Having praised many aspects of the schedule for Claiming Williams 2014, it is time to criticize the (preliminary) schedule for 2015.

9-10:30am: Opening Event

Opening Remarks: President Adam Falk, MainStage, ’62 CTD
“The Peak”: A Williams Talk Show

Hmm. Maybe “The Peak” will be a big hit, but last year’s trick of scheduling lots of singing/dancing students groups at 9:00 seems much smarter. It guarantees that all those students are there and ready to participate in morning events. It also generates lots of attendance from their friends. Consider:

The Peak is a one-time Williams talk show borrowing Barbara Walters’ conception of ABC talk show, The View, that has run for 18 years. Like The View, The Peak focuses on a panel of four female co-hosts who discuss a variety of social and political issues both at Williams and in the world at large. They will creatively preview the various events happening thru-out Claiming Williams Day. The panel consists of Kimberly Golding ’16, Fatima Anaza ’18, Elizabeth Dietz ’15, and Bushra Ali ’17. They will host live interviews and there are several surprises in store for the “studio” audience!

Boring! Just how many Williams students will want to get out of bed for this event? First, the entire premise — female-only presenters modeling their session on a female-only talk show — seems almost designed to drive male students away. Second, why would a Williams student want to hear other Williams students talk about “a variety of social and political issues … in the world at large?” Isn’t it enough that I get to — have to? — listen to my peers in every seminar I ever take at Williams? Does random Eph X have anything particular insightful to say about, for example, the situation in Gaza? Perhaps, but the above description gives me no reason to think so.

I predict that, because of this switch, attendance at morning events will be much lower this year.

8:00-9:30pm: Mothers Against Police Brutality, Chapin Hall
9:30pm: Solidarity Walk, Chapin Hall
10:00pm: Pareksy Center Gathering

What exactly does police brutality, much less those mothers who are against it, have to do with Claiming Williams? Nothing, of course. It seems clear that this year’s Claiming Williams committee, unlike last year’s, decided to let their left wing freak flag fly.

New Rule: Claiming Williams events should have something to do with Williams. They aren’t an occasion, and a slush fund, for you to push your pet issue on the Williams community. Other events which violate this rule include:

The Marginalized Man: Education Access in Prisons, Paresky Auditorium
Dealing with Anti-Muslim Sentiment in American – A workshop with MPAC, Dodd Living Room
Reverend Yearwood from the Hip Hop Caucus: Mobilizing for Climate Justice, Paresky Auditorium
Mothers Against Police Brutality Workshop: Writing as Activism, Griffin 2
Unmasking Empathy: A Staged Reading of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… CenterStage, ’62 CTD

Although I have not done a complete count, this year’s Claiming Williams seems much worse than last year’s, much more focused on events/issues that have no meaningful connection to Williams itself.

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