Kudos to the folks at Stand With Us for updating their website with a new header featuring pictures of the rally. Nicely done. They provide an update on their current plans, also posted to WSO. Much of this is interesting and valuable, but I will start with a quibble.

We are planning on improving JA training on issues of discrimination and respect by bringing in outside facilitators in both the fall and spring.

Commitment from Mike Reed, VP for Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity, for diversity/sensitivity training by outside professionals for staff, that will be open to interested faculty.

Comments:

1) Do JAs need more training about “discrimination and respect?” Give me a break. Don’t they already get many hours of (suspect) training in August? How much training — 5 hours? 10 hours? 50 hours? — is enough? I think that our JAs get more than enough such training right now. Do current or past JAs disagree?

2) Are they really suggesting that JAs need more training <i>during the school year</i>? Perhaps I am just misreading the meaning of “both the fall and spring.” JAs are some of the busiest people on campus. They do not have time for more training. They should be spending that time with their entry. Diversity bureaucracies are problematic because of the huge time costs that they enforce on others.

3) Note how training for JAs is required but training for faculty is optional. This is an example of “invisible privilege” that is, perhaps, not so invisible.

4) Why do we need “outside professionals” for any of this? Let’s waste more money! One of the points, one would think, of having a Multicultural Center (with a staff of 5) and a VP of Institutional Diversity (with a staff of 7) is that these folks could do most of the training that Williams needs themselves. If they aren’t qualified to do so (!?), then let’s send them to some course so that they become so. It is ridiculous for Williams to have to bring in outsiders every year for this sort of training. Why not invite outsiders each year to coach the football team or teach chemistry? Embarrassing.

5) By the way, the Williams home page currently provides a direct link to Stand With Us. I have never seen such a link to WSO or the Record, much less EphBlog. Powerful faculty/administrators like Wendy Raymond and Mike Reed ’75 are good people to have on your side.

6) But let me end on a good note.

Development of a web site to be housed by the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity for info/activities/links that will include an institutional history of community bias and hate events.

Great idea! (And one that I have championed for several years.)

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