The Eagle has an update on the St. Anthony Hall controversy. Main message: Nothing has happened and the College won’t be going out of its way to make things happen. Highlights included:
The issue of an alleged underground fraternity at Williams College emerged again with the new semester, as the student College Council sent a strongly worded open letter to the administration accusing it of not doing enough to root out a group that clearly violates college rules.
Again, if the College can’t be bothered to enforce the singe most clearly stated prohibition for students, it will be hard to take anything else it says that seriously. This is all the more so since students want the College to do the enforcing.
Administrators responded to the letter of late last month by saying that they will not “engage in some wild goose chase” to find the members, and that only public discouragement from the campus community can put an end to fraternity activity.
No one is asking the College to go on a wild goose chase. At a minimum, the Dean should publicly ask members of the community to tell her (in private) of any students that are violating the bad on fraternity. Why would that be so hard?
College President Morton O. Schapiro and Dean of the College Nancy A. Roseman responded with a letter of their own, saying it would not be “consistent with the college’s culture” to treat its students as suspects.
The College should post such letters, either publicly or in the private alumni area of the home page, so that interested parties could evaluate the situation. With any luck, some of our student bloggers will be able to put something up in due course.
Roseman dismissed any idea that trustees or powerful donors are calling the shots.
“In terms of running the school and making policy, the trustees don’t have that kind of engagement,” she said.
She added that the school has very specific policies and guidelines in place for donors, and that it has never happened that a trustee or donor had pressured the administration to change policy or overlook violations. “I can’t even imagine it,” she said.
Actually, the trustees that I have talked to are pretty engaged with life at Williams, at least as most as one can be from a distance. Some even read this blog! Interested students should, obviously, contact the trustees directly. In fact, if there were any interest from folks like Aidan or the College Council, I might even be able to facilitate things. After all, the more that the trustees understand how the students feel about things, the better off the College will be.