The Williams Record

Opinions Desk

All content by Opinions Desk
Learning in action: Making a difference at local schools

Learning in action: Making a difference at local schools

December 9, 2020

I still remember the first time I stepped foot into Brayton Elementary School in North Adams. After weeks of searching for the perfect job with the Center for Learning in Action (CLiA), I was given the...

Chaplains’ Corner: Taking it One Day at at Time

Chaplains’ Corner: Taking it One Day at at Time

December 9, 2020

This is the semester where no one knew what to expect. No one knew what was going to happen. All we had were numerous scenarios. Our planning started with the worst-case — a massive outbreak of COVID-19...

Travis Roy — in memoriam

Travis Roy — in memoriam

November 18, 2020

Travis Roy died two weeks ago at the age of only 45. Made quadriplegic as the result of a catastrophic injury in his first on ice moments for Boston University hockey in 1995, Roy continued as a celebrated...

Comic

Comic

November 18, 2020

Learning in action: Williams international students share their stories with local schools

Learning in action: Williams international students share their stories with local schools

November 18, 2020

As schools began to shut down in March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many anxious parents scrambled and searched for ways to maintain and support their children's education. This was a time unlike...

The land American democracy wronged and then forgot

The land American democracy wronged and then forgot

November 11, 2020

My relationship with the U.S. is complicated, to say the least. I am a U.S. citizen, but as a resident of Puerto Rico, I am ineligible to vote in the general presidential elections. I carry a U.S. passport,...

Thank you for opening

Thank you for opening

November 11, 2020

This is a thank you note to Maud and all of the people at Williams who worked so hard to bring students back to campus. The faculty and staff who deserve credit won’t brag about it, so we will.  If...

One in Two Thousand: Max Odell ’22

One in Two Thousand: Max Odell ’22

November 4, 2020

Photo courtesy of Max Odell. Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of a selected unix is...

Chaplains’ Corner

Chaplains’ Corner

November 4, 2020

Several weeks ago, I played the song, “The Kingdom of God is Justice and Peace” to a photo montage of the news of the week during a virtual Night Prayer service attended by an assortment of people,...

Distance learning is not so bad: A remote first-year’s take

Distance learning is not so bad: A remote first-year’s take

October 21, 2020

I haven’t been in a classroom since January.  When my new classmates hear this, most of them offer their sympathies. “That must suck.” “It must be so difficult.”  Of course,...

No one is okay

No one is okay

October 21, 2020

I spent all summer dreading the fall. There were nights when I would lay in my bed restlessly as the question mark of what the future held chipped away at me. A part of me missed school and opening my...

Learning in action: Community engagement during a pandemic

Learning in action: Community engagement during a pandemic

October 21, 2020

(Photo courtesy of Paula Consolini.) Even in the best of circumstances, it would be hard to keep up with all the community work and engaged learning Williams students do. In these times of small face-to-face...

WPD officer on Berkshire DA’s misconduct watch list

WPD officer on Berkshire DA’s misconduct watch list

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...

Mutual aid: Solidarity, not charity

Mutual aid: Solidarity, not charity

September 23, 2020

As the United States enters its ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, 43 million Americans are facing eviction, 13.6 million are unemployed and over 200,000 have died. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has...

Dining in the age of COVID-19: A call for student engagement

Dining in the age of COVID-19: A call for student engagement

September 23, 2020

As the food sustainability intern for the Zilkha Center this summer, my work has involved researching the College’s current commitments to food sustainability and potential future ones in this time...

Chaplains’ Corner: Listening to the cries of the world and of ourselves

Chaplains’ Corner: Listening to the cries of the world and of ourselves

September 23, 2020

This essay is adapted from Rabbi Seth’s remarks at the start of Rosh Hashanah services on Friday, September 18, 2020, which marked the beginning of the Jewish new year. A story is told of a king...

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

September 23, 2020

Dear Sawyer Library, Please consider making all the public restrooms in Sawyer gender-neutral since they are single occupancy. This would be more inclusive and more efficient.  Best, Katrina...

The case for nuclear power

The case for nuclear power

September 16, 2020

Here are three surprising facts. The first: Nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-free energy in the US right now, supplying 20 percent of US electricity. The second: The Intergovernmental Panel...

Letter to the Editor: Chaplains speak to WPD allegations

Letter to the Editor: Chaplains speak to WPD allegations

August 22, 2020

As individuals who live and work in Williamstown, and especially as students and teachers of faith traditions that uphold the dignity of each person, we are appalled by the recent allegations of racial...

Mandel calls on Town to commission investigation into WPD allegations

Mandel calls on Town to commission investigation into WPD allegations

August 19, 2020

Renewed criticism of College’s 2018 funding of new police station, concerns over WPD presence on campus President of the College Maud S. Mandel sent a letter to the Williamstown Select Board on Aug....

Vote Ed Markey: The case for the sitting Massachusetts senator

Vote Ed Markey: The case for the sitting Massachusetts senator

August 3, 2020

As a 29 year-old, ice-cream-truck-driving, U.S. Army Reservesman fresh out of Boston College Law School, Edward J. Markey first made a name for himself in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives...

College signs amicus brief supporting Harvard and MIT lawsuit against ICE

College signs amicus brief supporting Harvard and MIT lawsuit against ICE

July 14, 2020

In an email sent out to the College community on July 8, President of the College Maud S. Mandel condemned the federal guidance issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which, among other...

Fair and lovely: Colorism in language

Fair and lovely: Colorism in language

July 7, 2020

While researching skin-lightening creams, I started to wonder if fair as in “just,” fair as in “beautiful,” and fair as in “light-complexioned” were etymologically linked. According to the...

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

July 4, 2020

The Williamstown Police Department’s (WPD) use of force policy does not require the use of de-escalation tactics before force is used.  It does not establish a duty to intervene when officers...

For your consideration: Yet another Plan A

For your consideration: Yet another Plan A

July 2, 2020

Dear Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, Today, when many of us are spending more time than ever in front of the computer, I would like to take a moment to talk to you about where we are and where...

A call for Black joy and an end to sensationalism

A call for Black joy and an end to sensationalism

June 22, 2020

I care. Didn’t you see my repost? The message being sent by most non-Black people attempting to act as allies during the wake of George Floyd’s death, as the international campaign for the Black...

American Studies program pledges in the wake of police brutality and COVID-19 (June 2020)

American Studies program pledges in the wake of police brutality and COVID-19 (June 2020)

June 19, 2020

“In the wake, the river, the weather, and the drowning are death, disaster, and possibility.” Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, pg. 105 As a community of scholars who labor...

Juneteenth statement from Sisterhood and the Society of the Griffins

Juneteenth statement from Sisterhood and the Society of the Griffins

June 19, 2020

Juneteenth celebrates the abolition of chattel slavery in the United States of America in 1865. As we commemorate the anniversary of this glorious event on the precipice of Independence Day, we implore...

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

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

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...

Student groups, academic departments make statements in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Student groups, academic departments make statements in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 10, 2020

Following the anger and sadness that many in the Williams community are experiencing after recent acts of police brutality against Black people and ensuing protests against systemic racism, many student...

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’

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...

The Williams meme page meltdown: A reflection of the lack of democratic conversation on campus

The Williams meme page meltdown: A reflection of the lack of democratic conversation on campus

May 31, 2020

On May 19, when President Maud S. Mandel sent out a campus-wide email announcing that Winter Study will be canceled and that students will only be required to take three courses per semester, the Williams...

Remembering Gail Oullette

Remembering Gail Oullette

May 26, 2020

Oullette at the Tanglewood Music Center. (Photo courtesy of Leticia Guzman.) Perhaps one of the most devastating impacts of the global pandemic is how challenging it has become to collectively...

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

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

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...

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Kravis ’99: Consider government service

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Kravis ’99: Consider government service

May 23, 2020

To the Williams College Class of 2020: You are graduating into a world facing challenges unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. A global pandemic is sweeping the globe, millions of Americans are...

“You’re more than enough, you’re worthy, and you belong”: First Gen students reflect on graduating amidst the pandemic

“You’re more than enough, you’re worthy, and you belong”: First Gen students reflect on graduating amidst the pandemic

May 23, 2020

Nohely Peraza poses next at the Hopkins Memorial Gate in her cap and gown. It is again the time of year when seniors are normally preparing to receive their diplomas from the College, with their family...

Reflections on my first-gen academic journey

Reflections on my first-gen academic journey

May 23, 2020

I was the first in my family to receive a high school diploma. Shortly, I will also be the first to earn a bachelor’s degree. I can’t explain what it means to graduate from college without explaining...

Columbia Chief Surgeon Craig Smith ’70: “I could not see to see”

Columbia Chief Surgeon Craig Smith ’70: “I could not see to see”

May 23, 2020

2020 — the perfect vision class! 2000 got the millennium, 2017 had their prime, but vision… there’s a game-changer, and have we ever needed it more? In the past few months it’s been...

To Williams

To Williams

May 23, 2020

Friday was the last day of class, the last day of college. I finished off with “PSCI 215: Race and Inequality in the American City” with Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Political...

Chaplains’ Corner: The obstacles are the path

Chaplains’ Corner: The obstacles are the path

May 23, 2020

When you tell the story of your life and experience at Williams College, of what you did and how you grew during your time here, what will you include and what will you leave out? Do you talk about...

Seniors complete theses amid pandemic

Seniors complete theses amid pandemic

May 23, 2020

A senior thesis represents the culmination of many students’ academic journeys at the College. But this year, like most other aspects of College life, the senior thesis process has been heavily affected...

NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian ’91: Dear Williams grads, we’ve made a mess of things. Please help us clean it up.

NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian ’91: Dear Williams grads, we’ve made a mess of things. Please help us clean it up.

May 23, 2020

Dear Williams Class of 2020: Congratulations! Neuroscientists say struggle is crucial to learning, so there’s no doubt you will learn a lot over the next few years. America has dug itself in a Mariana...

In preparation for the fall, wherever it may be

In preparation for the fall, wherever it may be

May 22, 2020

In my experience so far, online learning has kind of sucked. But given that we’re stuck with some form of it next year, it’s useful to consider exactly why I feel this way. For me, it’s not really...

A call to consider alternatives to an online fall semester

A call to consider alternatives to an online fall semester

May 21, 2020

We have experienced a great deal of change in the last two months. The word “unprecedented” has become a part of our everyday vocabulary, and things that were big parts of our lives at the beginning...

Students are in need of clarity and comfort, not confusion

Students are in need of clarity and comfort, not confusion

May 21, 2020

At 3:29 p.m. on May 19, I was sitting at my kitchen table writing my REL 200 final paper. I then received a text message from my friend saying, “it’s out,” at which point I scrambled over to my...

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

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

May 13, 2020

As a result of College social distancing policy, the Paresky Center is only open between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays for mail retrieval. (Kevin Yang/The Williams Record) On May 6, the College began...

Title IX and the weaponization of due process

Title IX and the weaponization of due process

May 13, 2020

Content Warning: Sexual Assault  What do you call a 2,000-page overhaul of legislation that strips power from one of the most vulnerable populations in the sphere of higher education? If you are...

Retiring in a pandemic: Some final reflections from Steve Klass

Retiring in a pandemic: Some final reflections from Steve Klass

May 13, 2020

I was asked to write a brief reflection piece as I head into retirement at the end of June after a 32-year career in higher education that culminated in my current role as VP for Campus Life here at Williams....

Record Recs: (Free) coming-of-age films and crime dramas

Record Recs: (Free) coming-of-age films and crime dramas

May 13, 2020

It has been more than a month and a half since most students left campus and returned home to finish the semester remotely. If you are anything like us and have found yourself in a bit of an entertainment...

Care, for us by us: A call for redistribution

Care, for us by us: A call for redistribution

May 13, 2020

Dear friends, community members and loved ones, We are writing to you from various parts of the country, together while apart. We are writing as peers, your fellow students and classmates, but as we...

Load More Stories