The Williams Record

Annie Lu, Executive Editor for News

Annie Lu ’23 is a prospective political science and mathematics major from San Diego, Calif. She is the executive editor for news and previously served as a section editor for the news section.

Email: [email protected]

All content by Annie Lu
Two students who tested positive for COVID-19 were isolated for 10 days in McGinnis House, which was previously occupied by graduate art students. (Ella Marx/The Williams Record)

2 weeks, 11 cases: COVID cases rise among students

College sees first evidence of community transmission
February 24, 2021
Eleven on-campus students have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving for the spring semester, a significant increase relative to the number of COVID cases reported at a comparable time in the fall.  Seven of this semester’s cases were reported upon arrival, with the remaining four positives occurring after the student had initially tested negative. Three of those students, who at first moved to quarantine in Dodd House after coming into close contact with COVID-positive students, have since tested positive themselves and moved to isolation. One staff or faculty member tested positive on Feb. 15.
Students returning to campus experienced a slightly different transition from that in the fall, including the ability to retrieve meals from the dining hall during in-room quarantine. (Sam Riley/The Williams Record)

Students returning to campus confront travel challenges, look forward to semester

Seven students test positive upon arrival
February 17, 2021
The College began welcoming students back to campus on Feb. 10 after a prolonged winter break. As of Feb. 16, 1,723 students are enrolled on campus for the spring semester. Seven students tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, and two more tested positive afterward. Twenty additional students, whose initial COVID tests were negative, have moved to quarantine housing because they came into close contact with students who tested positive.
Fred Puddester, VP for finance and administration, to retire in August

Fred Puddester, VP for finance and administration, to retire in August

February 10, 2021
After ten years at the College, Vice President for Finance and Administration Fred Puddester will retire this August, President Maud S. Mandel announced in an email to the College community on Jan. 29. The College will conduct a national search for his successor in the meantime.
Spring semester to start as scheduled; College plans to hold in-person commencement

Spring semester to start as scheduled; College plans to hold in-person commencement

January 28, 2021
The spring semester will start as previously scheduled, with students returning to campus beginning Feb. 10, President of the College Maud S. Mandel and Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom announced today in an email to students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, the College plans to hold an in-person commencement for seniors, albeit with no off-campus guests.
The Williams College Children's Center closed down for ten days after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.)

COVID-19 case temporarily closes Children’s Center, causing uncertainty for faculty, staff

January 23, 2021
The Children’s Center, a College-run childcare facility for faculty and staff, was closed from Jan. 10 until Jan. 19 after a staff member at the Center tested positive for COVID-19. While the Center has since reopened with no further positive cases reported, the closure was a stark reminder of the childcare challenges that College employees with young children have faced during the pandemic.
Answers to your questions about spring semester changes

Answers to your questions about spring semester changes

January 20, 2021
In light of the recent email from Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom to students, faculty, and staff, the Record compiled a list of answers to reader-submitted questions regarding plans for the spring semester.
Rioters stormed the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, ultimately resulting in five deaths. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Insurrection, impeachment and a reckoning: Alums on Capitol Hill reflect on recent events

January 18, 2021
On Jan. 6, Rep. Andy Levin ’83 (D-MI) was in his Washington office at the Cannon House Office Building — preparing to speak against Republicans’ attempt to overturn Michigan’s presidential election results — when he heard a knock at the door. A Capitol Police officer stepped in and told everyone to evacuate. For Levin and his fellow lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the remainder of that day passed by in a state of chaos, confusion and, for some, danger.
The College may consider delaying the arrival of students to campus. (Kevin Yang/The Williams Record)

Sandstrom announces potentially delayed arrival, greater restrictions on socializing, other changes to spring semester

January 15, 2021
If COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and across the country continue to rise, the College may consider delaying students’ arrival to campus, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom announced in an email to students, staff, faculty, and families.
Nine staff, faculty test positive for COVID since early December

Nine staff, faculty test positive for COVID since early December

January 11, 2021
In the weeks since most students departed campus at the end of November, the College has reported an increase in the number of COVID cases among faculty and staff from three to 12, according to the College’s COVID dashboard. 
Approximately 83 percent of the student body indicated that they planned to enroll on campus in the spring. (Lulu Whitmore/The Williams Record)

Student enrollment plans suggest increased population on campus in the spring

December 9, 2020
1,824 undergraduates plan to be on campus during the spring semester, a significant increase from the fall.
Graphic courtesy of Rachel Buccalo.

Approval ratings survey reveals broad approval of College’s COVID response

December 9, 2020
The results of the survey revealed broad approval of the College’s response to COVID-19, though most institutions experienced a decrease in approval as compared to last spring.
With most students leaving campus behind, the Record looks back on the semester’s positive COVID tests. (Devika Goel/The Williams Record)

One semester, ten cases: A timeline

November 25, 2020

With most students leaving campus behind, the Record looks back on the semester’s positive COVID tests. (Devika Goel/The Williams Record) Fourteen weeks since students first arrived on campus...

Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

November 11, 2020

Close contacts of students who test positive at the College move to Dodd House to quarantine for two weeks. (Joey Fox/The Williams Record.) In October, two more students at the College...

On-campus students, faculty and staff came together to honor Ronningen in a memorial service on Paresky lawn. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.)

College mourns death of Jackson Ronningen ’24

November 11, 2020

On-campus students, faculty and staff came together to honor Ronningen in a memorial service on Paresky lawn. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.) Last Sunday, members of the College community came...

College begins building community garden behind Poker Flats

College begins building community garden behind Poker Flats

November 4, 2020

Behind Poker Flats, construction on the College’s first community garden has finally begun. Initially started in 2018, the project was temporarily stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring....

The Williams College Children's Center closed down for ten days after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.)

Two months into the fall semester, faculty, staff reflect on childcare

October 28, 2020

The Williams College Children's Center, which closed in March, has since re-opened with modified hours and staffing to accommodate public health protocols. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.) When...

Students frequently share meals under the tent outside Paresky, which has now been equipped with heaters. (Sophie Throop/The Williams Record.)

College adds heaters, walls to tents for outdoor dining

October 21, 2020

Students frequently share meals under the tent outside Paresky, which has now been equipped with heaters. (Sophie Throop/The Williams Record.) On sunny days, students can be seen sprawled across Paresky...

Faculty vote to adopt continuous model for spring semester, replacing spring break with “health days”

Faculty vote to adopt continuous model for spring semester, replacing spring break with “health days”

October 14, 2020

In a meeting today, the faculty voted to adopt the continuous model for the spring academic calendar, one of two proposed models for next semester. The Calendar and Scheduling Committee (CSC) has been...

Faculty to vote on spring 2021 calendar; students express preference for continuous model

Faculty to vote on spring 2021 calendar; students express preference for continuous model

October 14, 2020

(Joey Fox/The Williams Record) The faculty will vote in a meeting today to adopt one of two models for the spring 2021 academic calendar, both of which the Calendar and Scheduling Committee (CSC) have...

Travel regulations and teaching over Zoom: language fellows and teaching associates navigate COVID

Travel regulations and teaching over Zoom: language fellows and teaching associates navigate COVID

October 7, 2020

Every fall, the Asian Studies department hosts an in-person celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a cultural activity which involves sharing mooncakes with students. In light of the pandemic, that has...

College slightly loosens travel restrictions, increases testing to twice weekly

College slightly loosens travel restrictions, increases testing to twice weekly

September 30, 2020

Beginning Oct. 5, students will be able to travel for limited purposes in the zone indicated on this map, which Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom linked to in her all-campus email. (Screenshot by...

Students have been gathering in large groups that violate the 10-person limit imposed by COVID guidelines. (The Williams Record)

Large gatherings of students violated the public health guidelines. The College’s response has been spotty.

September 30, 2020

Students have been gathering in large groups that violate the 10-person limit imposed by COVID guidelines. (The Williams Record) If you walk past Frosh Quad at 11 p.m. on a Friday, you’ll...

This year's convocation ceremony was presented virtually. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.)

College honors class of 2021, awards Bicentennial Medal in virtual convocation ceremony

September 16, 2020

This year's convocation ceremony was presented virtually. (Photo courtesy of Williams College.) Last Saturday, the College inaugurated the 2020-2021 academic year with the annual convocation ceremony,...

A breakdown of the changes to cost and financial aid this academic year

A breakdown of the changes to cost and financial aid this academic year

July 8, 2020

The College announced last week that it will decrease the cost of tuition by 15 percent this coming academic year, waive the work-study contribution and provide a personal allowance to all students on...

What the fall semester’s health guidelines will look like — and how the College will maintain them

What the fall semester’s health guidelines will look like — and how the College will maintain them

July 7, 2020

(Graphic by Nigel Jaffe/The Williams Record.) Though students have been invited back to Williamstown for the fall semester, the campus that awaits them will be dramatically different from the one they...

BREAKING: Williams announces plan to reconvene on campus for fall semester, with reduced tuition

BREAKING: Williams announces plan to reconvene on campus for fall semester, with reduced tuition

June 29, 2020

The College has announced that it will reopen the campus to students for the fall semester, though with stringent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and with a 15 percent lower cost of attendance.(Photo...

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

June 24, 2020

Last Wednesday and today at two extraordinary faculty meetings held on Zoom, President Maud S. Mandel and Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom gave updates on next year’s academic calendar and faculty...

Faculty face choice between in-person and remote instruction if campus reopens

Faculty face choice between in-person and remote instruction if campus reopens

June 21, 2020

Faculty members have been asked to inform the College by yesterday, June 20, whether they would teach in person or remotely if the campus were to reopen in the fall. The academic subcommittee of the working...

Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

May 28, 2020

Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record At an extraordinary faculty meeting Wednesday, faculty overwhelmingly approved a motion put forward by the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA) to temporarily adjust...

In the absence of an in-person commencement this year, seniors reflect on the ceremony and its significance to them. (Kevin Zhang Yang/The Williams Record)

“It doesn’t feel like as much of a triumph”: Seniors reflect on graduating without commencement

May 23, 2020

In the absence of an in-person commencement this year, seniors reflect on the ceremony and its significance to them. (Kevin Zhang Yang/The Williams Record) Since the College announced its decision...

Student body elects TABLE and Honor and Discipline Committee members

Student body elects TABLE and Honor and Discipline Committee members

May 20, 2020

Last Sunday, the Task Force on Student Governance announced the results of the most recent elections for The Advisory Board for Lobbying and Elections (TABLE) and the Honor and Discipline Committee, which...

Students’ study abroad plans remain in flux amidst fall planning

Students’ study abroad plans remain in flux amidst fall planning

May 16, 2020

While faculty and staff deliberate on various contingency plans for the upcoming semester, many students are also waiting on word from their study abroad programs. Rising juniors who planned to study...

College considers trimester or three-semester calendar for 2020-2021 academic year

College considers trimester or three-semester calendar for 2020-2021 academic year

May 14, 2020

In an all-faculty meeting on Wednesday, President Maud S. Mandel announced that she is strongly considering adopting either a trimester or a three-semester model for the 2020-2021 academic calendar....

JOEY FOX / THE WILLIAMS RECORD

Record survey results elucidate student views on potential fall plans

May 13, 2020

The Record’s survey measured student opinion on various possibilities for the fall semester in the event that students cannot return to campus. Starting the semester with a remote Winter Study ranked...

Professor Thoman records himself doing the laboratory experiments for his chemistry students. (Photo courtesy of Jay Thoman.)

Division III courses adapt laboratory activities to online learning

May 6, 2020

Professor Thoman records himself doing the laboratory experiments for his chemistry students. (Photo courtesy of Jay Thoman.) Collecting specimens from local frog ponds in the Berkshires, manipulating...

The Quiet Green at Brown University. President of Brown University Christina Paxson wrote an op-ed arguing for the reopening of college campuses in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Farragutful/Wikimedia Commons.)

In Other Ivory Towers: Planning for the fall

April 29, 2020

The Quiet Green at Brown University. President of Brown University Christina Paxson wrote an op-ed arguing for the reopening of college campuses in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Farragutful/Wikimedia Commons.) In...

A closer look at the College’s adjustments to on-campus summer programming

A closer look at the College’s adjustments to on-campus summer programming

April 23, 2020

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the College has been forced to make large-scale changes to both spring and summer scheduling. An all-campus email sent by Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom...

Williams for Williamstown delivered meals from the Purple Pub to workers at Berkshire Medical Center on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Eliza Bower.)

Student-run Williams for Williamstown feeds Berkshire Medical Center staff while supporting local restaurants

April 15, 2020

Williams for Williamstown delivered meals from the Purple Pub to workers at Berkshire Medical Center on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Eliza Bower.) While many students spent their spring break adjusting...

Professor of Geosciences Phoebe Cohen is taking care of her son Wilder while teaching remotely (Photo courtesy of Phoebe Cohen.)

Professors balance remote teaching with childcare as Massachusetts schools close

April 8, 2020

Professor of Geosciences Phoebe Cohen is taking care of her son Wilder while teaching remotely. (Photo courtesy of Phoebe Cohen.) Following Gov. Charlie Baker’s March 15 order for schools across...

College orders all non-essential staff to cease on-campus work

College orders all non-essential staff to cease on-campus work

April 1, 2020

Non-essential staff at the College have been directed by Human Resources to work remotely. (Kevin Yang/The Williams Record) Since Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order on March...

Colloquium requirement in computer science, mathematics and statistics adjusts to remote learning

Colloquium requirement in computer science, mathematics and statistics adjusts to remote learning

April 1, 2020

In the wake of the College’s shift to remote learning, many aspects of academic life remain in question, including the fate of the colloquium requirement the computer science and mathematics and statistics departments. Under...

In Other Ivory Towers

In Other Ivory Towers

March 11, 2020

This week, colleges and universities across the U.S. cancelled classes due to the spread of the coronavirus. Middlebury and Amherst Amherst announced to students that all classes will be moved online...

Anonymous student sues College over alleged Title IX violation in sexual misconduct case

Anonymous student sues College over alleged Title IX violation in sexual misconduct case

March 4, 2020

On Feb. 18, an anonymous plaintiff under the pseudonym John Doe filed a lawsuit against the College. The lawsuit alleges that the College violated Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 by suspending...

College hires tenured professor in expansion of Asian American studies

College hires tenured professor in expansion of Asian American studies

February 26, 2020

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAN PADIOS. Jan Padios will be joining the faculty in the 2020-2021 school year as a tenured American studies professor. Jan Padios, a professor of American studies at the University...

Admissions and Davis Center pilot tour route change

Admissions and Davis Center pilot tour route change

February 19, 2020

The office of admission and the Davis Center recently piloted a route change to admissions tours to include Morley Circle. DANNY JIN/THE WILLIAMS RECORD Over Winter Study, the office of admission...

Williams Forum hosts open discussion on university athletic recruitment

Williams Forum hosts open discussion on university athletic recruitment

January 29, 2020

Students gathered in Schapiro for the Forum event on athletic recruitment, moderated by representatives from ThinkerAnalytix. Annie Lu/THE WILLIAMS RECORD The Williams Forum hosted a conversation...

College releases draft of stricter guidelines for animals on campus

College releases draft of stricter guidelines for animals on campus

November 6, 2019

Alfie, who lives on Hoxsey Street, is among the pets who would be affected by the proposed rules. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Stone.) The College released a draft of new guidelines for on-campus animals...

Community, College join Global Climate Strike

Community, College join Global Climate Strike

September 25, 2019

Students at the college, as well students from local students, gathered on the steps of Paresky to call for environmental action. (Ethan Dinçer/The Williams Record) Members of the Williamstown community,...

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