The Williams Record

Lena Kerest, Executive Editor for Editorials

Lena Kerest ’25 is a political science major from Shelburne, Vt. She is the executive editor for editorials. She previously served as the town news editor and as a staff writer for the news section.

Email: [email protected]

All content by Lena Kerest
A survey sent to 500 randomly selected students reveals student opinions on institutions such as the faculty, the Record, the College, and the JA system. (Hannah Marx/The Williams Record)

Spring approval ratings survey shows increased approval of Record, decreased approval of Dean’s Office

Hannah Marx and Lena Kerest May 8, 2024
Last week, the Record sent its biannual approval ratings survey to 500 randomly selected students using a script in R. The survey asked students to indicate their approval, disapproval, or neutrality on many campus institutions, including the Junior Advisor (JA) system, the Davis Center, and President of the College Maud S. Mandel.
The encampment, termed the “Popular University for Gaza,” entered its second day on Thursday. (Quinn Casey/The Williams Record)

SJP, J4J enter day two of encampment, hold rally; posters of Israeli hostages taken down by unknown student, replaced

Lena Kerest and Haley Zimmerman May 3, 2024
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jews for Justice (J4J) continued their encampment on Sawyer Quad, termed the “Popular University for Gaza,” for a second day. About 100 people were at the encampment at its peak attendance in the afternoon and 39 tents were present at the encampment at 7:19 p.m. on Thursday, according to an SJP spokesperson. On Thursday morning, an unknown student removed posters of Israelis held hostage by Hamas that had been hung up by students the previous evening. The same group of students rehung the posters on Thursday afternoon.
Many seniors approaching graduation will swap out caps and gowns for business attire in their first jobs. (Olivia Jo/The Williams Record)

What am I doing with the rest of my life? Seniors reflect on post-graduation career prospects

Lena Kerest May 1, 2024
Spring has finally arrived in Williamstown — you can tell from the budding trees, the students basking in the sun on Chapin Hall steps, and the resurfacing of spikeball nets across Sawyer Quad. But alongside the joy at the hints of warm weather, a stressful question lingers in many students’ minds: “What am I doing this summer?”
Jane Su/The Williams Record

SJP holds protests during Davis Center reopening, Bolin Weekend

Aliya Huprikar and Lena Kerest April 17, 2024
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held events on Friday and Saturday to advocate for a new set of demands, written in collaboration with Jews for Justice (J4J), regarding the College’s endowment and investment policies.
Jane Su/The Williams Record

Prof. Farid Hafez sues GWU, Lorenzo Vidino for $10 million

Lena Kerest April 10, 2024
The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on March 24, alleges that Vidino, the director of the Program on Extremism at GWU, as well as other defendants, received compensation from the United Arab Emirates in exchange for “concoct[ing] and widely publiciz[ing] a false narrative accusing Hafez of terrorist ties and Muslim Brotherhood associations despite the fact that Hafez had no credible associations with any radicalized Islamists or the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Cole Prowitt-Smith’s phenomenal layup brought the Ephs to the Sweet Sixteen match in North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Men’s basketball falls to Christopher Newport in Sweet Sixteen, ending NCAA Tournament run

Ben Niewoehner and Lena Kerest March 13, 2024
Men’s basketball (23-7, 9-1 NESCAC) continued its late-season resurgence with an inspired run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, defeating No. 18 DeSales (24-4) 77-51 in the first round and No. 9 Oswego State (26-3) 79-77 with a dramatic, game-winning layup by guard co-captain Cole Prowitt-Smith ’24. The defending national champions, the No. 23 Christopher Newport Captains (24-7), put an end to the Ephs’ season on Friday afternoon in a hard-fought 49-60 loss.
President Mandel visits Washington, D.C. with advocacy group

President Mandel visits Washington, D.C. with advocacy group

Lena Kerest, Aliya Huprikar, and Dylan Mealey March 6, 2024

President Maud S. Mandel attended the Annual Day of Advocacy and Action conference hosted by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) in Washington, D.C., from Feb....

(Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

One in Two Thousand: Matt Kandel ’24.5

Lena Kerest February 28, 2024
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, Matt Kandel ’24.5 discusses the upcoming tennis season, his success with intramural sports, and his love for Word Hunt.
Lena Kerest/The Williams Record

Students for Justice in Palestine, Jews for Ceasefire seek College divestment from weapons manufacturing

Lena Kerest February 14, 2024

The College’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) participated in the National Student Day of Action for Divestment, which was coordinated by the national SJP organization, on Thursday,...

College to increase Narcan access on campus as part of ongoing harm reduction efforts

College to increase Narcan access on campus as part of ongoing harm reduction efforts

Lena Kerest February 14, 2024
The Prevention, Education, and Advocacy in Community (PEACe) Office, which focuses on various issues relating to student health, plans to install NaloxBoxes — first aid boxes containing naloxone — in Paresky Center and Sawyer Library’s 24-hour room in the coming months. The initiative comes after the PEACe Office held four Narcan training and overdose prevention education sessions this January. 

Amid interrogation of higher education, students call for increased support for faculty of color, ethnic studies

Lena Kerest February 7, 2024
This year’s Claiming Williams theme, “Access to and through Higher Education,” was inspired by the Supreme Court’s June 2023 decision to prohibit race-based admissions practices in higher education
10 faculty members awarded tenure this January. 
Noor Naseer/The Williams Record

College awards tenure to 10 faculty members

Lena Kerest and Aliya Huprikar February 7, 2024

The Board of Trustees approved the promotion of 10 assistant professors to associate professors with tenure at its January 2024 meeting on Jan 19 and 20: Daniel Barowy, computer science; Mari Rodríguez...

Julia Karp/The Williams Record

Mandel to convene Ad Hoc Committee on Posting and Protest Policies

Lena Kerest January 24, 2024
President Maud S. Mandel has established an ad hoc committee that will evaluate the College’s current policies on permitted protest and posting of printed materials, the College announced in a Daily Message on Jan. 16.
(Ella Marx/The Williams Record)

Hogeland, Boyd win Williamstown Select Board election

Julia Goldberg and Lena Kerest May 10, 2023
Andrew Hogeland ’76 and Stephanie Boyd defeated Andi Bryant and Paul Harsch ’69 for two seats on the Select Board in yesterday’s Town election.
The Select Board acts as the executive branch of the Towns government. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Lin.)

Boyd, Harsch, Hogeland vie for two seats on Select Board

Max Billick and Lena Kerest May 3, 2023
Incumbent Andy Hogeland ’76 will seek reelection for his seat, while Stephanie Boyd, a current member of the Town’s Planning Board, and Paul Harsch ’69, a real estate agent, are running to serve on the Board for the first time. 
(Photo courtesy of Matt Freitas.)

Starting men’s lacrosse goalie Matt Freitas wraps up college career

Lena Kerest May 3, 2023
Matt Freitas ’23 has already played 945 minutes in his senior spring. That is nearly every minute of every game, and the season isn’t over. 
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Masese.

One in Two Thousand: Cynthia Masese ’23

Lena Kerest May 3, 2023
This week, Cynthia Masese ’23 discussed her plans after graduation, favorite memories at the College, and involvement in WASO.
Board of Trustees endorses finalized campus plan

Board of Trustees endorses finalized campus plan

Lena Kerest April 26, 2023
The Board of Trustees has endorsed the College’s finalized campus plan, which reimagines the College’s physical landscape in alignment with the priorities stated in the College’s strategic plan. The endorsement marks the culmination of a two-year process led primarily by the College’s Office of Planning, Design, and Construction and Sasaki, a consulting and design company.
The men’s lacrosse team beat the Amherst Mammoths 11-10 in an intense game on Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Men’s lacrosse holds fundraiser with Amherst team for suicide prevention

Lena Kerest April 19, 2023
On April 15, men’s lacrosse (8-5, 5-3 in the NESCAC) hosted the Amherst Mammoths, besting them 11-10 in overtime. The focus of the day was to fundraise for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which has so far raised $10,000.
The case for removing the doors on Whitmans’

The case for removing the doors on Whitmans’

Lena Kerest and Genevieve Randazzo April 19, 2023

In the midst of a busy and stressful week, the best way to find social connection at the College is often to “grab a meal” with friends, teammates, classmates, or the friendly entrymate who you sort...

(Photo courtesy of Jordan Wynn.)

One in Two Thousand: Jordan Wynn ’26

Lena Kerest April 19, 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, Jordan Wynn ’26 discussed the Navy, computer science, and being a Student with Advanced Life Experiences (SwALE). This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Author Tracy Kidder, Dr. Jim O’Connell discuss new book, homelessness and healthcare in Boston

Author Tracy Kidder, Dr. Jim O’Connell discuss new book, homelessness and healthcare in Boston

Lena Kerest April 12, 2023
Nonfiction author Tracy Kidder joined Dr. Jim O’Connell, the president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School , and the subject of Kidder’s newest book, and Professor of Economics Sara LaLumia for a talk at the College on April 7.
College hosts panel on Russian invasion of Ukraine

College hosts panel on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Lena Kerest March 1, 2023
The College’s department of anthropology and sociology, the global studies program, and the Russian program hosted a panel discussion on Feb. 27, reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The event was titled “A Year of Asymmetric War on Ukraine: What Have We Learned?”
Julia Goldberg/The Williams Record

Anti-racist campus task force convenes for first time

Lena Kerest February 15, 2023
The ad hoc anti-racist campus task force, created by President Maud S. Mandel and Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leticia S. E. Haynes ’99 in November, convened for the first time on Feb. 10.
Photo courtesy of Collette Chilton.

Chief Investment Officer Collette Chilton to retire in December

Lena Kerest February 8, 2023
After 16 years at the College, Chief Investment Officer Collette Chilton — the first leader of the College’s investment office, established in 2006 — will retire at the end of the 2023 calendar year, President Maud S. Mandel announced in an email to the College community on Jan. 26.

Arshay Cooper gives morning Claiming Williams Keynote

Luke Chinman and Lena Kerest February 8, 2023
Arshay Cooper, a rower, author, and motivational speaker, as well as the subject of the documentary A Most Beautiful Thing, presented the morning keynote for Claiming Williams on Feb. 3. This year, the event's theme was “Justice & Institutional Power,” and the morning keynote was co-sponsored by the College’s Athletic Department, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and the Allyship in Athletics (AIA) committee.
(Photo courtesy of Ivonne García.)

Ivonne García joins OIDEI as assistant vice president

Lena Kerest January 25, 2023
The College announced its newest addition to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI), Ivonne García, on Wednesday, Jan. 11. She will serve as assistant vice president for OIDEI.
The proposition, in polls Nov. 8, has largely split voters down party lines. (Annie Lu/The Williams Record)

Mass. to vote on granting driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status

Lena Kerest October 26, 2022
Proposition 4 will ask Massachusetts voters on the Nov. 8 general election ballot whether they approve of the Work and Family Mobility Act, the state law that would allow undocumented individuals to obtain driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.
Why your midterm vote matters

Why your midterm vote matters

Lena Kerest and Jesse Schumann October 19, 2022
In an op-ed, members of the EphVotes board, Lena Kerest ’25 and Jesse Schumann ’25, highlight the importance of voting in the midterm elections.
Members of the walk gathered at the Williams Inn before proceeding north up Spring Street. (Lena Kerest/The Williams Record)

‘Rise Together’ walk on Spring St. raises funds for Elizabeth Freeman Center

Lena Kerest October 5, 2022
The Spring Street midday rush was busier than usual last Friday as the Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) held its annual Rise Together for Safety and Justice walk to raise awareness and funds. The event was co-hosted by RASAN, SAPR, and Greylock Together.
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