Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 1.

congress

Wood is on the left.

1) Will the College acknowledge this event? You can be certain that if Wood/Lawrence were testifying about climate change or some other Williams-approved topic, we would be getting tweets, updates in Eph Notes and even a big spread in the next issue of the Williams Magazine. So far, however, it is internet-silence from Williams. This is petty and embarrassing. Can’t we do better than tweets about Take Your Dog to Work Day? (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) Is Williams an intellectual institution or a finishing school?

2) Who is making the decision to ignore Wood’s and Lawrence’s testimonies? I have a great deal of faith in Director of Media Relations Mary Dettloff and Chief Communications Officer Jim Reisch. I bet that they would not object to at least noting this event. Is my faith misplaced? Has someone else told them to keep silent? Or are they (mistakenly?) assuming that Adam Falk would not want Williams to, officially, acknowledge the event?

3) When was the last time a Williams student testified to Congress? When was the last time two Ephs were testifying at the same hearing? I have no idea! This search does not seem to be what I am looking for. Can Eph historians help us out?

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When was the last time a sitting senator (!) called on a Williams College President to resign? In a Senate hearing?! Check out Time Magazine’s latest article on Williams, “Williams College President Rejects Claim That He Blocked Free Speech On Campus“.

Responding to Wood’s testimony, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday called Falk unfit to lead the school. “If the way you described it is accurate, then he should resign,” Kennedy said. “It’s just that simple — because he needs to explain to students and have them understand that they do not have a constitutional right in life not to be offended. They’re going to be offended plenty of times in life.”

Emphasis mine.

And for that matter, when was the last time a Williams student took part in the investigations of a Senate judiciary hearing committee? Similar to the Washington Post piece from months ago, this piece reads like it was written by Falk’s worst enemies. Consider:

Williams College President Adam Falk did not attend the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday, but Williams student Zach Wood did, and Wood testified about what he sees as a lack of politically and ideologically diverse speakers at the Massachusetts private school, where he said “the administration promotes social tolerance at the expense of political tolerance.”

Is there anyone (except Falk) who still disagrees with this? I don’t!

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(The 3rd in a series of 16 posts) Click COMMENTS for full post
Chi Psi top copy
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Reader WA points out this absurd 2014 article by William Deresiewicz about problems in elite education.

When I speak of elite education, I mean prestigious institutions like Harvard or Stanford or Williams as well as the larger universe of second-tier selective schools, but I also mean everything that leads up to and away from them—the private and affluent public high schools; the ever-growing industry of tutors and consultants and test-prep courses; the admissions process itself, squatting like a dragon at the entrance to adulthood; the brand-name graduate schools and employment opportunities that come after the B.A.; and the parents and communities, largely upper-middle class, who push their children into the maw of this machine. In short, our entire system of elite education.

Good stuff! Every time Williams is mentioned in the same sentence as truly elite institutions like Harvard and Stanford, the better it is for the College’s brand.

The rest of the article, sadly, is mostly garbage.

Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.

1) Deresiewicz provides no evidence that non-elite education does a better job at these tasks. Do UMASS and Purdue have an excellent track record of creating “intellectual curiosity?” Hah! It would be one thing if he argued that all of higher education was broken. That might even be true. But to claim that elite is broken, while the third tier is not, is absurd.

2) Deresiewicz provides no evidence that elite education does a worst job at these tasks today than it did 10, 30, 50 or 100 years ago. Every graduating class at Williams has featured Ephs with insatiable intellectual curiosity and others less so blessed (or cursed). You don’t think there were any Ephs in the 1950’s who were “anxious, timid, and lost?” Hah!

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anonymous commented on the post “Do your Job” 19 June, 2017

Well, Falk has succeeded in placing Williams dead last in viewpoint diversity:

https://heterodoxacademy.org/resources/guide-to-colleges/top-50-liberal-arts-colleges/

while the African-American student that Falk unceremoniously shut down, Zach Wood, testifies on Capitol Hill:
https://www.thefire.org/senate-judiciary-committee-to-hold-public-hearing-tomorrow-on-campus-free-speech/

His will be a tough act to follow!

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.44.26 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbM0RKeZYlQ

Indeed! The testimony should be interesting.

“Neither students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969)

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/393/503/case.html 

The court’s 7–2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. 

 

NB.  I just got a police warning  about Sunday parking in Portland so what do I know about the inclusion of the word ‘public’ in the Tinker judgement. I would think that support of the college from public/tax sources would meet the hopefully broad definition of the word.

 

Yet another poster note. The Daily Signal, the on-line publication of the Heritage Society cited in a comment below, has chosen a masthead name that has unfortunate echos:

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 1.01.09 PM

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_(magazine)

As an olde propagandist/brandguy, I am interested in the typeface used for the masthead of Signal:

http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/signal-magazine-typeface/

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Thanks to EphSports for pointing out this blog devoted to the men’s crew team trip to the Henley Royal Regatta. Good stuff!

1) If we have any readers on this trip, please let us know. EphBlog would love to cross-post your material.

2) How do the finances of this trip work? I assume that the College is not paying for the whole thing . . .

3) I especially like the reference to the “Williams American Expeditionary Force.” Extra credit if they can work in a reference to the two most (?) famous Eph members of that force: Charles White Whittlesey and Williams Bradford Turner.

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angrymob

Damn the flames! I’ll prime the pump!*

 

* I just made that pump thing up. Great!

NB.  I was just browsing  through Thomas Shadwell’s The Lancashire Witches and Tegue O Divelly the Irish Priest. London: Printed for John Starkey, 1682.

The range of books at the Chapin Library is truly amazing, particularly when relevance can be seen to current events! Who would have imagined a section on Witchcraft and Magic!

https://sawyerlibrary.williams.edu/

 

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.. originally published 1 October, 2008.

I am outraged that in all the in-depth discussion over a Williams distaff member of the press and her photo in Vanity Fair, not one word has been spoken about the obvious exploitation of Vanity Fair columnist and member of the class of 1949, Dominick Dunne.

Certainly the ‘bedroom eyes and come-hither look’ so flagrantly manipulated for purposes too base to be mentioned, are worthy of the indignation of ephblog readers. And appearing in shirt sleeves in the Whittlesley Room of the Williams Club. Shame! Shame!

As the new president of this organization, I had planned to write a thoughtful President’s Letter in a few weeks, but I am so upset by this exploitation of a revered member of the great class of 1949 that I have no choice but to protest.

Sincerely,

 

Rechtal Turgidley, Jr

President of Ephblog

Quark Island, Maine

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From The Weekly Standard:

So there I am Tuesday morning, wheezing away on my exercise bike, trying to stay alert to telltale signs of the inevitable coronary thrombosis, when, for the first time in many, many years, I switch on the TV to watch Morning Joe.

And what am I greeted with? Not Morning Joe’s handsome mug (I think it was Don Imus who first noticed Morning Joe’s eerie resemblance to the banjo-playing boy in Deliverance). Not Mika’s permafrost hairdo or that come-hither body language.

No. Instead I am greeted by a video of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. They were shown at a cabinet meeting with President Trump the day before. Each of them, in brief remarks, was saying nice things about the boss. Really nice things, right in front of him.

Chao explained that when Trump visited her eyesore of an office building the week before, “hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled.” Mnuchin said, “It was a great honor traveling with you … the last year and an even greater honor to be here serving in your cabinet.” Priebus laid it on with a trowel: “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing … to serve your agenda.”

After this the camera went to Morning Joe and Mika back in the studio, sitting in what we were to take as stunned silence.

“Whoa,” said Morning Joe. “That was some sad stuff.”

“That was sick,” said Mika. “Am I allowed to say that?”

Yes, you are, Mika.

1) Do 50 year old Williams women like it or not like it if they are still perceived as having the ability to pull off a “come hither” look? Asking for a friend.

2) Read the whole article. Fake news at its finest!

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From the Eagle:

Williams College President Adam Falk has joined Williams College with hundreds of other entities committing to the Paris climate accords following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions.

Falk signed on to the “We Are Still In” statement last week, joining more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors and higher education leaders from across the U.S. who declared their intent to continue to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.

The “We Are Still In” statement calls the Trump administration’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris agreement one that “undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change [and a move which is] out of step with what is happening in the United States.”

The statement can be found at www.wearestillin.com.

Falk said Williams’ commitment to addressing climate change, outlined in a set of initiatives developed and approved by the board of trustees in 2015, will continue as the campus community works toward achieving sustainable carbon neutrality by the end of 2020.

1) Instead of wasting time with virtue signalling, why doesn’t Falk do his job? Consider the example of the scores of students forced out of data sciency courses like STAT 201 and CSCI 135. These are great courses. But, precisely because of their quality and popularity, enrollment has been capped. It would be easy for Falk to do something about this, to authorize these departments to hire a visiting assistant professor or two to offer a few extra sections. The fact that he has failed to do so is evidence that he is prioritizing the wrong things as Williams president.

2) Is there any actual substance to this pledge? From the press release: “The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them.” In other words, Williams could participate in this agreement even if it planned on doubling its emissions.

3) Is there a realistic plan for Williams to attain “carbon neutrality by the end of 2020?” Color me skeptical! Williams feeds and houses 2,000 people. That takes a lot of carbon! Anyone have links to the plan?

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unnamed

…   Courtesy of our own WCMA

and as reported in Art & Education 16 June, 2017

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces Summer School, a series of public programs that teases out new ways of thinking about learning, art, community, and museums. This summer series offers a playful taste of academic life taking inspiration from unconventional archives and the quirkiest kinds of libraries. It’s a weekly mashup of mini courses, extracurriculars on WCMA’s patio, a lending library, and pop-up programming in the museum’s Reading Room.

 

What a great extension into the community of this leading college art museum that has helped produce so many Art Mafia members.

Art is for everyone!

(more…)

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To the Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020,
Though the summer is barely upon us, I write today…
  • to highlight a new check-in process that we’ll be piloting this fall,
  • to remind you of move-in dates for the upcoming fall semester, and
  • to remind you of how to access meals prior to the official start of the fall semester meal plan.
You can always find regular opening & closing dates for campus housing at this link. Dates are typically put out at least 18 months in advance (sometimes even earlier), so as always, please plan your travel accordingly.
Be sure to read everything below, and plan accordingly. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.
Doug Schiazza
Director, Office of Student Life
 
************************************
In-Person Check-In
When you arrive to campus to move in, you’ll be checking in with a member of the OSL staff to receive your room key/code along with some general housing information – be sure to have your Williams ID with you.
The schedule & location for both early arrivals and for regular arrivals are noted below.

Fall 2017 Regular Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor. All times listed are Eastern time.

Students not involved in one of the early arrival activities listed farther below do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7.

You may move into campus housing as early as Wednesday, August 30 @ 2pm​–giving you several days before classes start for travel, as well as some extra time to settle into your room if you choose to do so.
 
So, to be clear: unless you’re involved in the various pre-semester activities listed farther below, you won’t have access to campus housing until after 2pm onWednesday, August 30. If you arrive before your day ​and ​time to move in, you need to make your own accommodations elsewhere off-campus.

August 30
Check-In for returning students from 2pm – 7:30pm

August 31 – September 6
Check-In for returning students from 9am – 7:30pm

 
 
Fall 2017 Early Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor, unless otherwise noted below. All times listed are Eastern time.

The names of the students involved in the early arrival activities noted below will be provided to the Office of Student Life by the offices overseeing the early arrival programs.

August 19
Summer Students depart by 12noon (approved summer-to-fall Transitional students remain in summer housing)

August 21
Check-In for JAs, JAAB, 1st Gen Orientation leaders, International Orientation leaders, Transitional students from 5pm – 11pm

August 22
Check-In for Neighborhood Directors from 2pm – 5pm

August 23
Check-In for House Coordinators & Neighborhood Reps from 2pm – 5pm

August 24
Check-In for OIT leaders from 2pm – 5pm

August 25
Check-In for 1st Gen and International Students in the Class of 2021 from 8am – 8pm

August 26
Check-In for WOOLF Directors from 8am – 9am
Check-In for WOOLF leaders, Ephventure leaders, and Football players (first-year and upperclass) from 2pm – 9pm

August 28
Check-In for the Class of 2021 and College Council Co-Presidents @ Paresky First Floor from 8am – 1:30pm

August 29
Check-In for upperclass Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball players from 8am – 7:30pm

Access to Meals in Campus Dining Halls
 
Again, students not involved in one of the early arrival activities above do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7. Meals are covered by dining plans beginning with dinner on Wednesday, September 6. Meals won’t be covered by dining plans for students who return before Sept. 6 (unless they’re required to return because they’re involved in the early arrival activities above). You’re welcome to eat in the dining halls using your student ID card, but each meal will be charged to your student account. Questions about this should be directed to Dining Services.
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(Second in a series of 16 posts) click COMMENT for whole postBeta Top copy

(more…)

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greylocks

Back in the day, reunion attendees from the post 50th class were known as the “Old Guard.” (See here for relevant links.) Now, the terminology is “Greylocks.” First, who decided in this change and/or came up with the name? (I think the name is clever.) Second, why the change? Perhaps the “old guard” terminology was too military and/or masculine? Third, do readers agree with the change? (I am indifferent.)

For future historians: here (pdf) is a copy of the Reunion Schedule. Are there many more organized events than there were 10 years ago? Seems that way. Nothing wrong with that! The more fun events at reunion, the better.

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daumier_hercule-augias

Daumier  Hercule aux écuries d’Augias 1842.

… not that the 5th labor bears any resemblance to DC. After all, there is only the Potomac to be harnessed to cleanse the stables, there is more than one day until the Glorious Fourth, and very few are comparing Priebus, although of Greek background, to Hercules. Yet the thought lingers. As it would if a knowledge of Greek and Latin were still a requirement for admission to Williams.

A further shiver is that Augeas did not pay Hercules when the work was completed.

 

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20161021-193445-20160322__p_eag-l-bookstore2jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… the new bookstore.

In the 150th anniversary of FLW post (below), David asks the question about campus buildings that FLW would have liked/disliked. Paresky is the mention for ‘liked’ from  Anon88.

This for ‘disliked’ from anonymous : Re DDF Q2: Have you seen the new bookstore?

Viewed alone, the new store seems to me rather too Mall-appropriate. However in the scale of Spring Street, at least the facade facing the street seems to  continue the small scale repetition with awnings of a small town business street.

I know that I am cheating when I come to the ‘feel’ of the store with these two comparisons … The Harvard COOP and the former Borders on Union Square in SF. Both were built inside the facades of older construction on Squares. In addition to the sizes of the cities v village, a new structure was needed to house the bookstore since there were no suitable vacant buildings. (more…)

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A lovely bit of trolling from our friends at EphSports:

swain

Sad to see Allison Swain ’01 leave. First, alumni coaches are better than non-alumni coaches. Second, she seems liked by her players and her teams have been more successful than any other team at Williams over the last decade. Third, I always appreciated Swain’s efforts to keep alive the memory of her Williams teammate, Lindsay Morehouse ’00. Let’s hope those efforts continue under Swain’s successor.

The “trolling” mentioned above refers, of course, to the claim that Swain is headed to “Southern California University.” In fact, she is going to the University of Southern California, i.e., USC!

Side note: Kudos to Athletic Director Lisa Melendy for selecting Swain. The more young, alumni coaches that Williams hires, the better, all the more so if the hire represents their first head coaching position.

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fallingwater-1

http://www.fallingwater.org/

The Edgar Kaufmann House, 1935 – 1938

This house sums up Frank Lloyd Wright and his driving force of “Organic Architecture”. FLW would ask his students this:

“Can you say when your building is complete, that the landscape is more beautiful than it was before?”

And the tie to Williams. Robert Fordyce ’56, on the occasion of our 50th Reunion, donated his collection of FLW ephemera to the Chapin Library. It contains over 8000 pieces and is the largest collection of FLW ephemera in public or private hands.

Here is the program of the opening exhibition of the collection.

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 12.39.43 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://chapin.williams.edu//exhibits/wrightbook.pdf

A major exhibition “Unpacking the Archive” is on view at the MOMA June 12 – October 1.

 

Williams v Amherst note:

 

Alas, the only FLW project in Massachusetts is a Usonian House located in Amherst and built for Professor Theodore Baird in 1940.

616985e15c9bbc47a7c97d7cd221cadb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Baird_Residence

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static.politico

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/06/08/steve-case-innovation-venture-capital-fund-000447

Here is a definition of the origin of the phrase ‘horse whisperer':

   A horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on modern equine psychology.

 Almost any object of your choosing might be substituted for ‘horse’. I assume most Ephblog readers are ‘cow whisperers’ although ‘sympathetic’ may vary in application.

My question to those more familiar with technology and the problems it presents in furthering class distinctions … any thoughts to share with readers?

I am familiar with Richard Florida’s conclusions on the effect of gentrification through art on urban areas. Which you would probably expect of an art history whisperer.

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“D” is the answer to our SAT analogy question:

FALK:DERBYSHIRE ::

A. Baxter:?
B. Chadler:?
C: Garfield:?
D. Hopkins:Emerson
E. Sawyer:?

Adam Falk banned John Derbyshire just as Mark Hopkins banned Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_ca1857 My first hint came from Steve Satullo’s ’69 excellent website devoted to the history of libraries at Williams.

The [Adelphic] Union also brought Ralph Waldo Emerson to Williamstown for a lecture, but he was entirely too radical for the [Mark] Hopkins administration and was not allowed to lecture on campus, but rather in the town’s Methodist church.

There is a great senior thesis to be written about the conflict between the 19th century Congregationalists who controlled Williams and the transcendentalists who scoffed at them. Who will write it it?

Mark Hopkins is, obviously, the most famous Williams president — or he is, at least, the one that most alumni can name. Satullo’s citation of the conflict between Emerson and Hopkins takes us back to Mark Hopkins and the Log by Fred Rudolph ’39. Ace College Archivist Katie Nash kindly provided these excerpts: pdf and pdf.

Will Ephs 150 years from now view Adam Falk’s decision to ban John Derbyshire from campus the same way that we view Mark Hopkin’s decision to ban Ralph Waldo Emerson?

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Alas, the top entry with architectural and  ’56 Gul insert of copy seems to be lost in time. Click on COMMENTS to get remains of the day and an example of the conversation of the day.

 

(The first in a series of 16 posts) … originally posted 5 October, 2009ad top copy
Continues below the fold (more…)

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Wonderful poetry from Arjun Narayan ’10:

comey

Consider this your open thread for Comey-related discussion. Have at it!

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THUMB19461_328915

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has completed the first phase of its major renovation programme, and unveiled its final plans for a multi-year expansion designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, alongside Gensler.http

://www.cladglobal.com/news.cfm?codeid=33230

Williams trustee Glenn O. Lowry ’78 is the director of MOMA. Over the years since its beginning, Ephs have been part of the fabric of MOMA.

http://williams.imodules.com/s/1670/interior.aspx?sid=1670&gid=2&pgid=1110&cid=2503&ecid=2503&ciid=4052&crid=0

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Yesterday, we asked the question: When was the last time that a Williams president banned a speaker from campus? No one has given us the right (?) answer yet. Adam Falk’s decision to ban John Derbsyhire in February 2016 must have an historical parallel. What is it? Consider this SAT analogy question:

FALK:DERBYSHIRE ::

A. Baxter:?
B. Chadler:?
C: Garfield:?
D. Hopkins:?
E. Sawyer:?

I have provided some Williams presidents, in alphabetical order, as options. My reasoning:

A. Phinney Baxter ’14 was president during World War II and the worst parts of the Cold War. Might he have banned someone? Sure! But Baxter was, perhaps more than any other Williams president, a defender of free speech. From the Harvard Crimson of 1949:

“Like most if not all of my other colleagues on the Williams faculty,” Williams College President James Phinney Baxter, 3rd, wrote in an article for his school’s May, 1949, Alumni Review number, “I support the Marshall Plan, the Atlantic Pact, and the furnishing of military supplies to our fellow signatories.”

But the point of Baxter’s article was not to express his own views on foreign policy. It was to defend the right of Frederick L. Schuman, a member of the Williams faculty, to expound differing opinions.

Baxter noted that Schuman had been “severely criticized by a number of alumni for speeches critical of the current foreign policy of the United States.”

The college head wrote that Schuman had attacked the policies of both America and Russia, that he was an advocate “of a stronger form of international government than the United Nations,” and that he had “freely criticized the Communists for many years.”


For Free Debate

Baxter said Schuman should be as free to express himself as those who held the majority viewpoint.

Exactly right.

B. John Chandler was president during the dawn of the PC-era and had to contend with many racially-charged debates, including South African Divestment and affirmative action. The election of Reagan in 1980 was, from the point of view of faculty/student opinion, almost as surprising/shocking/disgusting as Trump’s election 36 years later.

C. Harry Garfield served as president from 1908 through 1934. There were non-trivial restrictions on free speech during World War I, and it would not be surprising to see this sentiment expressed at Williams.

D. Hopkins. I am cheating a bit with this one since Williams had two presidents named Hopkins: Mark and Henry (his son). They served for a combined 42 years. Surely, at some point, a proposed speaker was so offensive as to require banning from campus . . .

E. Jack Sawyer ’39 is almost uniformly regarded as the best Williams president of the last 100 years. But not everyone is perfect! He served from 1961 — 1973, the height of campus turmoil over civil rights and the Vietnam War. It sure must have been tempting to shut down debate on occasion! Sawyer, who served in the OSS — the forerunner to the CIA — during World War II must have felt some frustration at the campus snowflakes of his era . . .

Any guesses as to the correct answer?

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Who remembers the analogy questions from the old SAT Verbal?

sat

Recall Adam Falk’s February 2016 decision to ban John Derbyshire from speaking at Williams. When was the last time that a Williams president banned someone from speaking on campus? In other words, we need the answer to the following analogy:

FALK:DERBYSHIRE :: ?:?

Any guesses from our readers? It has taken us more than a year to answer this question and, even now, I am not sure if we have it correct.

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From New Jersey:

The Williams College women’s V1 boat made a statement today out racing top-seeded Bates to the finish line to earn the title of The Fastest Crew in DIII, but Bates won the NCAA team title with the combined scores of its V1 and V2 boats, edging the Ephs by one point: 39-38.

“The group of 22-23 rowers that was here to compete is the result of the entire 38-member team we have that pushed each other throughout the season to be at our best, so I want to thank those where were not here,” [Williams Coach Kate] Maloney said. “And of course I want to thank our assistant coaches, our support staff, our trainers, and our parents for a great year. I’m just so proud of the 2016-17 Williams program.”

1) Congrats to Coach Maloney and her team on an impressive performance. I believe (clarifications welcome) that women’s crew gets very little support from Admissions each year. (Perhaps one tip a year? Perhaps only a protect or two?) It is quite likely that the academic performance of the women’s crew team as whole is indistinguishable from that of the rest of the women at Williams. And that is as it should be.

2) I love that there are 38 students on the team. Participation should be the highest value in Williams athletics. It is much better to have a crew team with 38 committed students who have an amazing experience (but who don’t win national championships) than to have a team of 15 that does. Kudos to Coach Maloney for being so welcoming to students who will never be good enough to row in a national championship. Their athletic experiences at Williams are every bit as important as those of the members of the V1 boat.

3) It is a shame that participation is not as valued as it used to be at Williams. Back in the day, there was a freshmen basketball team. There is not one now, despite the fact that there are a score or more of freshmen each year who played basketball in high school but who are not good enough to play for Coach App. Why not a team for them?

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static.politico-1-500x271

Getty Photo

“I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.”

 —Donald Trump (November 3, 2016)

 

Mika Brzenski believes that by issuing alt-facts, the administration is undermining the role of the media and furthering the extent to which peoples opinion can be manipulated. This is, of course, the definition of ‘propaganda’. When an administration and the press are at the extreme ends of interpretations, the ‘truth’ can be seen by the observations of consequences of actions.

My hope is that at some point, these consequences will be obvious to all and an accurate assessment of our political and moral position as a country can be made.

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Dear soon-to-be graduate,

Enjoy a marvelous graduation weekend, but especially the highlights below.

Pick up caps & gowns and tickets: downstairs Paresky Center
Friday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 4, 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Last minute pickup!

Ivy Exercises: Assemble in cap & gown on the Frosh Quad (by Williams & Sage).
Sunny Saturday, June 3, 12:50 p.m. Line up pairwise for procession to Library Quad.
After the ceremony, collect prizes at Commencement Central, Paresky.

Conversation: Splendid Saturday, June 3, 3:15 p.m. MainStage, 62CTD
Honorary degree recipients Gina McCarthy & Gavin A. Schmidt
Moderated by Bill Moomaw ‘59

Baccalaureate: Assemble in cap & gown on Route 2 sidewalk in front of the Faculty House.
Gloroius Saturday, June 3, 4:30 p.m. Line up for procession to Chapin Hall.

Commencement: Assemble in cap & gown on the Frosh Quad (by Williams & Sage).
Sunday, June 4, 9:00 a.m. Line up alphabetically for procession to Library Quad.

President’s Reception: A lunch buffet for everybody on Chapin Lawn,
immediately after Commencement (about 12:15 p.m.).

Only if there is extreme weather on Sunday, will we move inside. The decison to hold
Commencement indoors or out will be made Sunday morning. In the unlikely event
of dangerous weather, then Great Bell will toll at 8:30 a.m. to signal indoor Commencement
in Lansing Chapman Rink, with assembly in Towne Field House at 9:00 a.m.
Everyone favors outdoor Commencement, even in light to moderate rain.

Details: http://commencement.williams.edu/

Cheers,
Jay Thoman, College Marshal

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President Falk is not as transparent as former President Schapiro was about admissions statistics, but he does, on occasion, provide some interesting details. Mary Dettloff kindly provided this background on a Falk speech from several years ago.

In 2013, the number of applicants with an AR2 rating was 1,269. I am confirming that number for you since Adam did mention it at a private, not public, event that you attended. The information for the Class of 2021, however, is not information we have to report publicly anywhere, so I will not be providing that information.

Fair enough! And thanks, as always, to Mary for all her help with our endless questions.

1) “AR2″ — which is the insider abbreviation for “Academic Rating 2″ — is a standard designation in the ranking system that the Admissions Department uses. A reminder:

  • Academic 1: at top or close to top of HS class / A record / exceptional academic program / 1520 – 1600 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 2: top 5% of HS class / mostly A record / extremely demanding academic program / 1450 – 1520 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 3: top 10% of HS class / many A grades / very demanding academic program / 1390 – 1450 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 4: top 15% of HS class / A – B record / very demanding academic program / 1310 – 1400 composite SAT I score;

2) We know from the 2005 Alumni Review article that any applicant without a “hook” [1] is rejected if their Academic Rating is below a 2 — that is why the raw number of AR2s is so important. Williams could fill its entire class with AR1s and AR2s! [2]

3) Recall the details from the latest Common Data Set (pdf):

scores

It is a coincidence (?) that the 1450 combined math/verbal SAT average marks the cut off for AR2. But it sure is convenient! Speaking very broadly, half of every Williams class is admitted based on their academic ambition/talent/conscientiousness. The other half would not have been admitted were it not for their race/income/athleticism.

4) If it were me, I would place a lot more emphasis on academics and a lot less on everything else. What would Williams look like if we only admitted AR2s and above? Assume that we still cared about race/income/athletics. That is, we still give preference to AR2 hockey players over AR1 non-hockey players. What would our racial numbers look like? How well would our sports teams do?

[1] Almost all hooks are involve race/income/athletics. There are 66 athletic “tips” who would not have been admitted were it not for a nod from a Williams coach, and another 30 or so “protects” whose chances of admissions were only 50/50. Williams, like all elite schools, has huge problems finding enough qualified black/Hispanic applicants, and so is happy to take plenty who are AR3 or 4. Williams, especially via Questbridge, seeks applicants from poor families. (And the Development Office creates spots for (how many?) children of big donors.)

[2] Of course, it is hard to know for certain that this is true. We would need to know two other pieces of information: How many AR1 applicants are there and how well Williams yields among AR1s and 2s? Contrary opinions are welcome, but my strong sense is that, with so many AR2s (hundreds of whom Williams rejects outright), Williams could easily fill a class in which every student scored above 1450 in math/verbal SAT (with high school grades to match).

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