As Neighborhoods move ever faster from tragedy to farce, it would be too easy for we critics to mock, to sit back and shout, “We told you so!” But, since Williams is stuck with Neighborhoods for at least a few years, the least that we can do is to try and help out on the margin. Consider some small suggestions, in the context of the search for Neighborhood leaders.

Submit your selfnom by April 10th to selfnom@wso.williams.edu. For names, include your Neighborhood and what it should be called or for leaders include: name, year, position running for, 300 words of why you should be elected. Positions: President, Treasurer, Community Liason and Historian. Presidential candidates will make 3 minute speeches at the cluster election (april 20th) Other candidates will make 1 minute speeches.

(See e-mail below for full details.)

1) 300 words? Is CUL insane!?! If my goal were to turn the elections into a joke by ensuring that no one bothered to run, this is exactly the sort of stupid hurdle that I would install. Since CUL claims that it wants to bring back some of the spirit of the old house system, perhaps it should take the trouble to learn some history. Back in the day, if you wanted to be president of Carter House, you just showed up at election night and said a few words.

2) 3 minute speeches? But only 1 minute if for non-presidential races! We wouldn’t want those loquacious historian-hopefuls talking too much! Doesn’t CUL realize how stupidly micromanaging it appears when it sets forth these sort of requirements? No one is going to filibuster a Neighborhood election meeting. There is no need to time speeches. Smart candidates know that shorter speeches are more effective. The more that CUL runs things, the less autonomy students see themselves (correctly or not) as having. Less perceived autonomy leads to less involvement.

But perhaps Will Dudley will run for president of Wood! Then he can show all these kids how much better life was in the Gladden House of 1987.

3) Besides removing the 300 word demand, CUL might consider posting the names of candidates as they apply, rather than waiting until all names are in. This might, I think, encourage more competition. If there is only one candidate for the Wood treasurer job than I might apply if I think that he wouldn’t be good and/or might easily be beaten. But I can’t make that judgment unless I know who the candidates are prior to the closing of the nominations process.

Again, Neighborhood Housing is doomed, but we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help out in the meantime. There is no need to heighten the contradictions just yet.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 20:44:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Morgan.J.Goodwin@williams.edu
Reply-To: Morgan.J.Goodwin@williams.edu
Subject: Seeking Neighborhood Leaders
To: students-07@williams.edu, students-08@williams.edu,
students-09@williams.edu

Dear Williams Students,

Become a Neighborhood Leader! This is your chance to have a hand in setting precedents and leading Williams into a new era of social life. Four positions are open for popular election in each neighborhood: President, Treasurer, Community Liaison and Historian. We encourage you to nominate yourself.

TO APPLY: send a self-nom to selfnom@wso.williams.edu by April 10th. Include
1) your name; 2) position applying for; 3) your year; 4) your neighborhood; 5) 300 words explaining why you would be a good choice for the position. Self-noms will be printed in an election booklet. Candidates will be required to make short speeches to their neighborhood during elections (April 20th: dinner – 6:00 pm; speeches – 6:30 pm) – 3 minutes for presidential candidates and 1 minute for others. Note: you may apply to run from abroad (and have a proxy give a speech) but you may not run if you are planning on studying abroad either semester next year.

POSITION DESCRIPTIONS:

PRESIDENT- Oversee Board, Chair Board Meetings, Serve on College Council, Act as Liaison to College Administration, Faculty, Trustees, Neighborhood Alumni, Facilitate Communication Between Neighborhoods.

TREASURER – Administer Neighborhood Budget, Maintain Financial Records, Oversee All Financial Transactions.

COMMUNITY LIASON – Organize Events That Reflect the Diverse Interests of the Neighborhood, Attend MinCo Meetings, Facilitate Communication Between the Board and the Neighborhood, Represent the Neighborhood to Entries.

HISTORIAN – Record Neighborhood Events, Create Neighborhood Bulletin Board and Website, Take Notes at Meetings, Display Neighborhood Memorabilia, Maintain Neighborhood Archives.

In addition to the elected positions, the HC (HLC now) position will continue without any serious changes, except that one HLC from each Neighborhood will be the fifth student on the Neighborhood Board. Campus life will solicit for and select this position. The Board will be also have a Campus Life Coordinator (CLC) and the four faculty associates.

For more information please visit the CUL website at www.williams.edu/resources/committees/cul. Email committee members with further questions.

We look forward to hearing from you,

The CUL Governance and Election sub-committee:

Morgan Goodwin, Class ’08
Eiko Maruko Siniawer, History
AB, Class ’07
Ben Sykes, Class ’08

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