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Buses to Inauguration

An Eph mom writes:

Did you know that Williams is sending coach buses to the inauguration? Nothing has been posted on EphBlog. They are sending 100 students. There was a lottery for the seats and my daughter won a seat. I think they are leaving Williamstown at 8 p.m. tonight.

Sounds like a good time. Background:

We are pleased to announce that the College will arrange for limited bus service for transportation to and from Washington, D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration.

Seats are limited to 100, and students will be selected by lottery. You may select as an individual or as a two-person group. To sign up, go to mcc.williams@gmail.com write your name, ID#, and t-shirt size. If you are selecting as a group of two, include also the name, ID# and t-shirt size of your partner. A $20 fee will be required for each person. The deadline to sign up is January 7th. Notification will be on Jan. 8th. The fee will be due on January 12th. This is open to all students. Only one entry per student.

Buses will leave campus promptly at 7 p.m. Monday, January 19th traveling overnight to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 20th approximately at 5 a.m. Buses will depart Washington promptly at 4 p.m. following the inauguration and arrive back on campus at approximately at 1 a.m.

You will need to bring your own snacks, beverages, and/or money for the trip as we will make only short restroom breaks. However, a boxed dinner from dining services will be available at the departure from campus only. There will be no alcohol allowed on the buses. Inauguration t-shirts will also be available for no extra charge to those riding the buses. …

This service is made possible through the Office for Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity and the Multicultural Center at Williams.

At first, one might be tempted to note that there is a financial crisis going on and that Williams should be trying to save money. But this seems like a worthy event and, I think, the money is much better spent on this than on most of the programming by the MCC. If there is high enough demand, I wish that they would send more buses.

Does anyone know how much this costs? How many people signed up?

More importantly, I big part of binding people to Williams for a lifetime consists in arranging events that Ephs will remember for decades. That is hard to do. But the subset of Ephs who really want to go to the inauguration will remember forever that Williams made it possible. This will serve as a hook for reunions and fund-raising appeals for decades to come. So, the money is well spent. Make sure that the Alumni Development Office has a list of students who attended.

Do we have any readers on the bus? Tell us how it goes! Surely there will be at least one cell phone on the trip that could be used for sending comments and updates. Let us know how the trip is going, especially those of us who wish we could be with you.

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#1 Comment By PTC On January 19, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

My only question is… why only one bus?

#2 Comment By frank uible On January 19, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Would attitudes be different about acceptability if Williams similarly proposed to send a bus to Salem, Virginia in order for students to see the participation of Williams’ team in the Final Four in men’s basketball? To my knowledge there was no such bus relative to Williams’ participation in the women’s Final Four in soccer this past fall. What other events might qualify in the future or might have been reasonably subject to qualification in the past? FDR’s first inauguration? Other inaugurations? New Year’s Eve on Times Square? The Olympics? Bonus Army march on Washington? Million Man March? V-E Day? The Cardiff Giant? What factors go into making a qualifying event? Is it merely a Potter Stewart test? If so, who is the tester?

#3 Comment By PTC On January 19, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

Frank- They should set a policy. Any major historic event, and any team that gets to the final four… something like that.

#4 Comment By rory On January 20, 2009 @ 9:06 am

holy bejesus, you can’t quit even on inauguration day!

“But this seems like a worthy event and, I think, the money is much better spent on this than on most of the programming by the MCC”

Next time, try complimenting them without the backhandedness please! my god that was tacky.

#5 Comment By rory On January 20, 2009 @ 9:07 am

frank–

that salem final four in ’02 was over spring break so the only students on campus were supposed to be writing theses.

#6 Comment By frank uible On January 20, 2009 @ 9:13 am

rory: I was being hypothetical in my question, not retrospective.