The Williams Record

Editorial Board

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As a difficult semester winds down, advice for the College on student mental health

As a difficult semester winds down, advice for the College on student mental health

December 9, 2020
As we reflect on all of the ways that the semester was successful and express gratitude to those who made it so, we also want to point to one area in which the College can do better.
It’s time to remove the WPD chief and hold the town government accountable

It’s time to remove the WPD chief and hold the town government accountable

November 18, 2020

Editor’s note: This editorial mentions instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment, racism and anti-Semitism. The racial harassment of a Black student. A photograph of Hitler hung in a station...

Make Election Day a College holiday

Make Election Day a College holiday

October 28, 2020

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, many College students, faculty and staff who are eligible to vote are preparing to cast their ballots in person. In future years, the College should make...

The continuous model can work – if the faculty respects health days

The continuous model can work – if the faculty respects health days

October 21, 2020

Though it may still feel a lifetime away, the spring semester is fast approaching — and with it come many momentous decisions about how the College will operate. The first of those decisions came last...

A call to students and the administration on social distancing

A call to students and the administration on social distancing

October 7, 2020

120 unmasked students gathered near Poker Flats on Sept. 8.  No distancing. No masks. While community-spreading within our campus has not yet happened, our networks of friends, families...

Holding the Record accountable: reckoning with race and its intersections with journalism

Holding the Record accountable: reckoning with race and its intersections with journalism

August 25, 2020

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...

On the College’s plan for the fall: A note of thanks and a call for answers

On the College’s plan for the fall: A note of thanks and a call for answers

August 19, 2020

In recent days, a growing number of colleges and universities have halted their original plans to bring students back to campus this fall in what one Middlebury student-journalist has termed “The Great...

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Where the Record, and the College, have faltered, and necessary next steps

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Where the Record, and the College, have faltered, and necessary next steps

June 6, 2020

Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. Tamir Rice. Oscar Grant. These are the names of only a few of the Black people who have become victims of state-sanctioned police brutality. The...

The College’s plan leaves student voices unheard and questions unanswered

The College’s plan leaves student voices unheard and questions unanswered

May 21, 2020

They didn’t ask the students. In our editorial last week, we urged the College to reach out purposefully to students before making decisions about next year. We affirmed that safety concerns and...

Before deciding on fall plans, ask the students

Before deciding on fall plans, ask the students

May 13, 2020

As a tumultuous spring semester concludes, our scattered community has started shifting its attention to the fall. Will students be able to return to campus in September? If so, under what conditions?...

Universal pass/fail is the best grading option for the spring semester

Universal pass/fail is the best grading option for the spring semester

March 25, 2020

Yesterday, President Maud S. Mandel announced that the College would follow peer institutions such as Bowdoin, Columbia, Dartmouth, Smith and Wellesley by instituting a system in which all classes will...

Why Strategic Planning matters: On taking charge of the College’s future

Why Strategic Planning matters: On taking charge of the College’s future

February 26, 2020

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? On Feb. 12, President of the...

Three Pillars: Imperfect but improved; The Record endorses Task Force proposal, despite shortcomings

Three Pillars: Imperfect but improved; The Record endorses Task Force proposal, despite shortcomings

February 12, 2020

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...

Toward a better English department

Toward a better English department

November 6, 2019

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...

Town, gown and trash: Improving composting at the  College and in Williamstown

Town, gown and trash: Improving composting at the College and in Williamstown

October 30, 2019

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...

Called to action by the climate strike: The College must divest

Called to action by the climate strike: The College must divest

September 25, 2019

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...

Editorial: Calling for more transparency, accountability in discipline for sexual assault

Editorial: Calling for more transparency, accountability in discipline for sexual assault

September 18, 2019

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. 6, and has since sentenced...

Restoring campus trust: Working toward a better student-CSS relationship

Restoring campus trust: Working toward a better student-CSS relationship

May 8, 2019

Recent campus events and activism have highlighted a history of fraught relations between Campus Safety and Security (CSS) and minoritized students, particularly Black and Brown students, at the College....

Toward fairness and accountability

Toward fairness and accountability

May 1, 2019

Last Tuesday, College Council (CC) denied Williams Initiative for Israel’s (WIFI) request to become a registered student organization. CC members voted anonymously, and only three council members participated...

We must do better

We must do better

April 17, 2019

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...

On the need for affinity housing

On the need for affinity housing

April 17, 2019

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...

Building an equitable  community: Making change to ensure staff can thrive

Building an equitable community: Making change to ensure staff can thrive

April 3, 2019

Williams College claims as its mission, “to provide the finest possible liberal arts education.”  Achieving this lofty goal depends not just upon the students and faculty, but – crucially –...

The time is now: Calling for the College to act upon recommendations and make Asian American studies a reality

The time is now: Calling for the College to act upon recommendations and make Asian American studies a reality

February 27, 2019

In its recent report on the status of Asian American studies (AAS) at the College, a Curricular Planning Committee (CPC) working group recommended that the College make two tenure-track appointments for...

Centering inclusiveness in the  College’s educational mission: A call for renewed attention to issues of  minority faculty and staff well-being

Centering inclusiveness in the College’s educational mission: A call for renewed attention to issues of minority faculty and staff well-being

February 13, 2019

With the recent leaves of Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Kai Green ’07 and Assistant Professor of English Kimberly Love, the College’s need to foster an inclusive environment...

Addressing Title IX changes: Why we must oppose the weakening of crucial protections

Addressing Title IX changes: Why we must oppose the weakening of crucial protections

January 23, 2019

In addition to our main editorial this week, the Record’s editorial board wishes to recognize the College’s Board of Trustees for allowing students to replace any one summer earnings contribution...

On the Chicago Statement: Recognizing nuance and encouraging collaborative conversations around expression

On the Chicago Statement: Recognizing nuance and encouraging collaborative conversations around expression

December 5, 2018

In recent weeks, a faculty petition has circulated, recommending that the College adopt the Chicago Statement, a series of policies regarding disinvitation of speakers penned by the University of Chicago....

On the cancellation of 'Beast Thing': Considering representation and affirming our commitment to uplifting student voices

On the cancellation of ‘Beast Thing’: Considering representation and affirming our commitment to uplifting student voices

November 14, 2018

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...

Upholding trans rights: Why we must vote ‘yes’ on Question 3 and stand in solidarity with trans individuals

Upholding trans rights: Why we must vote ‘yes’ on Question 3 and stand in solidarity with trans individuals

October 31, 2018

On Nov. 6, Massachusetts voters will decide on three ballot initiatives, the third of which aims to repeal anti-discrimination protections under the Commonwealth’s law for transgender and gender non-conforming...

Making summer accessible: Evaluating the burden caused by the College’s summer earnings requirement

Making summer accessible: Evaluating the burden caused by the College’s summer earnings requirement

October 17, 2018

Recently, students have brought up concerns over the College’s summer earnings requirement – the part of a student’s expected family contribution each year to be paid from money earned over the summer....

Reframing the story: On the chance for Storyboard to self-reflect and the dangers of tokenization

Reframing the story: On the chance for Storyboard to self-reflect and the dangers of tokenization

October 3, 2018

Last week, Storyboard, the student-run group that puts on Storytime, announced that it will be suspending Storytime in order to consider the purpose it serves in the College community and how Storytime...

Rethinking academic dishonor: Considering new policies on reporting Honor Code infractions

Rethinking academic dishonor: Considering new policies on reporting Honor Code infractions

September 19, 2018

As part of a wider restructuring of the College’s disciplinary policies, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom recently announced updated guidelines on infractions considered to be “reportable,”...

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