Latest College Council minutes from the wonderful Emily Deans ’09. In a discussion about raising funds for more social events, we have:

Sarah Moore (Class of 2009 Rep) mentioned the issue of having money for alcohol, which both the neighborhoods and also ACE struggle with. There is no good way to have money for alcohol without charging students.

Peter Nurnberg (co-President) clarified that other schools allocate their Student Activities Tax more for programming things and less to non-programming organizations and Williams does the opposite.

Gordon Atkins (Sage) said that it would be nice if the endowment could subsidize things for the students.

Excellent idea! Of course, it is tough for the endowment itself to cut a check, but the endowment is just the collection of donations from generous alums and, even today, there are hundreds of generous alums who would love to “subsidize things for the students.” In fact, Nurnberg and his co-president campaigned on just such a plan. I outlined how it should work here. Alas:

Even though I think that this is a great idea, my prediction is that nothing meaningful will come of it because Williams administrators will be able to cajole/trick the interested students into dropping the project. The College is happy to have students fund-raise for projects that the College already approves of. It will do everything it can to prevent students from contacting alumni about projects it would not otherwise fund.

With luck, students will prove me wrong.

No one ever contacted me. Perhaps someone in next year’s Gargoyle class will prove me wrong.

College Council

Wednesday, April
23, 2008, 7:30-9:00

Meeting in Hopkins
Hall Basement, B03 Classroom

All College
Council Meetings are open to the Williams Community. Anyone who wishes
to speak before Council should contact Peter and Jeremy (09psn and 09jmg_2).

New Members of CC

Joya Sonnenfeldt Spencer Board

Jerusa Contee Wood Board Rep

Emily George Currier Board

Christophe Dorsey-Guillaumin
Dodd Board Rep

Calendar and Scheduling

Hong (2009) came to the College Council meeting to represent the Calendar
and Scheduling Committee, which is a student faculty committee that
sets the academic calendar for Williams. The one significant change
for 2010 is that Rosh Hashanah will be observed on Thursday, September
9, 2010. Classes will be started on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 (The
first Wednesday after Labor Day). The first day of classes will feature
Thursday classes (same times, just a different day) and Friday will
be the second day of classes and students will go to their normal classes
on that day. We are not having classes on the first day of Rosh Hashanah,
but we are having classes on the second day, and so the committee is
working on special advising for students who will be observing the holiday
and cannot attend class.

2008-2009 there are no deviations, but in light of recent developments
the Calendar committee has proposed a change to the calendar for the
Claiming Williams day, which would be a half-day instituted immediately
for the coming year. The committee thought of ways to best incorporate
that day is by forwarding a motion to the faculty meeting in May proposing
a change in the calendar. Wednesday January 28 would be the last day
of Winter Study and Wednesday, February 4 will be the first day of classes
and Thursday, February 5 will be Claiming Williams Day. This means that
Winter Study is shortened by one day and dead week is the same length.
The logic behind holding the day on Thursday is that there is a concern
that having Claiming Williams day on Friday will be turned into a three-day
weekend by students. Faculty will vote on it on the May meeting. The
other time we could have it is during Winter Carnival weekend (Thursday,
February 20) if the faculty opposes changing the schedule for Winter
Study and spring semester.

Ko (Wood At-Large) asked about how making Claiming Williams day something
that would happen every year would effect the calendars in years to

explained that although calendars are approved, the Committee could
bring motions to the faculty meetings to be changed. He didn’t know
what they were planning on doing in subsequent years, but thought that
the system would be fine.

Small Group Discussions
of Social Life

this point in the meeting, College Council broke up into small groups
to promote discussion of social life on campus. One topic that was discussed
was the issue of diversity and social planning and how to make events
at Williams appeal to a diverse group of people. The MINCO groups try
to bring in good examples of diverse programming.

Contee (Wood Board Rep) mentioned that the Spring Fling concert was
voted on by the student body so ACE can’t be blamed for it.

Kiernan (Mills) said that they were talking more about smaller events
and that it was an issue that mainstream groups weren’t bringing in
diverse enough groups.

Straw Poll:

10 thought this was an issue.
6 did not.

Flournoy (Minority Concerns) said that MINCO is considering having a
representative on ACE to address this issue.

Atkins (Sage) talked about how security shutting things down was becoming
problematic and how having more money for student events would be beneficial.
He referred back to what President Schapiro said when he came to College
Council that the easiest problems to solve were the ones that could
be solved with money. There is currently money leftover from the year,
but it is not intended for bigger events.

Moore (Class of 2009 Rep) mentioned the issue of having money for alcohol,
which both the neighborhoods and also ACE struggle with. There is no
good way to have money for alcohol without charging students.

Nurnberg (co-President) clarified that other schools allocate their
Student Activities Tax more for programming things and less to non-programming
organizations and Williams does the opposite.

Atkins (Sage) said that it would be nice if the endowment could subsidize
things for the students.

Butts (Spencer At-Large) mentioned the need to create more spaces for
parties like Goodrich to hold First Fridays and concerts in. Goodrich
is now coming back with smaller capacity and there is the need for good
venues that can hold more people.

Flournoy (Minority Concerns) said that he thought there should be more
funding for non-party events.

Rubinsky (Class of 2010 Rep) said that variety is important especially
in main activities. He thought that if more focus were put on non-alcoholic
parties rather than watching movies in the basement in Paresky. He thought
that there should be more events that were not parties but that were
also not alcoholic.

Contee (Wood Board Rep) mentioned that non-alcoholic events require
a lot more money and a lot more planning because it takes a lot more
effort. One example is laser tag, which Wood is sponsoring on May 3.

Dorsey-Guillaumin (Dodd Board Rep) discussed space usage and the need
to build another space on campus and how soon that could actually happen.
A lot of students think that once Goodrich is back on line problems
will be fixed but the reality is that the college may need to augment

Miteva (Dodd At-large) wondered if there was a possibility of building
something like a night club and not just a barn.

Sonnenfeldt’s (Spencer Board Rep) group talked about the Log and the
potential for using it. This is something we have to think about when
the College made a promise not to expand square footage of campus.
Having venues on Spring Street is problematic because then students
are wandering around a residential area.

Nurnberg (co-President) promoted setting up a standing weekly meeting
between social chairpersons of each neighborhood and ACE and having
someone from College Council run the meetings. The idea would be that
there could be a “party list” that would go out every week to students.
But, he added, it is hard to coordinate five different bodies from four
neighborhood governance boards and a representative from ACE.

Rubinsky (Class of 2010 Rep) said that is the job of the neighborhoods
and ACE and the change needs to come, at least partially, from them.

to a recent survey, 77% of Williams students are generally satisfied
or very satisfied with social life on campus. When compared with other
“highly selective” peers, the results were 84% at Ivies and 75%
at non-Ivies.

Discussion of Environmental

Goodwin and Gershwin from Thursday Night Group were invited to talk
to CC about environmental initiatives on campus. Earlier this year they
had a competition called recycle mania and found that waste production
at Williams is really high, but we have good recycling rates. TNG is
working with dining services and eco-café to have on more sustainable
dining services (ex. reusable coffee cups). Next year paper bags will
be eliminated from grab-n-go. They will also make sure that things are
donated from the end of the year clean-up and collection of ABC clothing
and not just thrown away.

year commencement was very green and the College is doing carbon offsets.
At graduation, there will be no plastic bottled waters and instead seniors
will receive reusable water bottles and there will be coolers of beverages.
Thursday Night Group is also looking at instituting a school-wide catering
policy so that outside catering places will have to use hard plates
and silverware instead of paper plates.

Nurnberg (co-President) asked if the water waste you use when washing
those plates offsets the waste created by paper plates. Morgan Goodwin
(TNG) said that Dining Services got new dishwashers that are much more
water efficient. Jerusa Contee (Wood Board Rep) asked about the costs
for student groups and how they would be offset? Morgan Goodwin (TNG)
said that Dining Services is working on that.

new buildings will be LEAD certified and this will be re-measured after
the buildings are opened. The last thing Morgan Goodwin (TNG) wanted
to mention was that most of the motivation for environmental initiatives
is coming from Thursday Night Group and the Zilkah Center.

new showerheads are an initiative from the Zilkah Center. Williamstown
is mostly on well water so cold water is not a concern, but it is hot
water that expends a lot of energy.

Yekutiel (Class of 2011 Rep) wondered why the showerheads were put in
without informing anyone.

Sonnenfeldt (Spencer President) said that it was only Williams Hall
that has had these changes and not Sage and it is part of a study of
sustainability on campus. These showerheads went in about two days ago.

Thursdays is now trayless every day in Driscoll and it is saving a lot
of water and it is a lot easier on the working staff. It is saving energy
and it is helping them out. There have been a few student complaints
but not too many.

Two absences in a row or three in a term result in a member’s expulsion,
unless overridden by the secretary’s discretion or petition to the


Emily C. Deans

Secretary, College

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