The QLDC would first like to thank EphBlog for the opportunity to post here and get the word out about some things going on at Williams. Publicity and public debate are essential to anything of this kind.

The QLDC was created to defend the quality of life of Williams students by advocating their rights as consumers of the services provided by the college. Its specific goals are an end to compulsory reductions in the Williams quality of life, and public disclosure and debate of all proposals to reduce this quality of life within the student body. Those interested about the basics of the QLDC should visit the Facebook group.

So far, the QLDC has publicized itself through Facebook and through a major poster campaign across campus on Sunday, May 4th. A second poster campaign is coming very soon. The first caused a minor controversy over the imagery used; check out the original image used here – it’s pretty innocuous, and the eighth entry on a Google image search for “heraldic eagle.” We’ve also been the subject of a scrappy WSO thread.

To briefly summarize the issues that prompted the QLDC to take a hand in the campus sustainability debate:

The college currently plans to make all dining halls trayless next year, as they’ve tried with Driscoll this year. Our sources indicate some very interesting things about this proposal. Driscoll operating costs have gone up since trays left; apparently trayless dining makes such a mess more man-hours have to be spent cleaning. Student use of Driscoll has also gone down. This would indicate the student body would prefer trays, given the choice, and the response to the early QLDC posters certainly reinforces this impression. The dining halls are designed to work with trays; why can’t those who want to go trayless do so on their own?

The low flow showerheads and faucets that Williams Hall was equipped with recently are also planned for the entire campus by next year. This will certainly reduce water usage, but that begs other questions: if there’s no water shortage here, why are we making water conservation a priority? Won’t filling up a Nalgene take the same amount of water, and more time, with low flow plumbing? Won’t students take longer showers as they struggle to wash? Why can’t sustainability-heavy entries request these changes on a case-by-case basis?

There is no question that these are not huge issues. The way they were decided and publicized, however, is a huge issue. Most Williams students didn’t know about these plans until the QLDC made them public. Williams students are clients of the college, which provides them services. Surely they deserve some input in the nature of these services.

This is why the QLDC urges every Williams student to join the Facebook group petition. The petition reads:

The signatories (group members) of this petition are against:
1. Compulsory traylessness at all dining halls.
2. Universal, compulsory low flow showerheads and faucets in dorms.

Furthermore they request the following of future campus sustainability measures:

3. Open debate in the student body previous to final decisionmaking.
4. Voluntary compliance to permit those who do not wish to participate to opt out.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the fight in defense of the quality of life of all Williams students. Watch for us, on campus and online.

The Williams College Quality of Life Defense Council


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