Today is Claiming Williams. Here is the schedule. (Copied below the break for future historians.) Here are our recommendations for which sessions to attend. Comments:

1) This schedule is incompetent! Here is the committee, and the co-chairs are Annie Valk, Angela Wu, and Rashanda Booker. Are they to blame? I think that this is the first year in which the committee was not co-led by a [tenured — correction from comment below] faculty member. Is that a sign that the faculty is less interested and so we might get rid of Claiming Williams? Or is it just another example of the continued erosion of faculty governance at the College? I hope for the former.

The main trick to ensuring high attendance at Claiming Williams is to schedule a first event that hundreds of students will want to attend (or be cajoled into attending by their JAs). That event should feature people/items that are popular with students. Everyone loves singing groups! Invite several to perform. Everyone loves honeybuns! Serve them for free. In past years, the organizers have done exactly this, thereby getting lots of students out of bed and engaged. Once they attend the first event, it is easier to get them to go from that to another.

2) What a narrow selection of topics! Claiming Williams has always been (and will always be) filled with leftist sessions. Nothing wrong with that! But, in past years, other sessions, appealing to a different cross-section of the community, have generated large audiences. How about something about athletics at Williams and the athlete/non-athlete divide? What about a session on the drinking culture? A more competent committee would have created such sessions. Even the sessions that might be non-political, like this one about sports, are extremely leftist:

This critique of U.S. sports culture shows how 20th-century sports has consistently reflected the hegemonic political discourse of the day, specifically, elite narratives about nationalism, war, gender, race, homosexuality and capitalism.

Again, nothing wrong with extreme leftists! Some of our closest friends are . . . But there is no excuse for not having (many!) events that come at these issues from other perspectives.

3) How can there be nothing about Uncomfortable Learning and the banning of John Derbyshire? This was the biggest national news story involving Williams in several years. To not have a single session about it is just embarrassing.

4) Could the Record please do a minimal amount of reporting and tell us, approximately, how many students attend at least two events? My sense (commentary welcome) is that the College likes to pretend like a large majority of students (1500?) attend more than one event. I bet that the actual number is closer to 500, and maybe as low as 200.

5) Whose idea was it to choose Shaun King as the evening key note speaker? King is [an accused — edited] fraud, on several important dimensions, not least in his claim to be African-American. If I were writing this as parody — that a white man [accused of running — edited] multiple charity frauds while pretending to be African-American would be the key note speaker at Claiming Williams— when all this started 9 years ago, you wouldn’t have believed me! Truth, at least at Williams, is stranger than fiction.

Full schedule below

2017 Claiming Williams Schedule
Moral Courage

Claiming Williams events are intended for the campus community. Schedule is subject to change. Please check back for updates!

Use #ClaimingWilliams to tag the day’s events!
February 2, 2017

Dining on Claiming Williams Day

Day long: Transition with Intention: An Invitation to Reflect and Commit to a World Where All Can Flourish, Paresky Center
9-10:30 A.M. Community Forums

Restorative Workshop for Student Organizers and Activists, Schapiro 141

Romance and Rape Culture in the Clark Collection
Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA

Clickers: What Do We think?, Brooks-Rogers Auditorium

Spoken Word Workshop: The Presence of Absence, Schapiro Hall, Room 241
10:45 A.M. Morning Keynote: Barbara Smith

God Don’t Like Ugly and She’s Not Too Stuck on Pretty Either: Black Feminist Ethical Perspectives for These Times, Chapin Hall
12:30-1:45 P.M. Lunchtime Dialogues

The Courage to Learn, Faculty Club Lounge

Courage Across Borders: Stories about the Immigrant Experience, Driscoll Lounge

What does Moral Courage look like – on the outside? on the inside? Paresky Quiet Room

Women in Science, Mission Dennett

Finding Everyday Courage, Luetkemeyer Lounge, Paresky Center
2:00-3:15 P.M. Community Forums

Discussion with Barbara Smith, Dodd Living Room

Moral Courage in Action: Weighing the Costs and Benefits, Griffin 4

Quitting at Williams, Goodrich Hall

Underrepresented Identities in STEM+, Griffin 5

International Storytime, Luetkemeyer Lounge, Paresky Center

Williams as Sanctuary, Schapiro 129

Social Identity, Power, and Privilege 101, Schapiro 141

Ask an Artist About Moral Courage Lawrence 231, Williams College Museum of Art
3:30-5 P.M. Community Forums

Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, and American Sports, Paresky Auditorium

Restoring Communities to Wholeness: Restorative Justice and Repairing Harm, Schapiro 141

Mental Health at Williams, Driscoll Lounge

Art and (Political) Action, WCMA Reading Room

A Seat at the Table, Goodrich Hall

Williams, Disability and Me: The Morality of Structural Change, Schapiro 129
5:30-7 P.M. Dinner Dialogues

Restoring Communities to Wholeness: Restorative Justice and Repairing Harm, Panel Discussion, Driscoll Lounge

Campus Spaces and Institutional History: the Courage to Examine the Past, Faculty House Lounge
7:00 P.M. Evening Keynote: Shaun King

The New Civil Rights Movement, MainStage, ’62 Center
8:15-9:30 P.M. Evening Events

Spoken Word performance, Goodrich

Healthy Debate, Griffin 3

Step Into the Circle, Paresky Quiet Room
9:30 P.M. Pizza Party!
Baxter Hall, Paresky

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