The Williams Record

Two students who tested positive for COVID-19 were isolated for 10 days in McGinnis House, which was previously occupied by graduate art students. (Ella Marx/The Williams Record)

2 weeks, 11 cases: COVID cases rise among students

College sees first evidence of community transmission
Annie Lu and Kiara Royer February 24, 2021
Eleven on-campus students have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving for the spring semester, a significant increase relative to the number of COVID cases reported at a comparable time in the fall.  Seven of this semester’s cases were reported upon arrival, with the remaining four positives occurring after the student had initially tested negative. Three of those students, who at first moved to quarantine in Dodd House after coming into close contact with COVID-positive students, have since tested positive themselves and moved to isolation. One staff or faculty member tested positive on Feb. 15.
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.
Students returning to campus experienced a slightly different transition from that in the fall, including the ability to retrieve meals from the dining hall during in-room quarantine. (Sam Riley/The Williams Record)

Students returning to campus confront travel challenges, look forward to semester

Seven students test positive upon arrival
Annie Lu, Isabelle Zollinger, and Fiona Seibert February 17, 2021
The College began welcoming students back to campus on Feb. 10 after a prolonged winter break. As of Feb. 16, 1,723 students are enrolled on campus for the spring semester. Seven students tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, and two more tested positive afterward. Twenty additional students, whose initial COVID tests were negative, have moved to quarantine housing because they came into close contact with students who tested positive.
Course registration period beset by overenrollment, PeopleSoft issues

Course registration period beset by overenrollment, PeopleSoft issues

Joey Fox February 7, 2021
According to Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom, 991 students were dropped from at least one class, compared to 816 last spring. The registration software PeopleSoft was overloaded by hundreds of students last Monday night as regular registration opened, making matters even more difficult for those dropped from classes.
College refreshes visual identity, students push back with memes

College refreshes visual identity, students push back with memes

Nigel Jaffe and Tali Natter 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. 
Mt. Greylock Regional High School (Niku Darafshi ’21, The Williams  Record)

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

Incident reignites broader concerns over racism in Williamstown
Tali Natter, Cameron Pugh, and Lindsay Wang 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.
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.
Rioters stormed the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, ultimately resulting in five deaths. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Insurrection, impeachment and a reckoning: Alums on Capitol Hill reflect on recent events

Kitt Urdang and Annie Lu January 18, 2021
On Jan. 6, Rep. Andy Levin ’83 (D-MI) was in his Washington office at the Cannon House Office Building — preparing to speak against Republicans’ attempt to overturn Michigan’s presidential election results — when he heard a knock at the door. A Capitol Police officer stepped in and told everyone to evacuate. For Levin and his fellow lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the remainder of that day passed by in a state of chaos, confusion and, for some, danger.
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