The Williams Record

Izzy Polanco, Editor-in-Chief

Izzy Polanco 25 is a political science major and public health concentrator from Long Island, N.Y. She is the editor-in-chief. Previously, she served as the executive editor of sports, the staff director, a section editor for the sports section, and before that, as an arts staff writer. She can be reached via email at [email protected] and on Twitter at @izzypolanco.

All content by Izzy Polanco
Tatiana Geroulanou/The Williams Record

Davis Center complex to reopen in February following two-year renovation

Luke Chinman, Palvasha Khan, and Izzy Polanco January 24, 2024
The Davis Center is set to reopen next month, following nearly two years of expansion. The $27.5 million project included renovations to Jenness House and Rice House, as well as the construction of an additional, yet-to-be-named building to replace Hardy House and a bridge to connect the new building to Rice.
Letter from the Editor:  A renewed pledge in a changing landscape

Letter from the Editor: A renewed pledge in a changing landscape

Izzy Polanco January 24, 2024
In a Letter from the Editor, Editor-in-Chief Izzy Polanco '25 discusses the Record's new approach to Race, Privilege, and Identity reporting, the role of student journalism, and changes to the editorial board.
The wins against Connecticut College mark women’s ice hockey’s first NESCAC sweep since winning in December 2021 against Hamilton. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Women’s ice hockey sweeps doubleheader against Connecticut College, improving win streak to three

Izzy Polanco December 6, 2023
Women’s ice hockey (3- 1-0, 3-1-0 NESCAC) swept last weekend’s doubleheader against the Connecticut College Camels (2-3-1, 1-3-0 NESCAC). With the victories, the Ephs stand at second in the NESCAC and No. 20 nationally among NCAA Div. III teams.
Both cross country teams secured top finishes at the NCAA Championship.
(Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

This week in playoffs: XC secures top finishes at NCAA Div. III National Championships, volleyball narrowly knocke​​d out by Salisbury

Dilay Kalınoğlu and Izzy Polanco November 29, 2023

  Men’s cross country places fourth at NCAA Championship, securing podium finish  On Nov. 18, men’s cross country earned a podium finish at the NCAA Div. III National Championship, scoring...

The Rhodes Scholarship funds recipients’ studies at the University of Oxford. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth High).

Cole Mason ’23.5 wins Rhodes Scholarship

Izzy Polanco November 29, 2023
Cole Mason ’23.5 was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford next fall, joining the 31 other American Rhodes recipients announced by the Rhodes Trust in a Nov. 11 press release. Mason is the newest of the 40 Rhodes Scholars who have attended the College.
 All of the top five finishers for the Ephs ran their season-best times in the 8k. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

This week in playoffs: XC teams advance to NCAA Championships, field hockey and women’s soccer knocked out of national tournaments

Izzy Polanco November 15, 2023
Cross country's sweep at Mideast Regionals builds momentum in a triumphant season thus far: At the NESCAC Championship meet on Oct. 28, the Ephs swept both team titles and individual finishes, the first time that feat has been achieved in program history.
One year into all-grant financial aid, College analysis finds decrease in student borrowing, employment

One year into all-grant financial aid, College analysis finds decrease in student borrowing, employment

Izzy Polanco November 8, 2023
To better understand the results of the all-grant financial aid program, the College’s  Office of Admissions & Financial Aid — with support from the Institutional Research team and Human Resources — spent the summer analyzing data from its first year to determine the impact of the program.
Theo Duarte-Baird/The Williams Record

College removes supplemental essay from application, forms working group in wake of affirmative action ruling

Julia Goldberg and Izzy Polanco October 18, 2023

The College has eliminated the supplemental essay from its application and formed the Working Group on Admissions Policies and Practices. These changes come in response to the Supreme Court’s decision...

The Artist Otherwise Known As: Composer, singer, and pianist Jesse Cohen-Greenberg ’24

The Artist Otherwise Known As: Composer, singer, and pianist Jesse Cohen-Greenberg ’24

Izzy Polanco October 17, 2023
Jesse Cohen-Greenberg '24 discusses his debut album, When Will My Body Be Mine?, which was released on Oct 6.
The Honor and Discipline Committee has heard an increasing number of cases involving artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT.
(Ashley Shan/The Williams Record.)

College ends mandatory COVID reporting despite uptick in student cases

Izzy Polanco September 19, 2023

For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College will not require students, faculty, and staff to self-report positive cases. Free COVID tests will remain available for symptomatic...

College to reconsider admissions policies in wake of affirmative action ruling

College to reconsider admissions policies in wake of affirmative action ruling

Izzy Polanco and Max Billick July 6, 2023
The Supreme Court declared race-conscious admissions practices at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina unconstitutional last Thursday. The long-anticipated decision will significantly alter admissions processes at schools nationwide, including those at Williams.
The College’s 2024 fiscal year budget, explained

The College’s 2024 fiscal year budget, explained

Luke Chinman and Izzy Polanco July 1, 2023
The College’s 2024 fiscal year began on July 1. The Record explains five takeaways from the this year’s budget.
Both graffitis contained Christian allusions and were spray-painted in red. (Photo courtesy of Kim Rogers.)

Haystack Monument defaced for second time in two weeks, perpetrators unknown

Izzy Polanco May 22, 2023
The Haystack Monument, which commemorates five Williams students’ 1806 formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, was spray-painted with allusions to Christianity in red graffiti that resembled the May 13 defacement.
Haystack Monument defaced with graffiti, perpetrators unknown

Haystack Monument defaced with graffiti, perpetrators unknown

Izzy Polanco May 18, 2023
Campus Safety Services (CSS) officers responded to reports that unknown perpetrators defaced the Haystack Monument with spray-painted graffiti, President Maud S. Mandel wrote in a campus-wide email on Monday.
Izzy Polanco/The Williams Record

Record survey finds high approval for faculty, neutrality toward student government

Izzy Polanco and Quinn Casey May 9, 2023
The Record sent its biannual approval rating survey to randomly selected unixes last week to gauge student approval of College institutions and policies. The survey found sustained high approval for the faculty and a drop in approval for the dean’s office.
Sammy Rae & The Friends was the first visiting artist to headline Spring Fling at the College since Princess Nokia’s 2019 set. (Theo Duarte-Baird/The Williams Record.)

Sammy Rae & The Friends visit College to headline Spring Fling

Izzy Polanco May 3, 2023
Hundreds of students flocked to Science Quad this Saturday to enjoy the food trucks, festivities, and student performances brought to campus by All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) for this year’s Spring Fling last Saturday. Sammy Rae & The Friends headlined the concert, marking the return of a visiting artist at the College for the first time since rapper and songwriter Princess Nokia performed in Towne Field House in 2019.
The College will provide more information about department-level changes in the budget at the faculty meeting on May 10. (Olivia Jo/The Williams Record)

Board of Trustees approves budget, operating expenses increase by 3.4 percent

Luke Chinman and Izzy Polanco April 26, 2023
The Board of Trustees approved the College’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year at its quarterly meeting last week, President Maud S. Mandel announced in an email to the College community on Thursday.
Holly Hatcher-Frazier ’92 delivered the keynote address — a “full-circle moment” for the alum(Photo courtesy of Muhammed Faizan)

Sisterhood hosts fifth annual Melanin Masquerade with keynote speaker Holly Hatcher-Frazier ’92

Izzy Polanco April 25, 2023
Sisterhood hosted its fifth annual Melanin Masquerade at Dodd House on Saturday. Educator, author, and original cast member of Dance Moms Holly Hatcher-Frazier ’92 delivered the keynote address. Melanin Masquerade has been held by Sisterhood every year since 2018, except for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year’s event was the first time Sisterhood invited a keynote speaker. 
Speaker Chris Clarey ’86 works for TheNew York Times as a global tennis correspondent. (Photo courtesy of Dick Quinn.)

Sports Information honors 10 student contributors through Deford, Pinsky Awards, address given by Chris Clarey ’86 of New York Times

Izzy Polanco April 25, 2023
Sports Information held its annual Frank Deford and Aaron Pinsky ’06 Awards Ceremony on Thursday, honoring 10 students — the most recognized in a single year in the ceremony’s 32-year history. Chris Clarey ’86, global tennis correspondent for The New York Times, delivered the ceremony’s featured speech.
Students participate in the 2022 WTF SITP (photo courtesy of Jackson Miles)

Theatre department postpones Summer Intensive Training Program due to impending budget cuts

Izzy Polanco April 11, 2023
The theatre department has suspended the Summer Intensive Training Program (SITP), a collaboration between the College and Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF), for 2023, Chair of the Theatre Department Omar Sangare announced in an email to the theatre department on Feb. 27. 
Photo courtesy of Beza Lulseged.

One in Two Thousand: Beza Lulseged ’25

Izzy Polanco March 14, 2023
This week, Beza Lulseged ’25 discussed sleeper-hit songs, her zine, and Images Cinema.
Stuart Weitzman’s self-described “show” allowed students to model his iconic shoes.

Luxury shoe designer Stuart Weitzman delivers presentation, recounts taking ‘the road less traveled’

Izzy Polanco March 8, 2023
Stuart Weitzman visited the College on Feb. 28 to deliver a presentation titled “Stuart Weitzman: An Entrepreneur’s Journey On a Road Less Traveled,” which focused on his career spanning more than 50 years in the fashion industry, the internationally known luxury shoe brand that bears his name, and the importance of philanthropy.
Winter Carnival returns with ski races, festivities, fireworks

Winter Carnival returns with ski races, festivities, fireworks

Izzy Polanco February 22, 2023
For the first time since 2020, skiing hosted a home carnival during the formerly annual Winter Carnival weekend of festivities organized by the Williams Outing Club (WOC). The Ephs placed ninth overall in the carnival, with strong individual performances garnering anticipation toward potential NCAA qualifications.
The womens squash team placed third in last weekends NESCAC Tournament. Next week, they will head to Philadelphia to compete at the CSA National Championship.

Winter playoff picture: Week one

Izzy Polanco February 15, 2023
Women's swim and dive and men's squash finished second in their respective NESCAC Tournaments, while women's squash placed third in their NESCAC Tournament. Players reflected on last weekend's and next week's playoff games.
College awards 11 professors tenure this winter

College awards 11 professors tenure this winter

Inés Garcia, Izzy Polanco, and Haley Zimmerman February 8, 2023
At its winter meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the promotion of 11 assistant professors to associate professorships with tenure: Alexander Bevilacqua, history; Nicole Brown, classics; PeiWen Chen, biology; Brahim El Guabli, Arabic studies; Man He, Asian languages, literatures, and cultures; Bill Jannen ’09, computer science; Laura Martin, environmental studies; Sarah Olsen, classics; Ben Snyder, sociology; Mason Williams, leadership studies; and Ricardo Wilson, English. The promotions will go into effect on July 1.
One in Two Thousand: Eve Shulman ’26

One in Two Thousand: Eve Shulman ’26

Izzy Polanco February 8, 2023
Each week, the Record (using a script in R) randomly selects a student at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature, excluding current Record board members. This week, Eve Shulman ’26 discussed walking onto the women’s crew team, her first Winter Study experience, and the Williamstown Apothecary.
For a twenty-fifth consecutive year, community gathers in memory of Matt Stauffer ’96

For a twenty-fifth consecutive year, community gathers in memory of Matt Stauffer ’96

Izzy Polanco January 15, 2023
Family and friends of Matt Stauffer ’96 gather annually at the College in remembrance of the senior tri-captain of the men’s soccer team who passed away on Jan. 10, 1998 after a three-year battle with leukemia. On Jan. 10, 2023, the group gathered once again at the Rock to remember and honor Stauffer’s life, marking the 25th consecutive year that the group has reconnected.
The Ephs blazed past opponents, including the No. 1 ranked Messiah University Falcons, to advance to the title game. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Men’s soccer falls to UChicago 2-0 in NCAA Div. III National Championship game, ending Cinderella run

Izzy Polanco December 7, 2022
The University of Chicago Maroons (22–0–1) defeated the Ephs (10–2–11, 4–1–5 NESCAC) 2-0 in the NCAA Div. III National Championship game on Saturday, putting an end to the Ephs’ Cinderella run. The Ephs earned an at-large berth in the tournament and, after winning a series of tightly contested matches, landed a spot in the championship game for the first time since taking home the national title in 1995.
(Izzy Polanco/The Williams Record)

One in Two Thousand: Vania Gautam ’26

Izzy Polanco December 7, 2022
This week, Vania Gautam ’26 discussed the annual Reindog Parade, Leading Minds, and the band Weston Estate.
Football “took the Walk” after their Homecoming win against Amherst, ending 3–6 and on a high note. Co-Captain Ian Devine ’23 called his final Walk “surreal. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Football triumphs 20-10 over Amherst at Homecoming

Izzy Polanco November 16, 2022
The football team (3–6) finished their season on a high note with a homecoming win against Amherst. Both teams entered the matchup with 2–6 records, vying to bring home a win in the “The Biggest Little Game in America.”
The NESCAC has rolled back its policy that allowed teams to conduct practices with their coaches during the off season. (Cadence Li/The Williams Record)

Student-athletes reflect on a return to traditional out-of-season training

Izzy Polanco October 25, 2022
NCAA and NESCAC policy that allowed teams to conduct practices with their coaches during the off-season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has expired as of this fall, marking a return to traditional regulations on out-of-season play that require team trainings to be optional and practices to be scheduled and held with no coaches involved.
Williamstown reflects on 50 years of Clean Water Act

Williamstown reflects on 50 years of Clean Water Act

Izzy Polanco October 18, 2022
Today, the Clean Water Act is still the primary federal statute that governs water pollution in the United States, but some of its goals — like making every body of water in the nation “fishable and swimmable” — remain unfulfilled in Williamstown. 
(Photo courtesy of Isabel Kuh.)

One in Two Thousand: Isabel Kuh ’23

Izzy Polanco October 4, 2022
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Isabel Kuh ’23, who discussed her involvement with WCFM, creating spaces for collaborative art, and how — in her view — bibs are “in.” This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
One in Two Thousand: Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat ’25

One in Two Thousand: Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat ’25

Izzy Polanco September 27, 2022
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat ’25, who discussed her take on the pre-med track, The Catcher in the Rye, and Snar smoothie spills. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
220 students have self-reported positive tests since arriving on campus.

College relaxes masking and testing protocols for fall; COVID cases spike

Izzy Polanco September 20, 2022
With 110 students in isolation as of Monday morning, the Record summarizes the College’s most significant amendments to its policy regarding COVID-19.
(Kira Hernandez/The Williams Record)

After reversal of Roe v. Wade, activists, College leaders renew commitment to abortion access

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the precedent it set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1973 and 1992 cases that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. Student and local organizers, alums who work in abortion access, and College administrators must now reckon with a new political reality. 
Two Record editors joined Mandel over the course of a Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Office of the President.

A day in the life with President Maud S. Mandel

Izzy Polanco and Alessa Somer May 10, 2022
How does President Mandel spend her time outside of executive decision-making? To investigate, we shadowed her for a day, joining her for a few of the events on her itinerary.
Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Senior athletes reflect on competing for the College

Izzy Polanco May 10, 2022
The Record reached out to senior athletes for reflections on their time playing for the College. Here are a few of their responses.
Students gathered outdoors on Science Quad for the first Spring Festival, held by ACE and the RLT. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Oh.)

Student groups host first Spring Festival

Izzy Polanco May 3, 2022
All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) held its first Spring Festival in collaboration with the Residential Life Team (RLT) and WCFM, the student-run radio station at the College, on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Captain’s Corner: Maxine Ng ’22

Izzy Polanco May 3, 2022
The Record checks in with women's tennis captain Maxine Ng ’22.
In Reische’s Friday email, he wrote that the measures are temporary and the College hopes to lift them soon, but that the College may consider tightening the restrictions if cases do not decline. (Photo courtesy of Izzy Polanco).

COVID cases increase, College tightens masking requirements

Izzy Polanco and Kitt Urdang April 20, 2022
Masking is once again required in classes, libraries, academic buildings, and indoor athletics facilities, Chief Communications Officer Jim Reische wrote in an all-campus email on Friday afternoon. However, community members can still unmask when eating in dining halls and while in residence halls.
The 1979 volleyball team. (Photos courtesy of Special Collections.)

‘The growing pains of going coed’: The College’s first female athletes reflect on team culture, athletic community

Izzy Polanco April 12, 2022
Women’s athletic teams were established at the College in 1972, alongside the passage of Title IX and coeducation. Anne Forrestel ’72, the College’s first female varsity athlete, said that competing for the College “was exciting, and it was exhausting.”
Wordle, a new online daily word game, has taken over the College and society at large. (Devika Goel/The Williams Record)

‘Low-stakes thinking but high-stakes validation’: Wordle culture at the College

Tali Natter and Izzy Polanco March 9, 2022
A new craze has taken over the College and society at large — the new daily word game, Wordle. Students share their approaches to solving the puzzle and explain how the game creates community.
Izzy Polanco/The Williams Record

One in Two Thousand: Jack Murphy ’22.5

Izzy Polanco March 2, 2022
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Jack Murphy ’22.5, who discussed his love for Montana, the wrestling team, and his experience as a “super, super senior.”
Nonbinary student athletes discuss campus and team culture at the College.  (Devika Goel/The Williams Record)

Nonbinary athletes share experiences, lead initiatives towards gender-expansive inclusivity

Tali Natter and Izzy Polanco February 23, 2022
The College’s non-male ultimate frisbee team removed gendered language from its name. Five nonbinary athletes spoke to the Record about cultural shifts and student-led initiatives toward gender-expansiveness in athletics.
One in Two Thousand: Sophie Bellwoar ’25

One in Two Thousand: Sophie Bellwoar ’25

Izzy Polanco February 23, 2022
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Sophie Bellwoar ’25, who discussed her love for running, her involvement with the comedy scene on campus, and her role on the WCFM board.
Students awarded financial aid for PE classes received reduced-cost 3-day passes to Jiminy Peak. (KIRA HERNANDEZ/THE WILLIAMS RECORD)

WOC, FAST provide financial aid funding for winter programs — but not without complications

Izzy Polanco February 9, 2022
For the first time, WOC has requested FAST funding for financial aid in their winter programming — but this year, an increase in student demand caused complications, and aid allocations were jeopardized.
Sophie Bellwoar ’25 and Will Olsen ’25  co-host their interview-style show, “Six By Six,” in the WCFM studio in Prospect House.

Making (radio) waves: WCFM makes resurgence after year-long hiatus

Izzy Polanco December 8, 2021
Tucked within the basement of Prospect House is the broadcasting studio for WCFM, the student-run radio station at the College. This semester, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the studio is bustling with a new cadre of radio DJs.
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