Focussing on the positive with regard to the College’s Diversity Initiatives, I am trying to make a few minor suggestions. Thanks to Jim Kolesar ’74 for including the first on an Eph Style Guide. Here is the second.

There should be chapter in the report, perhaps in the Context section, about the history of diversity issues at Williams. This would be wonderfully informative as well as serving to set the stage for the analysis that follows. It is very hard to have an informed opinion about the issues involved with diversity unless one knows the history. Although it is always interesting to hear about older controversies — the exclusion of certain types of Ephs from fraternities in the 1950’s, say — I am much more interested in the last 35 years or so.

So, give us 5 or so pages about every significant diversity-related event from the takeover of Hopkins Hall through Nigaleian. Recent examples from what should be included would be Barnard/VISTA, the KKK cookout and Madcow. Quote the original materials. Reprint articles from the Record, both news and opinion pieces. Interview the participants. Tell us the history.

Williams can’t move forward unless it knows where it has been.

UPDATE: The suggestions section of the Diversity Initiatives site is surprisingly good. One Eph notes that “Robert Gaudino, widely regarded as one of the best educators ever to be part of the Williams faculty, published a paper on “Uncomfortable Education,” explaining why he always kept students off-balance . . . ” It would be good if the report included prominent essays like this from Williams’s history.

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