The Williams Record

Rebecca Tauber, Senior Writer

Rebecca Tauber ’21 is a history and English major and Jewish studies concentrator from Lower Merion, Pa. She is a senior writer. She previously served as news editor, executive editor for communications and podcast and most recently as managing editor.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @retauber

All content by Rebecca Tauber
Acting police chief confirms three officers illegally searched records of vocal WPD critics

Acting police chief confirms three officers illegally searched records of vocal WPD critics

March 12, 2021
Three Williamstown Police Department (WPD) officers illegally searched the names of vocal WPD critics in Registry of Motor Vehicle records as accessed through the Criminal Justice Information System, Acting Police Chief Michael Ziemba told the Record today. He said that 20 people were searched in the few months before former chief Kyle Johnson resigned in December and Ziemba stepped in as acting chief.
I was on a varsity sports team for three years. After the Wood party, the anger towards athletic culture is warranted.

I was on a varsity sports team for three years. After the Wood party, the anger towards athletic culture is warranted.

March 10, 2021
Rebecca Tauber ’21 writes as a former varsity athlete about how athletes and the administration should embrace the anger in the wake of the Wood party and reckon with athletic culture and the privilege that comes with playing a varsity sport at Williams.
Following WPD chief’s resignation, sergeant withdraws lawsuit

Following WPD chief’s resignation, sergeant withdraws lawsuit

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

December 14, 2020
Town Manager Jason Hoch ’95 announced that WPD Lieutenant Mike Ziemba would take responsibilities for Johnson as interim chief.
‘Bunnalupe,’ ‘Shadeball’ and ‘Tray jumping’: Alums recount ‘meaningless’ athletic achievements

‘Bunnalupe,’ ‘Shadeball’ and ‘Tray jumping’: Alums recount ‘meaningless’ athletic achievements

December 9, 2020

The “You know you went to Williams College if…” Facebook group typically consists of alums posting pictures of College ephemera, children decked out in Williams gear and evocative purple and yellow...

Two students, one staff member test positive on Tuesday; 15 students enter quarantine

Two students, one staff member test positive on Tuesday; 15 students enter quarantine

November 22, 2020

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, two students and one staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The tests were the first positives since Oct. 28, and as of publication, bring the total number of student, faculty...

On-campus students, faculty and staff came together to honor Ronningen in a memorial service on Paresky lawn. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.)

College mourns death of Jackson Ronningen ’24

November 11, 2020

On-campus students, faculty and staff came together to honor Ronningen in a memorial service on Paresky lawn. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.) Last Sunday, members of the College community came...

The College switched two students to remote status for violating COVID rules. Now, one has returned to campus.

The College switched two students to remote status for violating COVID rules. Now, one has returned to campus.

September 30, 2020

When a Junior Advisor (JA) moved back to campus in late August, they thought they had followed the College’s rules for the five- to seven-day in-room quarantine the College required each student to...

One in Two Thousand: Rosa Kirk-Davidoff ’21

One in Two Thousand: Rosa Kirk-Davidoff ’21

September 30, 2020

Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record 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...

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

Key takeaways from the past two faculty meetings

June 24, 2020

Last Wednesday and today at two extraordinary faculty meetings held on Zoom, President Maud S. Mandel and Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom gave updates on next year’s academic calendar and faculty...

Admission yield remains normal despite pandemic

Admission yield remains normal despite pandemic

June 16, 2020

Despite uncertainty surrounding the next academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the yield of students admitted to the Class of 2024 was 46 percent, similar to previous years. The matriculating class’...

Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

Faculty passes motion to reduce graduation requirements, administration announces no Division of the Day next year

May 29, 2020

Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record At an extraordinary faculty meeting Wednesday, faculty overwhelmingly approved a motion put forward by the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA) to temporarily adjust...

Four Years through the Headlines: Capturing the Class of 2020’s experience

Four Years through the Headlines: Capturing the Class of 2020’s experience

May 23, 2020

Members of the Class of 2020 have seen two United States presidents, three College presidents and two different forms of student government during their four years at the College. They’ve celebrated...

A closer look into the reasoning and reactions to the recently-announced 2020-2021 academic calendar changes

A closer look into the reasoning and reactions to the recently-announced 2020-2021 academic calendar changes

May 20, 2020

Graphic by Nigel Jaffe/The Williams Record. In an all-community email sent yesterday, President Maud S. Mandel announced that the College would maintain a two-semester model for the upcoming academic...

Mandel announces reduction of required courses from four to three, elimination of Winter Study for 2020-2021 academic year

Mandel announces reduction of required courses from four to three, elimination of Winter Study for 2020-2021 academic year

May 19, 2020

Graphic by Nigel Jaffe/The Williams Record In an all-campus email sent today, President Maud S. Mandel announced plans to adopt a revised version of the regular two-semester academic calendar for the...

Associate Professor of Geosciences Phoebe Cohen talks to her thesis student, Kate Pippenger ’20, over Zoom. (Photo courtesy of Phoebe Cohen.)

Professors look back at remote learning, reflect on experiences and challenges

May 13, 2020

At the beginning of the switch to remote learning, the Record spoke with a variety of professors about their thoughts going into online classes. This week, we followed up with some of those professors...

Spencer Art Show, online

Spencer Art Show, online

May 13, 2020

The end of each semester typically brings members of the College community to Spencer Studio Art Building to see work produced by students in studio art classes. This semester’s move to remote learning...

College staff keep campus running in person, behind the scenes

College staff keep campus running in person, behind the scenes

May 13, 2020

By April 28, the day this photo was taken, Kim Brown, manager of mail and print services, had helped ship nearly 200 boxes to students. (Photo courtesy of Kim Brown.) For Julie Fairchild, communications...

IOIT: Nation's largest public four-year university system announces classes online this fall

IOIT: Nation’s largest public four-year university system announces classes online this fall

May 13, 2020

San Diego State University is one of the universities that will be holding most courses online in the fall, following the California State University system's announcement yesterday. (Photo courtesy of...

What to know about the administration’s proposed options for the fall semester

What to know about the administration’s proposed options for the fall semester

May 6, 2020

This chart, which spans four pages in a memo sent to faculty last week, considers each potential option for the fall semester through different lenses. (Photo from the academic continuity planning memo.) The...

The pandemic in the Berkshires in three charts

The pandemic in the Berkshires in three charts

May 6, 2020

In recent weeks, Berkshire County, like the rest of Massachusetts, has seen a continued increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH). The figures below show...

(Jeongyoon Han/The Williams Record)

College announces no virtual commencement, postponement of 2020 ceremony to undetermined future date

April 29, 2020

Members of the class of 2020 will have to wait until at least next year to participate in postponed in-person commencement ceremonies. (Jeongyoon Han/The Williams Record) Yesterday, the College announced...

One in Two Thousand: Georgia Ganser '22

One in Two Thousand: Georgia Ganser ’22

April 15, 2020

Photo courtesy of Georgia Ganser. We randomly select unixes from a list of all current students at the College for our weekly One in Two Thousand. So long as the owner of a selected unix is willing...

College advises students planning on studying abroad this fall to register for on-campus classes, housing lottery

College advises students planning on studying abroad this fall to register for on-campus classes, housing lottery

April 8, 2020

Students who applied to study away programs this upcoming fall have been advised by the Office of Study Away to register for Williams classes and housing in the coming weeks should programs be cancelled...

Mandel announces commencement, reunion will no longer occur in June

Mandel announces commencement, reunion will no longer occur in June

April 3, 2020

Some seniors took photos in cap and gown during the last week on campus in early March, anticipating that commencement might not occur in June. (Jeongyoon Han/The Williams Record) The College announced...

Shutdown by the numbers: Capturing the campus closure in a few key figures

Shutdown by the numbers: Capturing the campus closure in a few key figures

April 1, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout the world, the past few weeks have been unprecedented for the College. President Maud S. Mandel’s email on March 11 announcing the closure of the campus and...

In Other Ivory Towers: NESCAC grading systems

In Other Ivory Towers: NESCAC grading systems

March 25, 2020

In Other Ivory Towers is the Record’s look at colleges and universities outside the Purple Bubble. This week, we are covering other NESCAC schools’ grading policies in light of decisions...

One in Two Thousand: Maddie Dekko

One in Two Thousand: Maddie Dekko

March 25, 2020

Photo courtesy of Maddie Dekko. We randomly select unixes from a list of all current students at the College for our weekly One in Two Thousand. So long as the owner of a selected unix is willing to...

First member of College community tests positive for COVID-19

First member of College community tests positive for COVID-19

March 20, 2020

The College confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the Williams community yesterday morning.  The student, who at the time of publication remains asymptomatic according to the College, had been studying...

Students depart Williams-Mystic this week as campuses close due to coronavirus pandemic

Students depart Williams-Mystic this week as campuses close due to coronavirus pandemic

March 20, 2020

The Williams-Mystic program, like the College’s campus in Williamstown and the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford, decided last week to send its students home and transition to remote learning in response...

WEPO tells its 26 students to leave Oxford

WEPO tells its 26 students to leave Oxford

March 12, 2020

The Williams-Exeter Programme in Oxford has told its students to leave Oxford and complete the final term online. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.) The Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford (WEPO)...

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

March 11, 2020

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

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...

One in Two Thousand: Natalie Jean-Michel '23

One in Two Thousand: Natalie Jean-Michel ’23

March 4, 2020

ETHAN DINÇER/THE WILLIAMS RECORD Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current students at the College. So long as the owner of the selected unix is on campus, willing to be interviewed...

Williamstown Dart League builds community

Williamstown Dart League builds community

February 19, 2020

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY MUNZER. Williamstown residents have been gathering to play darts since the 1980s as a way to brighten up dreary Berkshire winters. Two dart boards hang on the wall at Water...

Students studying abroad encounter problems, delays with financial aid

Students studying abroad encounter problems, delays with financial aid

February 19, 2020

When Caroline Fairweather ’20 arrived at her study abroad program for spring semester last year, she had approximately fifty dollars in her checking account. Her program began on Jan. 2, a day before...

Low-cost housing faces challenges

Low-cost housing faces challenges

December 6, 2019

https://youtu.be/BlESg1pvNq4 Davis Collison '21 created a documentary about the Spruces Mobile Home park and its destruction in Hurricane Irene. While community members in many Berkshire County towns,...

Former prof. Kurt Tauber reflects on time at the College

Former prof. Kurt Tauber reflects on time at the College

December 6, 2019

Kurt Tauber was a prominent member of the College’s activist community during his 33 years as a professor of political science. (Nigel Jaffe/The Williams Record) Once I started writing for the Record,...

Asian American  Studies begins faculty hiring process

Asian American Studies begins faculty hiring process

November 13, 2019

Last spring, the committee on appointments and promotions (CAP) approved the creation of two new tenure-line positions in Asian American studies (AAS), and the search to fill one of these positions in...

Crew teams end fall seasons

Crew teams end fall seasons

October 30, 2019

The men’s and women’s crew teams ended their season last weekend at Wormtown Chase in Worcester, Massachusetts and Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, New York, respectively. Highlights...

Women’s crew races at HOCR

Women’s crew races at HOCR

October 23, 2019

Women’s crew’s collegiate eight boat took 12th place in 17:25.3, requalifying the boat for next year. (Photo courtesy of Kurt Urdang.) The Head of the Charles Regatta is known for its challenging...

Log mural gets label following controversy

Log mural gets label following controversy

October 2, 2019

A label has been added to contextualize the depictions of Native people in a mural in the Log. (Nicky Wu/The Williams Record) Last month, the College hung an informational label beside one of the murals...

The men’s rugby club team is 1–2 this season after beating Union but falling to Siena and Amherst. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.)

Men’s rugby falls to Amherst, celebrates team traditions

October 2, 2019

The men’s rugby club team is 1–2 this season after beating Union but falling to Siena and Amherst. (Rebecca Tauber/The Williams Record.) Last Saturday, three Eph teams stared down the Amherst Mammoths...

College endowment returns impacted by 2017 federal tax

College endowment returns impacted by 2017 federal tax

September 25, 2019

Joey Fox/The Williams Record In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a law that included a tax on the returns from certain college and university endowments, of which the College’s endowment...

Potato vandalism shatters car window

Potato vandalism shatters car window

September 18, 2019

The window of Wheelan's car was broken by high-velocity potatoes. REBECCA TAUBER/DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR. On Sunday morning, a Campus Safety and Security (CSS) officer who was patrolling Thompson parking...

 Fall teams, such as men's soccer, complete preseason training in accordance with NCAA guidelines. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

College adopts new NCAA back-to-season protocols

September 11, 2019

Fall teams, such as men's soccer, complete preseason training in accordance with NCAA guidelines. Photo courtesy of Sports Information. For fall athletes, returning to school also means returning...

A closer look at departures of College faculty of color

A closer look at departures of College faculty of color

May 8, 2019

An increased number of faculty of color are going on temporary leave or departing from the College this year compared to recent years. These faculty cite multiple reasons for leaving, ranging from professional...

Stop & Shop workers reach tentative agreement, end strike

Stop & Shop workers reach tentative agreement, end strike

April 24, 2019

Stop & Shop workers across New England returned to work on Monday for the first time in 11 days, ending the strike that began on April 11. According to Skyhook, a location technology company, visits...

Stop & Shop workers go on strike

Stop & Shop workers go on strike

April 17, 2019

New England Stop & Shop workers went on strike on Thursday after months of tense negotiations with the grocery chain. Five United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) chapters, representing 31,000...

Beyond the Purple Bubble

Beyond the Purple Bubble

April 10, 2019

Stop & Shop releases “final offer” to workers threatening strike Following weeks of tense negotiation, Stop & Shop updated its “final offer” to the five local unions that authorized...

Licensing company reprimands theatre department

Licensing company reprimands theatre department

April 10, 2019

Following the College’s March production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” the theatre department received a reprimand via email from Dramatists Play Service for...

Jeffrey  Israel explores pop culture, hate in new book

Jeffrey Israel explores pop culture, hate in new book

April 10, 2019

Jeffrey Israel released a book yesterday on the interplay between resentment and popular culture. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAMS COLLEGE. Jeffrey Israel, assistant professor of religion and Jewish studies,...

Howard Garbarsky: man, myth, monitor, screenwriter

Howard Garbarsky: man, myth, monitor, screenwriter

April 3, 2019

Gym monitor Howard Garbarsky began working at the College while at studying at MCLA to write his screenplay, “The Atomic Voles.” Most students’ interactions with Athletic Facility Monitor Howard...

United Food and Commercial Workers, which voted to authorize a strike, represents the North Adams Stop & Shop. NICHOLAS GOLDROSEN/MANAGING EDITOR

Stop & Shop workers vote to authorize strike

March 13, 2019

United Food and Commercial Workers, which voted to authorize a strike, represents the North Adams Stop & Shop. NICHOLAS GOLDROSEN/MANAGING EDITOR Hundreds of members of United Food and Commercial...

Student input, new leadership help ‘Judas Iscariot’ impress

Student input, new leadership help ‘Judas Iscariot’ impress

March 13, 2019

COURTESY OF KEITH FOREMAN In The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, witnesses ranging from Sigmund Freud to Pontius Pilate are called to testify on whether Judas Iscariot should go to heaven.  Last...

Stop & Shop workers to vote on strike

Stop & Shop workers to vote on strike

March 6, 2019

North Adams Stop & Shop workers will vote on Sunday to decide whether or not to authorize a strike.  United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1445, which represents some of the Stop...

In Other Ivory Towers

In Other Ivory Towers

February 27, 2019

Following recent discussion and coverage of the struggles of minority faculty and issues of retention at the College, the Record examined news surrounding this issue at other colleges and universities...

Resurfaced 2009 report sheds light on struggles of minority faculty, staff

Resurfaced 2009 report sheds light on struggles of minority faculty, staff

February 13, 2019

Departures of faculty of color in 2007 prompted the formation of the Faculty Staff Initiative (FSI), a grassroots group that examined the experiences of minority faculty and staff at the College. Led...

Professors cancel courses, cite College’s “violent practices,”  “anti-blackness and transphobia”

Professors cancel courses, cite College’s “violent practices,” “anti-blackness and transphobia”

February 6, 2019

Two professors canceled their courses in the days leading up to the start of spring semester. In an email to students enrolled in her courses, Kimberly Love, assistant professor of English, cited...

The track and field teams, unable to access the Towne Field House, currently practice in Lansing Chapman Rink. Sabrine Brismeur/Photo Editor.

Hazardous materials in field house delay reopening for second time

January 23, 2019

The track and field teams, unable to access the Towne Field House, currently practice in Lansing Chapman Rink. Sabrine Brismeur/Photo Editor. After discovering further hazardous materials in the Towne...

Students, faculty discuss free speech

Students, faculty discuss free speech

December 5, 2018

On Oct. 29, several members of the faculty sent out a petition calling for the College to adopt the Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression, originally released by the University of Chicago...

Graphic by Rebecca Tauber/News Editor.

Survey examines approval ratings of campus groups

December 5, 2018

  This week, the Record sent out its biannual approval ratings survey, which measures student views on a variety of campus institutions. Students could answer “approve,” “disapprove” or...

Some members of the Select Board were ambivalent about approving the street closure for Halloween on Hoxsey. 

Samuel Wolf/News Editor

Halloween on Hoxsey stirs controversy

October 31, 2018

On Oct. 15, Williamstown community and Select Board members pushed back against student organization Reclaim Childhood’s requested closure of Hoxsey Street for their annual fundraiser, Halloween...

In Other Ivory Towers: News across higher education

In Other Ivory Towers: News across higher education

October 24, 2018

Affirmative action trial challenges Harvard’s admissions system On Monday, Oct. 15, a trial began against Harvard regarding its affirmative action practices (“Michael Wang ’17 takes part in advocacy...

JAs react to new  system, larger entries

JAs react to new system, larger entries

October 3, 2018

Last year, the Junior Advisor (JA) system underwent significant changes. Due to gradual decreases in both applications and in students accepting the position, the Junior Advisor Advisory Board (JAAB) changed...

Beyond the Bubble: News across Berkshire County

October 3, 2018

Job action in local School District ends On Sept. 26, Mount Greylock Regional School District Superintendent Kimberly Grady announced the end of the job action by teachers against the newly merged school...

“Unofficial guide” to navigating College life released in email

September 26, 2018

On Sept. 7, the student body was sent an email containing an “unofficial resource guide” to life on campus. This guide, which was spearheaded by Eli Cytrynbaum ’20 and Katie Manning ’20 and included...

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