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Student Letter on Horn

From our friends at the Coalition for Transparency and Accountability comes this letter (pdf) to Adam Falk and the trustees about Trustee Joey Horn ’87.

We are deeply disturbed by the recent conviction of Trustee Joey Shaista Horn and her husband by the Oslo District Court for violating the Immigration Act (of Norway). The couple had illegally hired two au pairs and subjected them to illegal and unjust working conditions from 2011 to 2014 , as reported by several Norwegian media outlets.

How about a shout out to EphBlog!? The CTA did not find that article on its own. [If anything, EphBlog owes CTA a shout out since it was CTA member Linda Worden ’19 who first found the article. Thanks to commentators for pointing this out.]

We have questions and demand answers:

● When was Williams College made aware of the investigation, the trial, and the conviction?
● Why did Williams College fail to notify the community about this pending investigation?
● If the College was aware of this investigation, why did the College feel it was appropriate to open Horn Hall with its current name?
● Will Trustee Joey Shaista Horn continue to serve on the Board of Trustees?

We demand that the College develop a clear plan for ensuring transparency and accountability from Trustees in the future.

The CTA deserves credit for highlighting the timing of the initial indictment in 2014. This scandal has been percolating for a long time. (And EphBlog is embarrassed to not have covered it until now.) However, CTA has also demonstrated a childish inability to accomplish anything of use and/or to work with its natural allies. (That is, it refuses to follow my excellent advice.) However, I am still happy to answer their questions:

1) Joey probably let the College know about this issue back when she was indicted. At least, I hope she did.

2) The College is not in the business of keeping “the community” updated on every imbroglio that its trustees (or its faculty or its major donors or its students) get involved in. That would be stupid! Would the CTA want Williams to send out a news release every time a student is arrested by the local cops, a news release with the students name? I hope not!

3) Donors get to name things. How naive are the students behind the CTA? Moreover, at the time of the naming, the Horns had not yet been found guilty. And they still might win on appeal. And, even in the worse case that they spend a few months in jail, I (and Williams?) do not see that conviction as such an egregious sin that a building renaming would be required.

4) Horn will continue to serve on the trustees. She is a good person who did one bad thing. I initially thought that Horn would stay on the Trustees. I was wrong. Did the CTAs letter play a role in her resignation? The Record should try and find out.

By the way, the politics of this situation are interesting. The CTA is, obviously, packed with social justice warriors. So, why were they trying to get rid of one of the few women of color on the Trustees? Why were they attacking Horn for, more or less, employing an illegal immigrant in Norway?

Is the CTA the Williams beachhead for Trump? Prosecute and shame the employers of illegal immigrants!

The good (?) news is that the Horn case is bringing together Ephs who normally disagree. Consider former Williams professor John Drew’s take:

From my perspective, the more pertinent issue is whether or not the U.S. and Williams College are ready for the globalist values of Joey Horn 87′. As a matter of integrity, Williams College should return their gift and allow someone else, someone with better and more humane values, have the honor of their name on that building. Simple as that. If Williams fails to take action, the students on campus should begin protesting this outrage.

If the CTA — social justice warriors (almost) all — and John Drew — perhaps the most outspoken member of the vast right wing conspiracy, Eph division — all agree that Horn Hall should be renamed then . . . well, I guess that I am not sure what follows from that . . . But is sure is nice to see CTA/Drew agree on something!

UPDATE: Today’s Record article is stunningly good. Kudos to reporters Nicholas Goldrosen and William Newton. Read the whole thing.

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#1 Comment By A Williams Parent On February 22, 2017 @ 9:30 am

The juxtaposition of the Horn story and the John Doe story is instructive. Thanks for pointing out that until a few weeks ago these were only allegations against the Horns. So we should look closely at the allegations versus outcomes after a full measure of due process in the justice system.

If I have seen a correct representation of Norwegian human trafficking law, these young women become eligible for permanent visas for cooperation in a prosecution that might rise to that level. That could be quite an incentive to paint a dark picture, and the prominence of the defendants ensures media interest in this topic of public concern. According to this story http://norwegianeconomynews.blogspot.com/2017/01/admits-to-be-abusing-au-pair-scheme.html the Horns admitted before trial the misuse of the au pair visa program after the two au pairs arrived, but denied colluding with their neighbors in their original visa applications. While the young women claimed excessive work hours and over $100,000 in unpaid wages above their part time obligations, the court found only $4000 owed to one, presumably the one who was supposed to work for the neighbor but did not, and should have had the time to herself. So it appears the court found the forced labor allegations of 63 hours per week each without merit. The human trafficking angle seems to have collapsed at trial.

I have not seen whether the five month sentence was conditional or unconditional, but the answer will determine whether the corrections service can require community service entirely in lieu of active time. And it appears from my review that even with active time the last 120 days of the 150 day sentence can be served on community release in the discretion, again, of corrections. So measure for measure, this is looking like a typical US misdemeanor like a DUI, or perhaps a “nanny gate” situation. How would someone rate this against the complete employer record of the former future Labor Secretry Andy Puzder? We are only talking a building on campus here, not control of a major regulatory arm of government.

#2 Comment By Sandy On February 22, 2017 @ 9:53 am

Dave, the article was written by Mick Goldrosen and Will Newton!!

[Fixed. Thanks! Was listed differently when I first looked at it. — DDF]

#3 Comment By Williams Alum On February 22, 2017 @ 11:01 am

DDF –
This is what I mean about credit/blame. If CTA comprises students (I have no idea what CTA is), then it almost certainly could have come across that article independent of EphBlog. Did it? No clue. EphBlog was behind the ball on this one, however, not a leading force.

WA

#4 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On February 22, 2017 @ 11:11 am

I haven’t looked closely at the timing and you could certainly be correct! CTA does comprise students, especially students involved in activists movements at Williams.

But you are uniquely positioned to answer this question! EphBlog got this news from you. Who was the first person to give it to you? (No worries if you don’t want to name the person. But details on the sort of person might be helpful.)

The Record reports that:

Horn’s resignation took effect 13 days after her conviction and sentencing were announced, but only a day after students researching the trustees for a Divest Williams project found and began circulating an English-language Norwegian article detailing the Horns’ conviction.

“I came across this in Divest, simply doing Google searches … and from there it spread like wildfire,” Linda Worden ’19 said. “It was definitely something that would have surfaced anyway.”

If CTA got the link from Worden, or from someone who got it from Worden, then, obviously, they do not owe a shout out to us.

Worden may be too modest. I try to keep a careful eye — via Google Alerts — on everything Williams related. I did not see this article and I am not sure that it would have popped up for simple searches. More details, please.

In other words, if Worden had not found this, I am not sure the story would have ever come to light.

#5 Comment By ’18 On February 22, 2017 @ 11:26 am

Linda Worden is a member of CTA.

#6 Comment By Williams Alum On February 22, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

DDF –

I heard it from a young alum (5 years out). I think all the credit goes to Worden.

WA

#7 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 22, 2017 @ 12:47 pm

Thanks to social media, secrets like this one are not likely to stay secret for long. It is just too easy to get the truth out there with blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The wise choice would have been to have Joey Horn resign her board positions back in 2014-2015, as her husband did in a number of cases, using the excuse that she needed the personal time to sort things out. Perfectionist Joey Horn, however, was apparently too proud to follow her husband’s wise example.

The remaining issues for me include something that the students at CTA have not considered at all.

If they had more real world experience, they would understand that non-profit board members frequently “volunteer” in order to enrich themselves financially. Through these board positions, they gain access to potential clients, expand their network of potential investors, and make the face-to-face connections needed to sell their services to other high-end individuals/families.

Accordingly, CTA might be quite surprised and pleased to see what they learn by exploring Joey Horn’s business and charitable connections to other Williams College trustees. I think CTA participants will quickly see that Joey Horn’s disturbing lack of ethics and empathy was not confined to her illegal use of au pairs.

For more on my take on why Williams College waited so long for her resignation, please see the following post.

http://anonymouspoliticalscientist.blogspot.com/2017/02/how-low-will-it-go-trusteedonor-au-pair.html

#8 Comment By anonymous On February 22, 2017 @ 3:13 pm

Maybe trustees should be subject to extreme vetting by the CTA, to prevent future embarrassments.

#9 Comment By 89’er On February 22, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

I found Joey horn to be a thoughtful and gracious alum when our paths crossed 25+ years ago.

She went out of her way to help many fellow ephs navigate the job hunt.

I remain appreciative of her efforts on my and other ephs behalf.

#10 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 22, 2017 @ 5:36 pm

-89’er

I’m curious. Did you ever notice the dark side of Joey Horn ’87? It is hard to believe that she could last so long without revealing her lack of empathy for others or her willingness to lie to gain what was, in the end, as very small financial advantage. She apparently spoke of her au pairs in a disrespectful, disparaging manner. I can’t believe that this aberrant behavior did not appear much, much earlier in her life. I suspect it was know to many. You can’t be a creep to your au pairs and an angel in every other aspect of your life.

#11 Comment By student On February 23, 2017 @ 8:19 am

Divest and CTA are NOT the same. It is unwise to attribute a student to a group they have not claimed affiliation with.
The Record says Linda is part of Divest, not CTA.

#12 Comment By anonymous On February 23, 2017 @ 8:31 am

’18 and student:
This is interesting. Is there some feud between Divest and CTA? Where is the member list for CTA? And why is it allowed that students not be for transparency and accountability? Aren’t we all CTA now?

#13 Comment By student On February 23, 2017 @ 9:52 am

No feud, just a claim that is not accurate.

#14 Comment By Anonymous On February 23, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

Activists continue with their Jacobean purge and want to rid Horn hall of its name. https://www.facebook.com/events/1678555449111522/

#15 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 23, 2017 @ 5:45 pm

This is fun. They are looking for alternative names at the upcoming event. Who is the most famous conservative alum? I like the sound of William Bennett Hall or James A. Garfield Hall.

(I see, however, there is already a Garfield House…named after the president’s son.)

Ultimately, I think they should name the new residence hall after Zack Wood. He’s the contemporary student showing the most courage.

In a thousand years students will still be talking about Zack Wood’s commitment to freedom of speech and his steadfast resistance to the mob mentality which is presently destroying what is left of Williams College’s capacity as an influential national institution.

#16 Comment By Williams Alum On February 23, 2017 @ 6:22 pm

JCD –
Interesting link to your own blog. I had hoped you would stop doing that but I guess you are still self-aggrandizing.

And no they won’t. I’ll bet a nickel on the unverifiable bet that in 1,000 years they will not still be talking about Zack Wood’s commitment….

Especially since you can’t apparently be bothered to spell his name Zach like how he seems to spell it at least per a bunch of news articles. Crazy. Remember when Aristotal was just in college, it’s crazy we are still talking about him.

Time flies when you are having fun.

WA

PS Garfield House is not named after Garfield because his dad was president, but because he himself was president of Williams.

#17 Comment By anonymous On February 23, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

Interesting—maybe this purge will lead to some real change (either at Horn or Hopkins). Falk should’ve just taken JCD’s advice from the beginning.

Perhaps Falk can take the b̶l̶a̶m̶e̶ credit for this turn to the totalitarian left. Did it start with his boarding of the log mural, his banning of a speaker (and suppression of a student group), or does it go back to his lack of transparency on the (multiple) hate hoaxes? Or was it just inevitable that the students would rebel against their masters at Hopkins Hall? And if students are engaged in extreme vetting of the Trustees, what else will might they discover, and how will they react?

#18 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 23, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

– anonymous

So true. Falk signals his willingness to remove all links to Williams’ less than pleasant past, and yet takes the leading role in honoring a modern day scofflaw who is willing to mistreat and degrade two Filipino au pairs. I hope taking the Horn name off the building will be enough. Purists will want to see it razed to the ground and the vacant spot maintained as a permanent grassy memorial to the victims of Joey and Ragnor Horn’s misdeeds.

– WA

How’s that supercilious lifestyle working out for you? When you are mature and financially independent enough to post under your own name, you will enjoy the advantages of posting to your own blog comments too. In your case, I think we will be waiting decades and not years.

#19 Comment By Williams Alum On February 23, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

JCD –

Working out great. I am very happy. I would also contend I am mature, although that’s a matter of perspective. I am definitely financially independent, however, which is a strange chirp from you. I don’t wanna post under my name here mostly because of you. I find you obscenely annoying and I know I would find you even more annoying if you knew who I was.

WA

#20 Comment By another anon On February 23, 2017 @ 10:07 pm

JCD – please get a life.

#21 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 23, 2017 @ 10:33 pm

– WA

Like I said, decades, not years… As for me, I think it is fair to say that not everything I learned as a young Communist was bad.

See, http://noisyroom.net/blog/2016/10/22/john-drew-willing-to-die-to-get-out-truth-about-young-obama/

#22 Comment By anony alum On February 24, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

All, MORE disturbing is that J. Horn was so distracted by all this, that she did not even reply to very, very, very ^10 credible allegations to her work emails, persomal emails, and phones as well as HUSBAND Ragnar’s about a covered-up gang rape by one of her own range of Classmates (mid to late ’80s) by 2 Deans in ’84, pressuring by other Board members to silence questioning alums on Anne L. Fetter ’85 gang-rape, Trustees emiriti who hold national positions (America’s pasttime, 7th inning stretch…), downplaying the gang rape and morerecent drunken date rapes and pot use with expressions like “… seems lime animated fun” and “well, that was 30 yrs. ago,” even of Williams Pres. and Deans didnt tell cops or Trustees then despite Anne and another female student (Betsy Wright Hawkings) came forward to TWO Deans together in ’84 and both Deans still alive and Mens Sana, as wellas Chairman Eisenson breaking any bounds of confidentiality and talking about the requests for a Special Investigation with alums of same era to try and conspire to silence questioning alums. I wilk NEVER forget him saying something like, “Do you know your classmate Rob Coakley…” or some such? “Perhaps he could talk you out of prosecuting Williams’ Deans, Pres., Controller…and Board/Board Emeriti.”? That’s the real story: in a phrase… Williams has been ruined and bloodstained by Big Money and Small Morals.

#23 Comment By ambiveph On February 25, 2017 @ 10:40 pm

I doubt this issue will gain currency with someone as morally compromised as Adam Falk, so here’s a better idea. Someone who gives a rat’s ass about the current state of affairs at Williams College should make a formal request to the Board of Trustees to launch an investigation into Falk’s relationship with [REDACTED] at the time he recommended that she be hired as Director of Communications at the college. It is my understanding that it was an open secret among faculty that Falk was having an affair with her during her time in Williamstown. Tawdry stuff to be sure, but not damning. But what IS damning is that Falk worked closely with [REDACTED] for a decade at Johns Hopkins, which means he may very well have secured employment for his paramour only a few months after arriving in the purple valley. Apparently the prospect of all this coming to light was the impetus behind her sudden resignation a few months back.

Ugly, salacious accusations to be sure. But surely the Williams community (and alums) deserve to know if their contributions were used to fund the salary of Falk’s plaything. Particularly given his penchant for moralizing and self-righteousness.

If true, this reprehensible hypocrite should be terminated immediately.

[We remove the name of this person from all comments, although this specific accusation is widely discussed among the faculty. — DDF]

#24 Comment By anonymous On February 26, 2017 @ 12:20 pm

Does the CTA know of these allegations against the masters of Hopkins Hall? If so, the CTA have much more power than they know—are they willing to use it?