An all-campus e-mail from President Falk:

To the Williams Community,

The solidarity our students and other community members showed yesterday for their peers on other campuses was an inspiring demonstration of support. It was also an important reminder of all the work still to be done—here and everywhere—to create a society that’s free of discrimination, in which all members are valued and have equal opportunities to thrive.

As we continue that critical work at Williams, done in ways public and private, large and small, students working with each other and together with faculty, staff, alumni, and parents, we acknowledge that we’re a long way from the goal, but our pursuit of it guides our determined steps every single day.

The events at Missouri, Yale, and other places are experienced here in a variety of ways. If you need support—now or at any time—please remember that you can find it in many places on campus, including the dean’s office, chaplains’ office, health center, Davis Center, and Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.

Finally, a request: We’re heading into a celebratory Homecoming weekend, welcoming lots of alumni and visitors to campus. Looking ahead, I ask you to please keep in mind the important work we’re all doing to make this the community to which we aspire, and, in so doing, to take care of each other and of Williams.

Sincerely,

Adam Falk
President

Comments:

1) I believe that Falk is referencing the black out rally in Paresky from Thursday.

2) Should we be surprised that there is less campus turmoil at Williams than elsewhere? No. Williams has always been among the most “conservative” of the elite liberal arts colleges. Not “conservative” in the sense of voting Republican, of course, just much less likely to devolve into far left (in the context of US political views nationwide) controversy and rebellion. I prefer “classy” to “conservative,” in describing the difference between Williams and, say, Swarthmore, but maybe “reserved” or “restrained” or “traditional” would be more neutral.

3) Most of the letter is harmless. Was Falk wise to send it? I don’t know. Was there a demand on campus that he address recent events? If so, I am not sure if this letter would do much to appease the protesters. Might it anger them? With luck, Falk got good advice from someone.

4) The “request” in the last paragraph is weird. He makes no request except a vague plea to “keep in mind” happy thoughts. Is that all he really wants? Or is this code for: “Don’t protest at the gatherings of rich alumni during the Capital Campaign.”

5) Grammar mavens are invited to parse that last sentence. Is “take care of each other” one of Falk’s requests or not?

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