Bloomberg reports that Chase Coleman ’97 has amassed a $4.6 billion fortune. He is reportedly the youngest financier among the world’s 500 richest people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Chase is perhaps best known as the hedge-fund manager who wisely made substantial bets on startups including Facebook Inc. and Zynga Inc.

As readers of Ephblog already know, he is “…a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, he attended Deerfield Academy, the elite boarding school in Massachusetts, and went on to co-captain the lacrosse team at Williams College.”

It looks like he is enjoying life. The article reported that he often surfs the waves outside his $19 million home before flying his helicopter into Manhattan.

Chase first came to the attention of Ephblog back in January 2005 when we posted a short article on his marriage to Stephanie Anne Ercklentz.

Here at EphBlog, however, we will judge Coleman not by either the wealth that he accumulates or by the generosity of his gifts to the College, but by his fulfillment of the vows that he took today. The only more important job than husband that he will ever have is father.

By all accounts, the sentimental comments on his wedding day have rung true. His marriage is still going strong.

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Should we be proud or embarrassed?

With so many studs to choose from, who is Dylan on The Bachelorette — and why should you care?

Dylan is a man with many layers. His ABC bio states, “the majority of his friends are female,” which could mean he’s sensitive, a good listener, and compassionate. He’s a basketball fan who enjoys scuba diving, driving his boat, and cooking (I’m free for dinner, thanks). The cutie also has a couple of sentimental tattoos including a palm tree on his ankle and a heart with roses on his chest for his mom and dad.

EphBlog also has many layers, but no tattoos.

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I was a little startled to learn that DDF has been banned over at the Why Evolution is True blogsite.

This is the on-line home of Jerry Coyne, one of our nation’s most outspoken  public intellectuals. He is a Harvard trained evolutionary biologist. Along with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, Coyne is one of the world’s most prominent “New Atheists.”

Coyne’s blogsite, Why Evolution is True, reportedly has over 50,000 e-mail subscribers. Lately, Coyne has been especially supportive of Luana Maroja, a fellow biologist. He has used his highly visible site to bring the free speech standards of the Chicago Principles to Williams College.

Earlier, Coyne cited a number of my comments on the Sawacki Report and published them on his site. I was surprised when DDF subsequently went after Coyne and accused him of being a fool. What?! I later got an e-mail from Coyne indicating he was offended by DDF’s words and that the intellectual skirmish had continued over at Why Evolution is True. Coyne posted the following statement on his blog:

After letting you use my site to direct traffic to yours, I will ban you for insulting the host (what a rude person you are in your post, a characteristic you must have gotten from the woke Williams students).

First, though, since you had the temerity to call me a fool, let me reply that you are an arrant jackass. The only “mistake” I made in my post was characterizing the universities who use the Chicago Principles as “adopting them” rather than, as the FIRE site says, the 65 schools “Have adopted or endorsed the Chicago Statement or a substantially similar statement.”

(more…)

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As mentioned earlier on the site, I have decided to try posting on a more regular basis, as opposed to simply commenting.  I am generally a glass-is-half-full kind of person, and typically believe (until proven otherwise) that people in general, and Ephs in particular, are acting/speaking in good faith.

Unlike most current authors and commenters, I have always posted at Ephblog under my own name, so I would like to give you a little background on me so that you have an idea of where I am coming from.  As is apparent from my screen name, I graduated from Williams in 1990.  I lived in Williams A as a freshman and Bryant House for the rest of my time at Williams, and was an 8-season (i.e. 4 year) member of the WRFC (the Williams Rugby Football Club).  I also played broomball and intramural hockey.  I double majored in Chemistry and Political Science.  While I had plenty of excellent professors at Williams, my favorite was Chemistry Prof. David Richardson, who is still teaching.  Many of the chemistry faculty from my time at Williams are still there, which I think speaks well of the department:  Prof. Enrique Peacock-Lopez (he taught the hardest class I took at Williams (Thermodynamics)), John Thoman, Anne Skinner, Charles Lovett, and Lawrence Kaplan.  Some of my political science professors are also still at Williams, including my freshman advisor George Marcus and Michael MacDonald.

After graduation from Williams, I went directly to New York University School of Law.  Because of my background with chemistry, as well as thoughtful advice from the parents of one of my classmates, patent law was an area of interest for me.  Somewhat to my surprise, by the time I graduated from law school in 1993, I headed to a job in the New York office of the then-St. Louis based law firm Bryan Cave in their intellectual property department, focusing primarily on patent issues, but also ended up doing trademark work as well.  I stayed at Bryan Cave for 11 years, then spent two years at the Covington & Burling law firm, and then moved to a smaller IP boutique law firm Jacobson Holman for 7 years.  After 20 years in private practice, I was interested in public service, and took a position as an Administrative Patent Judge at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  It goes without saying, I think, that anything I write on this blog is from me personally, and is not in any way connected with or attributable to the PTAB, the USPTO, or the Department of Commerce (the PTO is part of Department of Commerce).

I have two high school age kids, and spend a lot of time at ice rinks watching my younger son play hockey, and also playing myself.  I also have non-EphBlog related connections with a few anonymous EphBloggers.  I won’t identify who they are, however, as doing so might give away their real identities.

I am looking forward to more regular blogging on EphBlog, starting next week.  If readers have any thoughts or suggestions on what they would like me to write about, please feel free to leave in the comments to this post or others.

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Republican stalwart Oren Cass ’05 has an interesting new issue brief over at the Manhattan Institute. Apparently, our fears that robots are taking our jobs are largely unmerited, at least when you review how well our species has weathered previous spells of productivity rate increases.

This benign interpretation of our robot overlords means Oren is now in conflict with economic heavy weights like Larry Summers, Obama’s former secretary of the Treasury, who have alarmed us with bleak predictions about the long-term strength of the labor market. As Summers wrote:

This question of technology leading to a reduction in demand for labor is not some hypothetical prospect. . . . It’s one of the defining trends that has shaped the economy and society for the last 40 years.

The gist of Oren’s article is when you look carefully at each job and isolate the elements of that job that might be automated, you will find – according to careful, reputable studies – that resulting forecasts regarding reductions in the demand for labor will most likely be in line with previous historical experience. In other words, we can handle it. Oren’s views seem like common sense when you remember that we’ve benefited from prior technology gains. Besides, I agree with Oren’s observation that there will never be a demand for automated school bus drivers.

Oren Cass ’05 was a guest speaker for the Williams chapter of the American Enterprise Institute and the Society for Conservative Thought on November 5, 2018. If you are not already reading the Manhattan Institute’s quarterly magazine, City Journal, I recommend you start. It is the Economist of our current generation.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

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We are running a new experiment at EphBlog. Four Ephs — Whitney Wilson ’90, recentgrad, purple & gold and The Good Son — have each agreed to write one entry per week for EphBlog from July 22, 2019 through July 31, 2020. In conjunction with this experiment, JCD has kindly agreed to a one year vacation from posting and commenting. My thoughts:

1) EphBlog discussions over the last year have not been as productive as they might be. Perhaps this experiment will help!

2) Many thanks to our volunteers, some of whom have been around EphBlog for years and some of whom are brand new to our community. In fact, they cover a 34-year range of classes.

3) Three of the four prefer to maintain their anonymity. Attempts to dox them, or any member of our community, will result in banning.

4) Our preliminary plan is for each of us to be responsible for a morning post one day a week, Monday through Friday. Of course, we (especially me) can/will post on other days as well. Because of travel plans, the experiment will start slowly but should be full operational in a few weeks.

5) Suggestions to our new authors would be much appreciated! What do you want to read more of at EphBlog?

Comments related to JCD will be deleted from this thread.

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Students moving into the Horn Residence Hall should ask themselves if they feel at peace living in a building named for a pair of criminals, Joey Horn ’87 and Ragnar Horn ’85.  The Horns recently served a 75 day sentence in prison as punishment for exploiting and abusing four young Filipino au pairs. As a consequence of this scandal, Joey resigned from the Board of Trustees after eight years of service.

Working as an au pair is supposed to be a cultural exchange program. Joey and Ragnar, however, broke the regulations by using their au pairs as low paid housekeepers. They worked their Filipino au pairs 11 hours a day and then four hours on both Saturday and Sunday. In Norway, an au pair is supposed to work no more that five hours a day and no more than 30 hours per week.

The Horns also gave false information to the immigration administration in Norway, failing to report they would have more than one au pair at a time. At the trial in 2017, two of the au pairs reported that they felt like “slaves” and “in prison” in the Horns’ home. Evidence showed Joey Horn ’87 referred to her au pairs in derogatory terms and threatened to send one of them back to her “straw mats in Manila.” (more…)

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Do you want to write for EphBlog? You would be welcome!

E-mail daviddudleyfield@gmail.com (or, of you know it, my personal e-mail) with two pieces of information: the email you want to use (must work but does not need to be the email you are writing me from) and your preferred login id (which can not have spaces nor punctuation marks).

Note that the login id is visible on the site because that is how WordPress organizes all your posts. Mine is “ddf” and you can see all my posts here. So, if you want to post anonymously, don’t choose a login which identifies you.

WordPress will send a temporary password to that e-mail address along with a link to the login location, which is here and is also available at the bottom of the right-hand column, below Recent Comments. Login, change your password and create your “Display Name.” This is what will show up under your posts. Mine is “David Dudley Field ’24.” If you don’t do this, your login id will be displayed.

You are also welcome to preserve your anonymity even with me. (In fact, you can do this even if we know each other and/or you have written for EphBlog before.) Just follow the above instructions from an anonymous e-mail account. That way, even I won’t know your name, which is fine by me.

Here is some advice about where to find topics which fall under the rubric of All Things Eph.

1) The are dozens of Record articles which we fail to cover. A link to an article, along with a quotation, and perhaps some questions or comments, is a great post. Our coverage of editorials and op-eds over the last year has been especially weak.

2) The Record archives are now hosted by the College. Just type in a word or phrase in the search box. Lots of great stuff from history to post about!

3) Follow Williams College or Williams Athletics or various Williams professors on Twitter and other social media. Lots of good material almost everyday.

4) Posts about current events are welcome, but you must take the trouble to find an Eph connection. “All Things Eph” includes, for example, every tweet or public statement by prominent Ephs like Senator Chris Murphy ’96, Erin Burnett ’98 and Mika Brzezinski ’89. Post about, say, the Presidential election race if you like, but you have to “hang” your post on a comment by an Eph.

5) Post about past EphBlog topics. We now have 16+ years of archives to mine. There is a lot of good stuff there! And note that, each year, a big chunk of our readership turns over as 500 Ephs graduate and 500 first years (and their parents) arrive. Indeed, my own posting is more and more a collection of annual essays, improved over time and modeled on Professor Whit Stoddard’s ’35 legendary September lecture to first years titled “A Sense of Where You Are.”

6) Sign up for Google Alerts or a similar service. I use “Williams College” as my alert phrase. This gives me a once-a-day e-mail with virtually every mention of Williams in the press. Very handy!

Other items:

1) You are free to manage the comments in your own posts as you see fit. Authors “own” the comment threads which follow their posts and can do whatever they like there. Options include:

a) No management! You are a busy person and it is not your job to monitor EphBlog comments. This is what I do 99% of the time.

b) No (more) comments. Either at the start of the post or after the discussion has come off the rails, you can uncheck the “Allow comments” box. This does not affect comments that have already been made. It just prevents more comments.

c) Hit the “Trash” button. This removes a comment from your post and places it in the Trash. We occasionally post all the Trash comments so that folks can see what was removed.

d) Edit in place. I often just put “Deleted. — DDF” so that people can see that there was a comment (and who wrote it) and that I have deleted it. One could also put a reason, but life is short and I am usually too busy to explain myself to trolls.

2) Instead of leaving a long comment on one of my posts, I encourage you to create a new post with that comment and a link to my post. First, people don’t read the comments that much, so you wonderful prose is more likely to be seen in a new post. Second, it often helps the quality of the discussion to re-start it elsewhere.

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Jonathan Butcher just posted a piece at the Fox News website criticizing the failure of Williams College to protect freedom of speech by adopting the Chicago principles.

Freedom of speech? Not allowed at politically correct liberal Williams College

He is alarmed about an article in The College Fix that reported one of biology professor Luana Maroja’s colleagues had “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. As Butcher writes:

No, Williams is not a public school. Its trustees and administrators have the right to set whatever campus policies they see fit. But considering how quickly the campus “conversation” on free speech escalated from a discussion of mutual respect to threats of violence, Williams’ students and faculty are right to ask: “Will I be threatened when I speak out on campus? And do I want to live in a place like that?”

Butcher’s recommendation is the school require mandatory sessions on free speech during first year orientation – and “…explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.”

Jonathan Butcher is a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.

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Williams College graduate, Eliza Klein ’19, has been called out by Canary Mission who claims she “…has defended terrorists, supported a violent agitator and promoted the #returnthebirthright campaign calling on American Jews to boycott the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.” In a recent Tweet, Canary Mission criticizes her for a 2017 incident in which they say Klein harassed Jewish students who hosted a kosher barbeque,

On May 3, 2017, Klein wrote in the Williams college student newspaper: “By disrupting the barbeque, by writing this op-ed and by speaking out against the occupation of Palestine, we hope to destabilize the normalcy and legitimacy of supporting Israel.”

Readers of Ephblog may recognize Eliza as the student leader of Students for Justice in Palestine a recognized student organization with the faculty/staff advisor Shanti Singham, a Professor of History and Africana Studies, Emerita.

As a student at Williams, Eliza opposed efforts to bring the Chicago Principles to campus.

She also supported the efforts of the College Council to bar the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) from becoming a recognized student organization. This decision sparked a strong rebuke from president Maud Mandel and a successful complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Currently, Williams College is being held accountable by the federal government so that it does a better job of protecting WIFI and following Title IV law and regulations.

By all accounts, Eliza was rewarded for her behavior as a student at Williams College. She is the 2019 winner of the Davis Center’s Senior Social Justice Advocate Award.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. 

 

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U.S. Department of Education to avoid an investigation into the manner in which the College council rejected a new pro-Israel group, Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI), in April 2019. JNS reports:

“This Agreement contains no findings of fact, does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the College, and does not represent a determination by OCR that the college has violated Title VI or its implementing regulations or otherwise engaged in any discriminatory conduct,” stated the agreement, obtained by JNS.

The Massachusetts school pledged that WIFI will be “afforded the same rights and privileges as registered student groups approved by the College Council,” and that it will treat the student organization “in a nondiscriminatory manner” in that the student government evaluates “WIFI requests for and provide financial assistance and other benefits” as such.

The school must submit documentation to demonstrate that it is complying with the “same rights and privileges” clause by Nov. 1, and subsequently do so in 2020 by Feb. 1, June 1 and Nov. 1.

By June 1, 2020, Williams must submit documentation showing that it is complying with the clause that the student government evaluates WIFI financial assistance and other requests in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Reviewing what we know of the agreement that Maud signed, it appears to me that the school was in no hurry to dispute the complaint that it had violated Title VI law and that it was okay living under a temporary period of intensive federal scrutiny in order to bring this matter to a close. Will this be enough to protect WIFI students? It seems unlikely that additional federal accountability will be enough to protect the pro-Israel students who have been the targets of on campus hostility at least as far back as April 2017.

All in all, it will be an entertaining spectacle. I’m looking forward to seeing how Maud will bring the aggressively anti-WIFI College Council into compliance with the new federal accountability measures. Where’s my lawn chair and my kosher barbeque?

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Link to a column that the president wrote for the 2019 summer issue of the Williams Magazine:

https://president.williams.edu/articles-2/summer-2019-report-on-campus-activism/

 

This section stood out to me in particular (emphasis mine):

“I absolutely think Williams needs to teach people to voice strongly held views in constructive ways. That lesson is best learned within a community broad enough to accommodate conservatives and radicals, believers and agnostics, creatives and critics. Disagreement, in such a culture, should fuel intellectual vitality.

 

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – According to a report in the Jewish Journal, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has decided that the school did not violate Title IV when the College Council denied recognized student organization status to WIFI. Nevertheless, the OCR has created a number of stipulations which the college will need to follow moving forward according to Williams College Director of Media Relations Greg Shook.

As far as I can tell, the new stipulations will reduce the power and independence of the College Council. In particular,

“Williams will ensure that College Council, first, affords WIFI the same rights and privileges as any other Council-approved RSO; and, second, evaluates WIFI’s future requests for financial assistance and other benefits fairly, and allocates resources in a nondiscriminatory manner,” Shook said. “OCR provided helpful advice to develop this resolution and plan, and we’re grateful for their partnership.”

The Jewish Journal reports a statement from StandWithUs Legal Department Director Yael Lerman who said, “StandWithUs thanks the Office of Civil Rights for taking the time to investigate the Williams College matter and take allegations of anti-Semitism seriously. We appreciate that OCR is looking into protecting Jewish students facing discrimination. We hope that this will be a deterrent to those looking to spread hatred and misinformation against Jews and pro-Israel students.”

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Williams College political scientist, Laura Ephraim, is scheduled to present a paper at the upcoming  Conference of the American Political Science Association (APSA) entitled: “Everybody Poops: Human Waste in Lockean Liberal Capitalism.” As I recall, Locke was concerned about waste in general and about organizing human activity to prevent it. In this sense, his views seem quite sensible. It is difficult for me to understand what, if anything, he had to write about human waste.

The title of Ephraim’s paper reminds me that the APSA’s war on view point diversity is going as strong as ever even as the war bad manners and poor taste has apparently been lost.

A first rate article by Bruce Gilley, published by the National Society of Scholars in 2017 provides Ephblog readers with other over-the-top examples of poor taste and extraordinary ideological bias:

“Pussies Grab Back: Feminism in the Wake of Trump”?

“Disavowing Violence: Imperial Entitlements, From Burke to Trump (Fuck That Guy).”

If you want to understand why the APSA’s overall hostility to even the idea of viewpoint diversity, it is useful to read all of Bruce Gilley’s article. According to Gilley, his departure from the APSA was due to the rejection of a panel suggestion he put together on “Viewpoint Diversity in Political Science.” His take on the absence of viewpoint diversity is chilling for free speech advocates,

Much has been written about the general problem of a lack of political diversity in political science and its drift to the far left. The ratio of Democratic/left-of-center to Republican/right-of-center professors in political science is variously estimated at around 15 to 1 nationwide, not counting moderates and centrist independents. In my home state of Oregon, I believe the ratio is infinitely large because I do not know of a single Republican or conservative in our profession here (I am a swing voter and independent).

Sadly, modern education is now so increasingly useless and out-of-touch with reality that we have turned once venerable and prestigious institutions into lame, second-rate madrasas. This, of course, is just the kind of waste that would have shook John Locke to his thrifty core.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

 

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https://www.masslive.com/sports/2019/06/williams-college-reigns-supreme-in-division-iii-sports.html

From the article: “Williams College has a seven-year winning streak in Division III national competition for the Learfield Directors Cup, emblematic of athletic supremacy.”

I didn’t see a post about this yet, and since it’s already been three weeks since it happened, there was no point in waiting to post about it.

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Unfortunately, I think DDF is overly optimistic about the eventual results of the Sawicki Report. I read the report looking for evidence freedom of speech was perfectly safe and I didn’t see it. Neither did Jerry Coyne.

As you may know, Coyne is one of our nation’s most influential public intellectuals. He is a Harvard trained evolutionary biologist who is now most well-known as a prominent anti-theist. Along with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, I think of Coyne as one of the world’s most prominent “New Atheists.” Coyne’s blogsite, Why Evolution is True, reportedly has over 50,000 e-mail subscribers. I’m grateful Coyne has focused attention on the free speech conflict at Williams College. He has been especially supportive of Luana Majora and has used his highly visible blogsite platform to publicize her plight.

Nevertheless, DDF went after Coyne. He went so far as to suggest Coyne is a “fool.” As far as I can tell, DDF believes the Sawicki Report will lead to a rebirth of freedom of speech because,  as DDF notes, the report ties the school’s policies to the standards set by both the AAUP and PEN. The central issue is whether this is enough?

(more…)

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College has been named as one of the top five worst schools for free speech by civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, a co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The school won a not so coveted Campus Muzzle Award largely due to highly visible student protests against the adoption of the Chicago Principles and a generally “spineless” faculty response. According to Silverglate, a key moment was when

…a group of about 20 Williams students showed up to the faculty meeting to protest, some waving signs that stated “free speech is hate speech.” Disruption notwithstanding, the faculty was extremely accommodating, inviting the students into the meeting and permitting them to read their response aloud. But the students continued to be disruptive, at one point demanding that white male professors sit down and admit their “privilege,” and at another screaming that faculty members were trying to “kill them.”

Most of Silverglate’s ire, however, is focused on the weak response from faculty members who seemed, over time, to give in to the “free speech is hate speech” mob.

We might expect at least the grownups on campus to safeguard free inquiry, even if those in their charge do not yet recognize how precious it is. Sadly, this is not the case at Williams College. Dozens of professors who originally supported the Chicago Principles caved to the unruly students and withdrew their signatures, rendering the petition all but defunct. These professors do their students a great disservice by denying them the opportunity to critically engage with a diversity of viewpoints, including ones they may disagree with. Such instances of intellectual cowardice by the professoriate are the antithesis of the goals of liberal education.

As you may know, Williams College is a previous award winner. It won a Campus Muzzle Award in 2016 in recognition of Adam Falk’s paternalistic effort to protect the fragile students of Williams College from the potential death and destruction which would have ensued if he had not rescinded a speaking invitation to John Derbyshire.

For the record, the other Campus Muzzle Awards for 2019 went to Middlebury College, Roger Williams University, UMass Boston and UMass Amherst. In 2018, the awardees included UMass Boston, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Harvard and Brandeis University. More details on this story are available over at The College Fix.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

 

 

 

 

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Stewart Gilson ’08 and Helen Hatch ’09 were married June 22 in Quogue, N.Y. According to a report in the New York Times, they met while they were both students at Williams College back in 2005. The fastidious NTY, however, reports that the pair only began dating in 2016, while they were both working in New York.

Helen is an Assistant Vice President and Fine Art Specialist at Sotheby’s San Francisco office. She has worked at both The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Drawings & Prints Department, and the Williams College Museum of Art. She received a master’s degree in art history from Cambridge University in England.

Stewart is an associate at Akin Gump in San Francisco. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Deborah L. Cook for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Stewart received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. Before law school, he was a Fulbright Scholar in New Delhi, India.

 

 

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The College Fix torched the Sawicki Report this morning and highlighted the reactions of those of us who were hoping Williams College would adopt the free speech absolutism of the Chicago Principles including Jerry Coyne, Luana Majora and me.

Ethan Berman, a student at the University of Texas-Austin, criticizes the Sawicki Report saying “…this ad hoc committee on ‘Inquiry and Inclusion’ instead gave the administration plenty of loopholes to regulate both student and faculty speech, including a ‘feedback’ protocol that resembles a community-wide heckler’s veto.”

The article favorably quotes the pessimistic views of Jerry Coyne, a top leader of the New Atheist movement, who asserts it is impossible to reconcile freedom of speech and inclusiveness, and silly to think the Sawicki Report will fix things. “If Mandel and the committee thinks that this policy will quell the discontent of Williams’s woke students when they return this fall,” Coyne writes, “they are sorely mistaken.”

On a positive note, the article report  Coyne was pleased that the committee report dropped an idea floated earlier that would have required each student group to have a faculty advisor who would discuss “the appropriateness of a speaker and its effect on the College community.”

The College Fix interviewed Williams biology professor Luana Majora who indicated she was “relieved” the report was “not as terrible” as she feared it might have been. Maroja told The Fix that she agrees with Coyne’s take “for the most part.” “I thought [the report] would require an ‘advisor’ approval all invited speakers,” as Coyne feared, Maroja wrote in an email. “We will see what the fall brings to us.” (more…)

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Here are the latest filings in the Safety Dance sexual assault case:
163-main, 163-1 and 163-2. Followed up by this and that. Any comments?

Reminder:

Why do I call this case “Safety Dance?”

And the lyrics from the song “Safety Dance”:

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine.

I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance

Alas, John Doe has discovered that, leaving the real world far behind, is not so easy when it comes to the sexual assault bureaucracy at Williams . . .

Key facts:

This is nuts! Does anyone disagree? Read the full document for details, but it is not disputed that Smith only complained about the alleged assault after her attempts to get Doe thrown out for a never-happened honor code violation failed.

I am honestly curious to know if there are readers who agree with the College’s decision to throw Doe out, denying him his degree even though he has completed all the requirements for graduation.

Maud: Settle this case! It is a sure loser for the College. You have had enough bad press already in 2019.

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Did you read Eph ’20’s excellent four part series on Windows on Williams (WOW)? You should! Part I, II, III and IV. Here is the application, which is due August 1. In recent years, there have been around 2,000 applicants, with 200 or so students accepted.

My advice for those who want to get in (and who recognize the morally suspect nature of the college admissions process):

1) Make your family as poor as possible. (Nothing here is meant to encourage you to “lie,” per se, but you should understand what Williams is looking for and adjust your application accordingly.) income
Whatever you think your family income is, chop that estimate in half. After all, you don’t really know, do you? Also, if there is any reason to think that income is variable, tell Williams the story. Also, keep in mind that Williams cares a lot about whether or not you will be eligible for a Pell Grant.

The maximum Federal Pell Grant for the 2019–20 award year (July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020) is $6,195.

Williams doesn’t care about that $6,195, and it doesn’t really care about exactly how poor you are. But it loves to brag about how many students qualify for Pell Grants. And Williams is also rated by other elites (here and here) on this criteria. So, I bet that applicants who report family incomes below $50,000 are much more likely to be accepted at WOW.

2) Make yourself as diverse as possible.race URM admissions at Williams is a fascinating topic. The two most relevant posts are probably here and here. Slightly modifying what I wrote 13 (!) years ago:

Note that the WOW application form gives you almost complete latitude in what boxes you check. It asks you to “indicate how you identify yourself.” In other words, there is no requirement that you “look” African-American or that other people identify you as African-America, you just have to “identify yourself” as African-American, just as, when she applied for a faculty position at Harvard, Elizabeth Warren identified herself as Native American.

Now, one hopes, that there isn’t too much truth-stretching going on currently. The Admissions Department only wants to give preferences to students who really are African-American, who add to the diversity of Williams because their experiences provide them with a very different outlook than their non-African-American peers. But those experiences can only come from some identification — by society toward you and/or by you to yourself — over the course of, at least, your high school years. How can you bring any meaningful diversity if you never thought of yourself as African-American (or were so thought of by others) until the fall of senior year?

The point here is not that the current admissions policy for WoW is bad or good. It is what it is. The point is that there are significant preferences given to those who check certain boxes and that cheap genetic testing will provide many people with a plausible excuse to check boxes that, a few years ago, they did not have.

Checking one of those boxes (other than white or Asian, of course!) will dramatically increase your odds of acceptance to WOW. Similar reasoning applies to the other diversity-lite questions, like first language spoken and language spoken at home.

3) Make your parents as uneducated as possible. (Relevant discussion here.) Back in the day, Williams measured socio-economic diversity on the basis of whether or not either parent had a four year college degree. I suspect that this matters much less now, but there is certainly no reason to exaggerate their educational credentials or, for that matter, socioeconomic status.

Good luck to all the applicants!

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Williams College economist, Owen Thompson, sees a strong link between the growth of tribal gaming and improved educational outcomes for American Indian children. Specifically, children lucky enough to be born around the same time their tribe built a casino gained more years of education and saw better graduation rates from both secondary (5%) and post-secondary schools (14%). His study assembled data on the educational outcomes of 11,647 American Indians across 36 counties.

Tribal Gaming and Educational Outcomes in the Next Generation

Thompson took a B.A. in economics in 2005 from one of the most famous schools in the nation, Evergreen State College.  I’m sure the Williams community would benefit from hearing his take on his alma mater, especially its decision to host a no-whites “Day of Absence” in the spring of 2017. Despite my natural curiosity, I recommend Thompson restrain from discussing the foibles of Evergreen State College. Wait until you have tenure. CM

 

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https://www.wamc.org/post/williams-college-pursue-strong-pro-speech-policies-and-principles

An interview that might interest people.

 

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One of my favorite Williams summer traditions:

The Chapin Library of rare books at Williams College will host the annual July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence by actors from the Williamstown Theatre Festival at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Actors will read from the second floor outside balcony of Sawyer Library. Visitors should gather on the library quad west of Sawyer Library and between Schapiro and Hollander halls. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place inside Sawyer Library.

Since 1987, Williams College and the Williamstown Theatre Festival have made it an annual tradition to celebrate Independence Day by reading the Declaration of Independence, the British reply of September 1776, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

The annual event happens this afternoon. If you attend, send us some photos!

This year (for the first time?) the “reading will also include a selection from “What to a Slave is the Fourth of July,” a speech by Frederick Douglass.”

It is a sign of my wrong-think that this passage from Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities comes to mind. The [white] mayor of New York City is talking with Sheldon Lennart, his press flunky.

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Hank Montalbano ’10 appeared in a 60 Minutes story:

We begin with a cautionary tale we first reported nearly two years ago: how five U.S. soldiers, including two Green Berets, died in Afghanistan on the night of June 9th, 2014.

The Pentagon concluded the deaths were an “avoidable” accident, known by the contradictory phrase “friendly fire.” It was the deadliest such incident involving U.S. fatalities in 18 long years of ongoing war in Afghanistan. It wasn’t gunfire that killed the U.S. soldiers. It was a pair of 500-pound bombs dropped right on top of them by a U.S. warplane.

You’re about to hear what happened that day from three of the soldiers who were there-including the Green Beret commander. They dispute the official version of events and warn it’s going to happen again. It started just after sundown on a sweltering night with a fierce fire-fight.

Brandon Branch: Bullets whizzing by, kickin up all around you.

Henry “Hank” Montalbano: At certain points it would die down, but it was unrelenting at other points.

I can’t figure out how to embed the video. Worth a watch.

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Over on Twitter, Franny Choi announced that she had accepted a two-year fellowship in English at Williams College. “I’m so so so excited to work with the fierce students at Williams,” she wrote. Here’s how she describes herself on her website:

Franny Choi is a queer, Korean-American poet, playwright, teacher, organizer, pottymouth, GryffinClaw, and general overachiever.  She is the author of two poetry collections, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019) and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017).

I imagine the prolific Choi will feel right at home given her hatred for Trump, her advocacy for illegal immigrants, and her hostility to the second amendment. Inexplicably, her tweet indicates her surprise at her new appointment. “Can you believe,” she tweets, “they wanted to hire this weepy futch potato?”

Out of curiosity, I looked up “futch.” It means she sees herself as midway between being a feminine lesbian (femme) and a masculine lesbian (butch). There is even an attractive, multicolored chart for this.

I’ll leave it to others to figure out why she refers to herself as a “weepy potato.”

I think the readers of Ephblog are not as surprised as Franny about why the English department wanted to hire her.

I suspect we would be a good deal more shocked if the English department hired a high femme. Personally, I would consider it progress if the English department hired a poet – maybe even a stone butch – who composed poems that rhymed…like the way poetry used to be, back when it was popular and everyone liked it.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010.

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President Maud Mandel has accepted the “recommendations in full” from the final report (pdf) of the Ad Hoc Committee on Inquiry and Inclusion, chaired by Professor Jana Sawicki. Consistent with our prediction from November and following the advice we laid out in February, academic freedom has returned to Williams. See here, here, here and here for related EphBlog discussions. Maud Mandel has now cleaned up Adam Falk’s legacy. Let’s discuss! Day 6.

What follows are many small comments. If you think I should expand this into another week(s) of posts, speak now. Otherwise, this series ends today. It is possible that the free speechers on the Committee would agree with many of these but were forced by committee dynamics to pull their punches in order to reach consensus on the AAUP/PEN standards. If so, I withdraw my criticism.

1) Including PEN as part of the discussion with AAUP was a mistake. AAUP is, by far, the most important US organization concerned with academic freedom. It will be fighting this fight, and on the right side, 100 years from now. Will PEN? I have my doubts.

2) Why was PEN’s work so prominent in the Report? Presumably because committee member Eli Miller ’21 worked there last summer. Or maybe Miller was picked because his work at PEN suggested he would be a free-speecher?

3) Note how often the Report references and quotes from the College’s ​2017 Accreditation Self-Study (pdf). Key line: “Williams starts from a presumption of absolute intellectual and academic freedom as one of our foundational values.” Who put that there? And was it intended to set the stage for the repudiation of Falk’s decision? If so, well played Steve Fix!

4) I appreciate that the Report includes an extensive appendix. Future historians will thank you! But that makes it all the more desirable/possible that the main body of the Report be concise. Put all the extra stuff — Maud’s charge to the Committee, the list of groups met with — in the appendix.

5) How does a well-written report start?

That is from the Self-Study. I hope that the authors of the forthcoming “statement on expression and inclusion” can be as eloquent.

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Some of our commentators like to discuss politics. If you have views of the Democratic Debates this past week, share them with us.

My concern, as always, is: How do we get more Ephs in (or closer to) the Presidency.

There are (only?) two major Eph connections among the 20 candidates in the debates. First, Beto O’Rourke is married to Amy Sanders O’Rourke ’03. Second, Cory Booker is an actual (honorary) Eph, having been awarded a degree in 2011. Both are in serious trouble, with a less than 7% chance (combined) of winning the nomination, according to the betting markets.

Are there other Eph connections to the other candidates? Family? Advisers?

What advice to our readers have for O’Rourke and Booker?

Booker’s best hope is to get most of the African-American vote in South Carolina. Kamala Harris is his main obstacle. He should attack her forcefully in the next debate (assuming they are on the same stage, and even if they are not).

My advice: Pick a fight over whether or not affirmative action (and reparations) should be restricted to #ADOS — American Descendants of Slaves. Should a recent immigrant from Nigeria — or the daughter of an immigrant from Jamaica — be eligible for the same benefits as someone whose ancestors were enslaved in the US?

I bet the vast majority of South Carolina African-Americans (and whites?!) think not . . .

Beto’s best bet is . . . uh . . . drop out and run for the Senate?

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Charles Osgood invited Agnes Crossman to the 1904 Williams Commencement.

Are you an aspiring fiction writer? Craft the story of Charles and Agnes. We could serialize at EphBlog. Surely you recall the first book which started out as an EphBlog post series 15 years ago!

Which events from that graduation celebration should Maud Mandel bring back?

Let’s start by writing “base ball” instead of “baseball.”

By the way, there is a great Williams senior thesis to be written about the Cuban Giants and their time in Williamstown. Who will write it?

[Thanks to a family friend for passing this along.]

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