WSO was down most of yesterday and is still having problems now.

WSO was hacked last night, or at least that’s when we found out about it. We are fixing it as fast as we can. Read below for details.

Our web server was compromised due to an exploit in awstats, a program that keeps track of web site traffic. (We have since uninstalled that program.)

Good luck to the smart and dedicated Ephs at WSO in fixing the problem. The service and infrastructure that they provide to the Williams commumity is just amazing.

Cynics might complain that these sorts of service interruptions are what happens when students are in charge and that, therefore, the College should take over WSO. I could not disagree more strongly.

  1. It is not clear that your typical technology professional is any smarter or more dedicated that your typical WSO student. Williams has — how to put this politely? — not been famous for the level of technological support that the College itself provides.
  2. I think that the level of services that WSO provides to alumni is much greater than that available from the typical college. Without WSO, it is unlikely that the College would take the trouble — nor should it — to make these services available.
  3. Most important is not what WSO provides for the community but what the experience of participating in WSO provides to the students who do so. WSO is life its own self. Williams is a special place because its students have much more responsibility and authority than the students at other schools. JA, JA Selection Committee, and WSO are all examples of this.

Williams doesn’t need less WSO. Williams needs more institutions like WSO which give real control and command to students. They will sometimes, perhaps often, mess up. Yet there is no better way to learn.

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