The Williams Record

Kevin Yang, Senior Writer

Kevin Yang ’22 is a political science and history major from Shanghai, China, and, before that, Stamford, CT. He is a senior writer. He has previously served as editor-in-chief, managing editor, and executive editor for the opinions section.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kevin_z_yang

All content by Kevin Yang
Independent investigation finds former WPD chief, sergeant engaged in sexual and racial workplace harassment

Independent investigation finds former WPD chief, sergeant engaged in sexual and racial workplace harassment

Kevin Yang and Ella Marx January 26, 2022
An independent investigation commissioned by the Williamstown Select Board concluded that former Williamstown Police Department (WPD) chief Kyle Johnson and former WPD sergeant Scott McGowan engaged in multiple instances of sexual and racial workplace harassment from 2002 to 2019.
220 students have self-reported positive tests since arriving on campus.

Student concerns about drink tampering lead College to limit dorm card access to residents only

Kevin Yang September 29, 2021
Students will not have card access to dorms other than their own for at least the next two weeks, the College announced on Friday, citing to the Record concerns among students about drink tampering at parties.
(Kevin Yang/The Williams Record)

Three in Two Thousand: Jeongyoon Han ’21, Rebecca Tauber ’21, and Samuel Wolf ’21

Irene Loewenson and Kevin Yang May 19, 2021
For our last regular issue of the spring semester, current Editor-in-Chief Kevin Yang ’22 and current Managing Editor Irene Loewenson ’22 sat down with them to discuss the experience of leading the Record through a most unconventional year.
Letter from the editor: The Records publication schedule

Letter from the editor: The Record’s publication schedule

Kevin Yang May 11, 2021
In recognition of the College's Health Days, the Record will not publish an issue today.
(Devika Goel/The Williams Record)

96% of on-campus students have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Record survey estimates

Vast majority of students are not yet fully vaccinated
Annie Lu, Grady Short, and Kevin Yang May 5, 2021
Ninety-six percent of students living on campus have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a Record survey sent to the entire student body on Saturday estimates. Only 9.6 percent of the 751 on-campus students who responded, however, are fully vaccinated, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines as occurring two weeks after the final required dose.
At least two of the three students who received positive test results today were at a Saturday-night gathering at Gladden that has already been linked to two other cases. (Kevin Yang/The Williams Record)

Three more students test positive; at least two were at Gladden gathering

Kevin Yang, Irene Loewenson, and Annie Lu March 25, 2021
Two additional students who attended the Gladden gathering on Saturday have tested positive for COVID-19, the College confirmed to the Record today. A third student has also tested positive, but it is unknown whether they were at the Gladden gathering.
College reports 4 potentially connected COVID cases

College reports 4 potentially connected COVID cases

2 students among the 4 cases attended indoor gathering on Saturday
Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner March 23, 2021
Two students have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an indoor gathering at Gladden House on Saturday night, Dean Sandstrom confirmed to the Record today. The two COVID-positive students who attended the gathering — along with another student who did not attend the gathering, as well as a faculty or staff member — are part of a larger cluster of four cases reported in the last week.
College removes 127 students from campus in response to party

College removes 127 students from campus in response to party

Administration defines involvement as any unauthorized presence at Wood that night; some Wood attendees say large parties were common in fall
Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Megan Lin March 10, 2021
One hundred twenty-seven students have been removed from campus as part of the College’s response to the Feb. 26 party at Wood. For the purposes of deciding whom to remove from campus, the College has defined involvement in the Wood party as any unauthorized presence in the building during the night of the party. The Record interviewed four students who were at Wood that night. They said that large indoor parties were common throughout the fall.
Friday’s party was the latest in what Wood House residents described as a pattern of illicit gatherings that violated the College’s public health guidelines. (Megan Lin/The Williams Record)

Students come forward as College continues investigation of Wood House party

Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Megan Lin March 3, 2021
Following the illicit gathering of an estimated 80 to 100 students at Wood House on Friday, Campus Safety and Security has begun to identify students who were involved. A number of students have come forward to the administration to admit that they attended the party, according to Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom. Some Wood residents said that Friday’s party was one instance in an ongoing pattern of illicit gatherings at Wood House, to which they believed the College’s response has been inadequate.
For the 2022-2023 school year, Wood House  will be home to the Gail Peek TAPSI House, an affinity house for Black students. (Samuel Riley/The Williams Record)

Students hold massive indoor party; College to delay planned loosening of restrictions

Students found to have been involved will be told to leave campus
Kevin Yang and Irene Loewenson February 27, 2021
An indoor party was held on Friday night at Wood House with between 80 and 100 attendees, President Mandel announced in an email on Saturday. As a result, students will not be allowed to socialize indoors with non-podmates until March 15 at the earliest, two weeks later than planned.
Jason Hoch, who has served as town manager since 2015, announced that he will resign.

Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch to resign

Kevin Yang, Jeongyoon Han, and Ella Marx February 21, 2021
Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced Friday that he will resign from his position. He will stay on the job for up to 60 days and oversee the transition through May while the Select Board hires an interim town manager. Hoch, an alum of the College who has served as town manager since 2015, came under scrutiny after Williamstown Police Department (WPD) Sergeant Scott McGowan alleged in a August 2020 federal lawsuit that Hoch did not adequately investigate allegations of racism and sexual assault within the WPD.
Feb. 8 Select Board meeting: Town Manager Hoch slows hiring process for interim chief after criticism

Feb. 8 Select Board meeting: Town Manager Hoch slows hiring process for interim chief after criticism

Also: Select Board picks attorney to investigate WPD misconduct
Kevin Yang and Ella Marx February 17, 2021
Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 said at the Feb. 8 Select Board that he would slow down the search for an interim police chief after several Town residents criticized him for fielding candidates without first assembling an advisory committee.
Letter from the editor: Our commitment to serving Williams

Letter from the editor: Our commitment to serving Williams

Kevin Yang February 17, 2021
As we begin another semester marked by uncertainty, the Record remains committed to its mission of serving the Williams community through fair and independent journalism.
Jan. 25 Select Board meeting: Two Williamstown employees resign after misconduct complaint

Jan. 25 Select Board meeting: Two Williamstown employees resign after misconduct complaint

Ella Marx and Kevin Yang January 28, 2021
Also at Monday’s meeting, Select Board member Jeffrey Thomas announced that he would be stepping down, and the board discussed next steps in the Town’s investigation into Williamstown Police Department (WPD) misconduct and the search process for a new police chief. Here are the main takeaways from the meeting. 
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

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.
Following WPD chief’s resignation, sergeant withdraws lawsuit

Following WPD chief’s resignation, sergeant withdraws lawsuit

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Rebecca Tauber December 24, 2020
On Dec. 15, Williamstown Police Department (WPD) Sergeant Scott McGowan withdrew a lawsuit he filed this August against the Town of Williamstown, Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 and former WPD Chief Kyle Johnson. The withdrawal of the lawsuit came immediately following Johnson’s resignation as police chief on Dec. 14.
Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson resigns following months-long outcry over WPD misconduct

Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson resigns following months-long outcry over WPD misconduct

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Rebecca Tauber December 14, 2020
Kyle Johnson has resigned from his position as Williamstown Police Department (WPD) chief, Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced at tonight’s Select Board meeting. Hoch announced that WPD Lieutenant Mike Ziemba would take responsibilities for Johnson as interim chief. In the meantime, local residents called during the meeting for a nationwide search for a new police chief.
WPD dispatcher who shared anti-Black racist Facebook posts resigns

WPD dispatcher who shared anti-Black racist Facebook posts resigns

Jack McGovern and Kevin Yang November 13, 2020

Editor’s note: This article contains images and descriptions of anti-Black racist and violent language and imagery. A dispatcher with the Williamstown Police Department (WPD) resigned on Thursday...

Amid dissent, Town Manager Hoch retains WPD Chief Johnson

Amid dissent, Town Manager Hoch retains WPD Chief Johnson

Johnson apologizes, announces investigation into new report that WPD officer shared racist Facebook posts
Jack McGovern, Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Ella Marx November 11, 2020
At a Williamstown Select Board meeting on Oct. 26, Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced his decision to retain Kyle Johnson as the chief of the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). The announcement comes as Johnson faces allegations of sexual assault and racial harassment in a federal lawsuit filed in August, and as local police accountability organizers have called for his removal. Following this announcement, in a Monday Select Board meeting, Johnson apologized for “some poor judgement” early in his tenure, and “tolerating and participating in behaviors that should never have occurred in the workplace.” He also said that an investigation had been initiated into new reports that a WPD officer shared racist posts on Facebook.
Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

Quarantined students face communication gaps, criticize lack of College support

Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner November 11, 2020
In October, two more students at the College tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive tests among students to five. Upon receiving their positive test results, the students were told they had to move to isolation housing, and their respective podmates, who were informed about an hour afterward, were given less than an hour to pack and move to Dodd for a two-week quarantine. The ensuing series of events, based on interviews with four students who were placed in quarantine across the two incidents, revealed a significant lack of communication on the part of the College.
WPD officer on Berkshire DA’s misconduct watch list

WPD officer on Berkshire DA’s misconduct watch list

Kevin Yang October 1, 2020

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office put Williamstown Police Department (WPD) officer Craig Eichhammer on a list of police officers flagged by the office for having engaged...

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.

Kevin Yang, Annie Lu, and Jacob Posner September 30, 2020
If you walk past Frosh Quad at 11 p.m. on a Friday, you’ll hear pounding music and see groups of first-years wandering between buildings. It almost seems like a regular Friday night — not one in the middle of a pandemic. In the weeks since students returned to campus there have been a number of instances in which students violated the College’s public health guidelines — which limit gatherings to groups of 10 — sometimes with gatherings of dozens of students. The College’s responses to different instances and types of violations have varied widely.
Town denies allegations against WPD chief, admits 2014 racial harassment incident

Town denies allegations against WPD chief, admits 2014 racial harassment incident

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Lucy Walker August 30, 2020
While the Town acknowledged that McGowan’s lawsuit “raises genuine questions or doubts about the Town’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and racial equity,” their response –– the second public statement made by the five-person board on the lawsuit –– disputes several of McGowan’s characterizations of incidents. Additionally, it denies allegations that Johnson committed sexual assault or racial harassment, and claims that McGowan did not experience retaliation for reporting and opposing alleged incidents of sexual assault and racial harassment.
Mandel calls on Town to commission investigation into WPD allegations

Mandel calls on Town to commission investigation into WPD allegations

Kevin Yang August 19, 2020
Renewed criticism of College’s 2018 funding of new police station, concerns over WPD presence on campus
Lawsuit brought by WPD sergeant alleges sexual assault, racial harassment by Williamstown Police Chief and unnamed officers

Lawsuit brought by WPD sergeant alleges sexual assault, racial harassment by Williamstown Police Chief and unnamed officers

Jeongyoon Han and Kevin Yang August 12, 2020
A sergeant at the Williamstown Police Department (WPD), Scott McGowan, filed a federal lawsuit today against the Department, WPD Chief Kyle Johnson, Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch and the Town of Williamstown for what McGowan described as retaliation against McGowan for reporting instances of racial harassment and sexual assault allegedly committed by both unnamed WPD officers and Johnson.
WPD use of force policy falls behind advocates’ benchmarks, six reported uses of force in past two years

WPD use of force policy falls behind advocates’ benchmarks, six reported uses of force in past two years

Kevin Yang July 4, 2020
A Record review of the Williamstown Police Department’s use of force practices revealed six officially reported uses of force in the past two years and an official use of force policy that does not meet several of the benchmarks set by anti-police violence advocates. The policy is currently being revised through an internal review, according to Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson.
Williamstown protest calls attention to anti-Black racism, policing in Berkshires

Williamstown protest calls attention to anti-Black racism, policing in Berkshires

Kevin Yang June 10, 2020

As chants of “no justice, no peace” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” erupted in Field Park, drivers passing by the roundabout honked their horns in support, many stopping to pump their fists...

Presence of state police in Berkshire County grows, as officials cite concerns of ‘outside agitators’

Presence of state police in Berkshire County grows, as officials cite concerns of ‘outside agitators’

Kevin Yang June 4, 2020

Increased numbers of state police troopers have been stationed in Berkshire County in the past few days as part of a statewide plan responding to what state law enforcement officials say are reports of...

Pandemic generates uncertainty for class of 2020’s post-College plans

Pandemic generates uncertainty for class of 2020’s post-College plans

Kevin Yang May 23, 2020

The class of 2020 is graduating into a job market that has “literally imploded,” according to Director of the Career Center Don Kjelleren. “We have never seen the labor market unravel that fast...

Pandemic brings financial uncertainty to students and their families

Pandemic brings financial uncertainty to students and their families

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 22, 2020
Jesus Estrada ’20.5 lives with his mother and sister in Huntington Park, Calif. Estrada’s mother provides most of the family’s income, and as an employee at a fast-food chain, she’s classified as an essential worker. But she also has diabetes, a condition that makes her more vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19.
Miles Apart: Four stories of the pandemic

Miles Apart: Four stories of the pandemic

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 22, 2020

A note from the reporters: In the weeks after students dispersed across the globe in light of the pandemic, the Record sent out a survey to 500 randomly selected students to get a sense of their...

After battling with COVID-19 symptoms, Calle and her mother went for a walk last weekend in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York. (Photo courtesy of Tania Calle.)

Three Williams students experienced COVID-19 symptoms. These are their stories.

Jeongyoon Han, Kevin Yang, and Jacob Posner May 21, 2020
While many students at the College have felt the effects of COVID-19 from afar — financially, emotionally, academically — relatively few have come into close contact with the virus itself. But for three students, it has become intimately familiar. Tania Calle ’20, Kalina Harden ’21 and Max Mallett ’23 all experienced telltale coronavirus symptoms and either lived in or passed through an epicenter of the virus.
College implements face-covering policy, alters social distancing measures on campus

College implements face-covering policy, alters social distancing measures on campus

Kevin Yang May 13, 2020
On May 6, the College began requiring all essential staff and students on campus to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing is not possible, a response to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s May 1 executive order requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public spaces.
What is a pass? Professors have different answers

What is a pass? Professors have different answers

Jeongyoon Han and Kevin Yang April 22, 2020
Passing Abstract Algebra, a 300-level mathematics class which is a prerequisite for several other courses, has remained demanding for many during this semester of remote learning. In a shift from his normal pass/fail policy where an average grade of D- constitutes a pass, Professor of Mathematics Tom Garrity is requiring that his students pass each content unit of the course. Concerned about content comprehension, Garrity said that he is looking for his students to make “a good faith effort” on the remaining two exams and final

College prepares accommodations for students in event of COVID-19 cases on campus

Kevin Yang April 1, 2020

As students who remain on campus transition into a residential life that is drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has prepared for the possibility of a student contracting the virus...

A closer look into the process that determined who could stay and who had to leave

A closer look into the process that determined who could stay and who had to leave

Kevin Yang and Jacob Posner March 25, 2020
Seven students’ stories reveal the consequences of the College’s decisions and underscore the diverging home situations of the student body
Mandel mandates most students leave campus by Tuesday, announces transition to remote learning after spring break due to coronavirus pandemic

Mandel mandates most students leave campus by Tuesday, announces transition to remote learning after spring break due to coronavirus pandemic

For the first time in over 50 years, the College has decided to disrupt normal operations mid-semester in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced in...

International students feel impacts of coronavirus travel restrictions

International students feel impacts of coronavirus travel restrictions

Kevin Yang and Rebecca Tauber March 4, 2020
As the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, international students at the College are experiencing the consequences of increasing travel restrictions. As of Tuesday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level three travel health notice for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, cautioning that all travelers avoid nonessential travel to those countries.
Spotlight on Research: History professor Jessica Chapman tells stories of NCAA runners from Kenya

Spotlight on Research: History professor Jessica Chapman tells stories of NCAA runners from Kenya

Kevin Yang March 4, 2020
For decades, St. Patrick’s High School has graduated students who have broken world records and won Olympic gold models in running. This powerhouse high school, located in Iten, Kenya, has also sent students to universities across the United States with scholarships to run in NCAA teams.
Coronavirus epidemic affects break out trips, other study abroad opportunities

Coronavirus epidemic affects break out trips, other study abroad opportunities

Kevin Yang February 26, 2020
As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, opportunities for students at the College to participate in foreign languages programs in Asia continue to be negatively affected. Following the recent cancellations of semester-long study abroad programs in China that were set to begin during the spring semester, the plans of several students to attend summer language programs in the region have also either been canceled or made uncertain due to the ongoing epidemic.
Students call for boycott of English department

Students call for boycott of English department

Danny Jin, Kevin Yang, and Samuel Wolf November 6, 2019
Professor of English John Kleiner’s use of the N-word in a class precipitates petition, website, broader conversations
Mandel writes on inclusion

Mandel writes on inclusion

Kevin Yang May 8, 2019

On May 3, President Maud Mandel sent an all-campus email, “Our past, current and future work for an inclusive Williams,” detailing ongoing and future initiatives for inclusion at the College. This...

Mandel commits to responding to CARE Now demands by Friday

Mandel commits to responding to CARE Now demands by Friday

Kevin Yang May 1, 2019

The Coalition Against Racist Education Now (CARE Now) has extended its deadline for President Maud Mandel’s response to its list of demands from the original date of April 26 to Friday, May 3. According...

One in Two Thousand: Tom Robertshaw ’19

One in Two Thousand: Tom Robertshaw ’19

Kevin Yang March 6, 2019

ANIAH PRICE/PHOTO EDITOR As a fellow member of the Octet, I have had the pleasure of spending at least six hours a week with Tom, if not many more. With his philosophizing about the relative merits...

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