The Williams Record

Tali Natter, Executive Editor for Race, Privilege, and Identity

Tali Natter ’23 is an American studies major and environmental studies concentrator from New York, N.Y. She is an executive editor for Race, Privilege, and Identity reporting. She previously served as a managing editor, and before that, an executive editor for the arts section and a section editor for the arts and podcast sections.

Email: [email protected]

All content by Tali Natter
Faculty votes to approve Africana studies major

Faculty votes to approve Africana studies major

November 16, 2022
At the Nov. 16 faculty meeting, faculty approved the creation of an Africana studies major that will go into effect in fall 2023, with 70 voting in favor, zero not in favor, and three abstaining. For students who have been eager to see the confirmation of the major, the vote was a momentous step in improving their academic and personal lives.
Student survey shows high interest in Asian American studies ahead of new proposal

Student survey shows high interest in Asian American studies ahead of new proposal

November 16, 2022
Faculty, staff, and students submitted a proposal for an Asian American studies (AAS) program on Nov. 3 to the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA), the student-faculty committee that will deliberate on the proposal and decide whether it will be discussed at an upcoming faculty meeting.
Many panelists said that they did not feel supported by professors or administrators while at the College. (Photo courtesy of Angel Santiago.)

Vista hosts alum panel on 1993 hunger strike for establishment of Latino/a studies department at the College

November 2, 2022
Vista, the College’s Latinx and Allies student organization, hosted a panel on Friday where six alums who participated in the 1993 hunger strike protesting the College’s lack of a Latino/a studies department spoke about their experiences and reflected on the changes the College has made and what can still be done.
The Williams Library “Revelations” exhibit includes more than 100 letters, photographs, papers, and writings from the Sterling A. Brown archive collection. (Tali Natter / The Williams Record.)

College honors life, legacy of alum Sterling A. Brown through archive exhibit and virtual symposium

October 25, 2022
From Oct. 19 to Oct. 21, Williams College Libraries held a virtual symposium entitled “The Life and Lore of Sterling A. Brown: Celebrating Poetry, Prose, and Music,” in celebration of the centennial of Brown’s graduation from the College. The symposium coincided with the opening of a new archival collection in the library archives of Schow and Chapin Art Galleries.
Vista board members presented on the history and the future of Latina/o studies at the College in Goodrich Hall during the teach-in event. (Photo courtesy of Angel Santiago)

AASiA, Vista, BSU host ethnic studies teach-in, affirm support for Asian American studies

September 28, 2022
Members of the Black Student Union (BSU); Vista, the College’s Latinx and Allies Student Organization; and Asian American Students in Action (AASiA) hosted an annual teach-in at Goodrich Hall on the history and future of ethnic studies at the College.
Shoppers at the Williamstown Farmers Market can purchase bright red tomatoes — among a wide selection of local produce. (_____/The Williams Record)

Williamstown Farmers Market provides hub for local vendors, Town residents, students

September 27, 2022
On Saturday mornings from May through October, the Spring Street parking lot bustles with chatter and music. The sweet smells of flowers, fresh vegetables, and baked goods surround attendees at the Williamstown Farmers Market. 
Adams-Silva (far left) poses with the team behind the College’s very first ASL course. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kate Adams-Silva.)

Instructor Melissa Kate Adams-Silva shares ASL, Deaf culture with the College through new course

September 20, 2022
Instructor Melissa Kate Adams-Silva, who is Deaf, is teaching the College's first introductory ASL course this fall. Her course seeks to not only teach students ASL, but also to raise awareness about Deaf experiences and societal contributions from the Deaf community.
Staff and interns at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives worked on the 2022 STARS proposal. (Tali Natter/The Williams Record)

College achieves STARS gold rating in sustainability

April 27, 2022
The College has earned a gold rating — the second-highest possible rating — from The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Operated by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS is a self-reporting framework for colleges to measure the environmental sustainability of their campuses.
Sankofa members and alumni performers, back for the anniversary, pose together at Moonlight Diner. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Pope.)

Sankofa celebrates 25th anniversary joined by alums with “Step Back In It,” features student choreographers

April 26, 2022
Over the weekend, Sankofa took to the mainstage of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance for its reunion show titled “Step Back In It” in celebration of the College dance group’s 25th anniversary. Sankofa’s numbers were interspersed alongside performances from selected student choreographers.
College to launch nation’s first all-grant financial aid program

College to launch nation’s first all-grant financial aid program

April 13, 2022
The College will eliminate all loans, required work study, and summer earnings contributions from all students’ financial aid packages effective fall 2022, becoming the first institution of higher education in the United States to do so, excluding military and work colleges.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival is hosted at the College’s ’62 Center. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Williamstown Theatre Festival announces 2022 season

March 15, 2022
The Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) will premiere three new theatrical works this summer, the festival announced on Tuesday.
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

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.
Follies showgirls in their 1940s costumes at London National Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Clark Art Institute.

Review: Follies musical by Stephen Sondheim ’50 is dazzling yet dark

March 2, 2022

Despite being a self-proclaimed Stephen Sondheim ’50 aficionado, I must admit that with the exception of a few songs, I did not know anything about his 1971 musical Follies. That is, until Saturday,...

The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance becomes home to the Williamstown Theatre Festival each summer (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Williamstown Theatre Festival hires new artistic director, introduces significant culture changes

February 23, 2022
Following a contentious summer during which crew members went on strike and investigative reporting found that employees felt overworked, unsafe, and underappreciated, the leadership of the Williamstown Theatre Festival released a progress report on Feb. 3 introducing major changes to its operations, including reducing the number of shows and giving employees days off and free on-campus housing.
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

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.
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)

Black, international, interfaith, sustainable TAPSI houses to be implemented next year

February 16, 2022
The Office of Residential Life and Housing approved four Theme/Affinity/Program/Special Interest (TAPSI) houses for the 2022-2023 academic year.
College announces new “recover-in-place” policy as part of COVID isolation protocol

College announces new “recover-in-place” policy as part of COVID isolation protocol

January 12, 2022
In a campus-wide email sent on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom announced a “recover-in-place” strategy for students who test positive for COVID-19. The College will permit students who test positive to isolate in their rooms, as long as they live in a single dorm.  
The College will not publish COVID test results today, arrival policies change for students who tested positive before arriving to campus

The College will not publish COVID test results today, arrival policies change for students who tested positive before arriving to campus

January 4, 2022
Jan. 4 | 9:45 p.m. As of 9:45 p.m. today, the College’s COVID-19 dashboard has not been updated to include test results from students who took COVID tests on Monday. In an email to the Record, Associate Director of Institutional Research James Cart ’05, who manages the dashboard, wrote that the College’s typical cycle of testing and reporting results on the dashboard happens over the course of three days.
College announces first week of Winter Study to be held remotely, students to quarantine upon arrival

College announces first week of Winter Study to be held remotely, students to quarantine upon arrival

December 30, 2021
The first week of classes and events during Winter Study will be held remotely, and students will quarantine in their dorm rooms upon arrival to campus until they receive one negative COVID-19 test result, President Maud S. Mandel announced in an all-campus email this morning. 
The College announced a change to twice weekly COVID testing for all students, which will take place on the second floor of Greylock Hall. (Kent Barbir/The Williams Record)

College announces stricter COVID policies for Winter Study

December 21, 2021
Winter Study will be held on campus with tighter COVID-19 restrictions, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom announced in an all-campus email this afternoon.
Stephen Sondheim ’50, visionary theatre composer, dies at 91

Stephen Sondheim ’50, visionary theatre composer, dies at 91

December 1, 2021
Stephen Sondheim ’50, widely revered as musical theatre’s most visionary composer and lyricist, died on Friday in his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.
(Tali Natter/The Williams Record)

One in Two Thousand: Amanda Wager ’23.5

December 1, 2021
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Amanda Wager ’23.5, who talked about crystals, her experience on the College’s swimming and diving team, and being co-Junior Advisors (JAs) with the interviewer in Armstrong-Pratt 4.
Students reported frustrating experiences with the Health Center. (Sabrine Brismeur/The Williams Record)

Seeking reproductive health care at the College brings confusion and frustration, some students say

November 17, 2021
Accessing reproductive health care while at the College can be difficult given limited local treatment options and hours of operation at the Thompson Health Center. And three students who spoke to the Record said these difficulties can be exacerbated by unsatisfactory information and negative interactions they had while seeking reproductive health care at the Health Center. 
The prospectus, if approved, will centralize AAS in its own department and hire two new faculty members — one junior and one senior — both with Full Time Equivalents (FTE) solely in AAS. (Samuel Riley/The Williams Record)

Professors submit proposal for Asian American studies program

November 10, 2021
Associate Professor of American Studies Jan Padios and Chair of American Studies Dorothy Wang submitted a prospectus to create an Asian American studies (AAS) program last Sunday. The prospectus details the steps the College should take to establish a viable AAS program and is the latest push for AAS after nearly three decades of activism.
The Clark Art Museum Reflecting Pool, where the WTF production of [ITAL] Row took place this summer. (Taryn McLaughlin/The Williams Record)

Williamstown Theatre Festival crew members decry working conditions

September 21, 2021
During a rehearsal for one of this year’s mainstage productions, the sound crew walked out to protest what they said were unsafe working conditions. In the wake of the walkout, many festival workers from past years shared on social media that they had felt overworked and unsafe, suggesting that the walkout reflects deeper issues within the labor structure of the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
(Tali Natter/The Williams Record)

After a mostly-Zoom year, performance groups put on in-person shows

May 19, 2021
After a year of livestreamed and canceled events, some performance groups have been performing outside, filling sunny campus spots like Chapin steps and Cole Field with vibrant song and dance for the last weeks of the semester. 
(Tali Natter/The Williams Record)

One in Two Thousand: Riley Galizio ’24

April 7, 2021
This week, the computer (using a script in R) chose Riley Galizio ’24, who talked about Taylor Swift, learning Italian, and ice hockey.
Amherst’s decision to divest from fossil fuels comes on the heels of student advocacy on behalf of climate justice (Photo Courtesy of David Emmerman).

In Other Ivory Towers: Amherst joins Middlebury, Wesleyan in pledge to divest from fossil fuels

April 7, 2021
On March 31, Amherst College formalized its commitment to divest its endowment from fossil fuels, joining several other NESCAC institutions, including Middlebury and Wesleyan, in plans to divest.
(Gelila Kassa/The Williams Record)

‘Fundamentally broken’: Professor, alums in music industry discuss the Grammys’ lack of diversity and relevance

March 17, 2021
Black Lives Matter–related songs took the stage at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, with performances like Lil Baby’s autobiographical protest rap “The Bigger Picture” and Mickey Guyton’s country tune “Black Like Me.” This was somewhat of a break from the event’s history, which many view as one of slighting Black artists, particularly Black women.
Photo courtesy of Sophia Sonnenfeldt ’22.

Two in Two Thousand: Lizzie Ferguson ’22 and Sophia Sonnenfeldt ’22

February 17, 2021
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Record brings you its annual profile of a campus couple.
Songs, movies, and more that made quarantine go quicker

Songs, movies, and more that made quarantine go quicker

February 10, 2021
With our unusually long winter break and upcoming in-room quarantine, the Record compiled art recommendations from students at the College via Instagram. For those students studying remotely this semester or taking time off, we hope that these recommendations help you stay connected to the College community, no matter where you are. From cartoons to crafts and everything in between, we hope you enjoy!
College refreshes visual identity, students push back with memes

College refreshes visual identity, students push back with memes

February 5, 2021
The College has updated its visual identity, expanding the official standards governing all aspects of its brand. The announcement sparked a swift and largely critical response from students and alumni, who flooded Williams-related Facebook pages with memes and other posts. 
The facilitated dialogue event on Saturday took place at Mount Greylock Regional High School.

Racist Zoom attack at Mt. Greylock HS targets College employees’ child

Incident reignites broader concerns over racism in Williamstown
January 31, 2021
The child of College employees was the target of a racist, anti-Black Zoom-bombing attack during a Mount Greylock Regional High School (MGRHS) class on Jan. 21. A student from another school district subsequently took responsibility for the attack following an investigation by MGRHS.
Answers to your questions about spring semester changes

Answers to your questions about spring semester changes

January 20, 2021
In light of the recent email from Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom to students, faculty, and staff, the Record compiled a list of answers to reader-submitted questions regarding plans for the spring semester.
Yang, Loewenson, Fox and Jones to lead 2021 Record Editorial Board

Yang, Loewenson, Fox and Jones to lead 2021 Record Editorial Board

December 9, 2020

Kevin Yang ’22, Irene Loewenson ’22, Joey Fox ’21 and Sofie Jones ’22 have been elected by the Record 2020 Editorial Board to lead Williams College’s student newspaper in 2021. Yang will be...

Student musicians and a cappella groups record and release albums

Student musicians and a cappella groups record and release albums

December 9, 2020
Four recently released albums recorded and edited by students at the College.
Jacob’s Pillow theatre, site of college dance collaborations, destroyed in fire

Jacob’s Pillow theatre, site of college dance collaborations, destroyed in fire

December 9, 2020

Kusika, the College’s African Dance group, performing at the 2014 Inside/Outside series at Jacob’s Pillow. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Kraus/Jacob’s Pillow Dance.) On Nov. 17, the Doris Duke Theatre...

Performance groups adapt to remote recruitment and rehearsal

Performance groups adapt to remote recruitment and rehearsal

October 7, 2020

NBC teammates taking a break from outdoor rehearsal (Photo courtesy of Iris Park ’21.) Although they won’t be singing on Mountain Day, dancing during Homecoming halftime, or performing before a...

1,000 paper cranes and a welding project: one entry’s First Days activity

1,000 paper cranes and a welding project: one entry’s First Days activity

September 30, 2020

Members of Mills-Dennett 4 stand in front of their finalized 1,000 origami cranes. From left to right: Charles Yang ’24, Emma Schulman ’24, Rika Nakato ’24, Syl Foisy ’24, Sarah Lindeman ’24,...

Professors, administrators plan to take part in Scholar Strike for racial justice in academia

Professors, administrators plan to take part in Scholar Strike for racial justice in academia

September 7, 2020

Weeks following a tweet from University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler on Aug. 26 reading “I would be down as a professor to follow the NBA and Strike for a few days to protest police violence...

Neal, Morse face off in close Berkshire congressional primary

Neal, Morse face off in close Berkshire congressional primary

August 29, 2020

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) and Mayor of Holyoke Alex Morse are competing in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts' 1st congressional district this Tuesday. (Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.) Massachusetts’...

In Other Ivory Towers: Dartmouth graduate student on day 16 of hunger strike over sexual harassment investigation

In Other Ivory Towers: Dartmouth graduate student on day 16 of hunger strike over sexual harassment investigation

July 30, 2020

In Other Ivory Towers, or IOIT, is a Record column covering events and news in institutions of higher education. On July 14, Dartmouth College computer science graduate student Maha Hasan Alshawi...

The Unmasked Project app aims to create a space for college students to share how they are “really feeling.” Photo provided by the Unmasked Project.

Through Unmasked app, students share how they are really feeling

July 30, 2020

At the top of the screen reads a simple prompt: “Hi, how are you really feeling today?” Posts, arrayed on a nature-themed user interface that practically screams calm, seem to take the question seriously,...

Artists in (College) residence: Profiles of the Class of 2020

Artists in (College) residence: Profiles of the Class of 2020

May 23, 2020

https://williamsrecord.com/snowball/artists-in-college-residence-profiles-of-the-class-of-2020

Jack Romans 20 to study the nuances of international childrens theatre

Jack Romans ’20 to study the nuances of international children’s theatre

May 23, 2020

Jack Romans ’20 is using his Watson Fellowship to explore youth theatre practices across the world. (Photo courtesy of Brad Wakoff.) While life after college typically invites adulthood,...

Ninja Sex Party’s Brian Wecht ’97 talks rings, physics and musical comedy

Ninja Sex Party’s Brian Wecht ’97 talks rings, physics and musical comedy

May 13, 2020

When Brian Wecht ’97 lost his high school class ring while living in Gladden his junior year, he didn’t think much of it. The ring was bulky and ornately carved, with a hefty green gemstone embedded...

Williams College TaskMaster: cross-country quarantine comedy

Williams College TaskMaster: cross-country quarantine comedy

May 6, 2020

The scores for each contestant of Williams College TaskMaster, mid-episode one. (Photo courtesy of Owen Foster.) “I just have to hope that somewhere out there, in some part of the world, one of the...

Ephs in Congress provide window into national leadership during pandemic

Ephs in Congress provide window into national leadership during pandemic

May 6, 2020

Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) returned to Washington on a red-eye flight in the middle of the congressional recess to vote for a $484 billion coronavirus relief package. Photo courtesy of @RepEdCase. Congress...

One in Two Thousand: Melia Hagino ’22

One in Two Thousand: Melia Hagino ’22

May 4, 2020

Melia Hagino ’22 rehearsing to play Madame Armfeldt, the blunt and cynical grandmother in A Little Night Music (Photo courtesy of Gigi Gamez.) Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of...

Love in the time of COVID-19

Love in the time of COVID-19

April 29, 2020

Zia Saylor '23 and Mohammad Faizaan '23 go on virtual dates through the online gaming site Club Penguin. (Photo courtesy of Mohammad Faizaan.) Since the campus closure, many student couples have had...

Record Recs: (Free) 50s classics, Westerns old & new

Record Recs: (Free) ’50s classics, Westerns old & new

April 29, 2020

With less than a month until classes end, students may be wondering how they’ll pass the time without lectures to fast-forward through and Zoom seminars to attend. If you’re one of them, you’re...

The Virtual Previews website functioned as a “hub for admitted students,” according to Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Liz Creighton ’01. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Admission.)

Admissions hosts Virtual Previews for the Class of 2024

April 15, 2020

The Virtual Previews website functioned as a “hub for admitted students,” according to Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Liz Creighton ’01. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Admission.) Students...

Creative classes find creative solutions

Creative classes find creative solutions

April 15, 2020

Art supplies were mailed to all students in Worldbuilding for Theatre (Photo courtesy of Caroline Fairweather ’20). “It’s like Christmas, but I’m stuck in my house and my degree got cut short,”...

Students search for love with return of Ephmatch during final days on campus

Students search for love with return of Ephmatch during final days on campus

March 25, 2020

While hundreds of students stood on the Paresky steps and screamed to express their intense emotions after the College announced its switch to online learning due to COVID-19, many students were preoccupied...

Faculty, staff couples share their stories

Faculty, staff couples share their stories

March 11, 2020

NIGEL JAFFE/THE WILLIAMS RECORDScott and Bernice Lewis met in Arizona, and have taken a group of students to the Grand Canyon every year since 1994. We’ve all heard the famous statistic: since the...

Rowan Ricardo Phillips hosts talk with writers about freedom and democracy

Rowan Ricardo Phillips hosts talk with writers about freedom and democracy

March 11, 2020

At an event on March 4, three writers read their work aloud and discussed shared themes of freedom, travel, race, and individuality. Tali Natter/The Williams Record Last Wednesday, Visiting Professor...

Brandon Hilfer ’20 writes opera for senior music thesis

Brandon Hilfer ’20 writes opera for senior music thesis

February 26, 2020

Hilfer arranged an opera for his senior thesis in the Music department. His focus on vocal music has been a priority throughout his life. (Photo courtesy of Keith Forman.) I sat down with Brandon Hilfer...

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