From a QSU Member

I am of the camp that is generally happy with the culture here at Williams. Is occupying Hardy an overreaction to someone painting “XXXX” on the wall… once? Let me be the first to say YES. What we’re doing is using this incident as a springboard, as leverage, to build a Williams that we want, we are truly Claiming Williams. The status quo is pretty good, in my opinion, not many people are getting attacked or harassed on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be better. We can make happen in a week what has literally been fought for for decades. That’s why I’m going to Hardy right now, because the stars are finally aligning: interim, very friendly president, homophobic incidences, Queer politics in the news, etc… This is a very, very ripe fruit and if we don’t carpe, we might not get another chance.

To the Williams Community,

The recent homophobic incident on campus has brought to light both historical and current issues regarding gender and sexuality at Williams College. Currently there is no designated space for a Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to address these issues. We students believe that this is a necessary addition to the network of student resources at the College. The presence of such a Center would provide students with a fixed place to go for support such as the counsel of other peers, the Queer Life Coordinator, printed information, or sexual health resources. The space would be utilized by currently existing groups such as the Women’s Center, the Queer Student Union, Anything But Str8 in Athletics, and other groups invested in these issues. The establishment of this center would create a more permanent space in which these groups could work with the College administration (including the Deans’ Office, the Office of Campus Life, the Admissions Office, the Career Planning Center, the President’s Office and the Health Center).

Because of the need for this Center we have decided to re-conceptualize the underused space at Hardy House into a place that would actively promote discussions of and resources for gender and sexuality at Williams. Moreover, we have established the following list of issues that need to be seriously discussed and implemented immediately: the establishment of a Full Time Queer Life Coordinator Position (as the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center Director); a more comprehensive LGBTQ/Women’s Issues oriented training for Junior Advisors; the availability of Gender Neutral Housing; the establishment of more Queer and Sexuality Studies courses and/or the appointment of a professor with the knowledge and ability to teach Queer and Sexuality Studies oriented courses within Women’s and Gender Studies.

As of 9 PM this evening, December 2nd, 2009, Williams students will be turning Hardy House into the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Until the demands put forth by the Queer Student Union are met, students will be working round the clock to establish this space and provide resources to the community at large.

Anyone interested in participating in the claiming of Hardy House as the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center or establishing other such resources at Williams is invited to join the Queer Student Union, the Women’s Center and their supporters and allies in this endeavor.

Feel free to utilize this safe space or stop by to say hello both now and in the future.

Anyone with additional comments or questions, please contact Tracey Vitchers or Mike Semensi.

The Queer Student Union and Allies

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