimagining student governance at the College

We forget what College Council is – a body fashioned after the flaws of institution. Student management positions have always been breadcrumbs, approved by and handed to us by administrators as some figment of autonomy, their main function to be an intermediary, to redirect the energy or concerns of the student body away from the administration back onto itself (Record articles from 1914, 1934).