Today is Claiming Williams. Here is the schedule. (Copied below the break for future historians.) 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? Shouldn’t one of the co-chairs be a tenured 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?

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. There is nothing like that this year, nor was their last year.

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 being Asian-American, are leftist:

What does it mean to be an Asian American at Williams and in today’s political climate? Five members of the Asian American community will respond to this question using their own understanding and experiences. The event addresses how Asian Americans can take a more political role in today’s world.

Why does this event have to focus on taking “a more political role?” Why not just gather a diverse group of Asian-Americans and let us hear from them? For example, Asian-Americans are very active in the Christian groups at Williams. Was one of them invited to this panel? Why not?

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 300.

I interviewed 7 students this fall on a different topic. One was a first year. If we define “participation in Claiming Williams” as having attended at least two events, none of the other 6 participated. This is not a large sample and it was not randomly chose, but, still! (On the other hand, 6 of the 7 had “participated” in Mountain Day, where participation is defined as going on at least one hike.) Mountain Day still merits cancelling classes. Does Claiming Williams?

I also asked the 6 students what their estimate was for student participation in Claiming Williams. The median estimate was 25%. If only a quarter of the students participate in Claiming Williams, then the College ought to cancel it next year.

Full schedule below

2018 Claiming Williams Schedule
February 1, 2018

A Word About Food on Claiming Williams Day…

Day long: Missing Books, Missing Voices, Libraries

1-5 pm: Occupy Hopkins exhibit, Hopkins 400, Rogers Room

8 A.M. Stand with Intention: A Yoga Workshop, ’62 CTD Lobby

9-10:30 A.M. Community Forums
Act with Us Now! How to support and create community programs in Berkshire County, Dodd Living Room
RASAN Workshop, the Mabie Room, Sawyer Library
Above Us Only Sky: Atheists find morality and meaning of life, Schapiro 241
Served: A Forklift and Dining Service Creation, Baxter Hall
The Introvert Activist and Leader, Paresky 201
Unwavering Belief at Williams, Griffin 3
Building Bridges Across Communities, Weston Hall

10:45 A.M. Morning Keynote with Julissa Arce, Chapin Hall
“The American DREAMer: From Undocumented to Wall Street & Immigration Advocacy”

12:30-1:45 P.M. Lunchtime Dialogues
International Storytelling Panel, Driscoll Lounge
On Civil Disobedience, Mission-Dennett
Black while Abroad (BWA) Faculty House Lounge
I Am Asian-American, Paresky 201

2:00-3:30 P.M. Community Forums
Community Forum on Civil Rights and Enforcement – What Are We Authorized to Do?, Brooks-Rogers Auditorium
Restoring Communities to Wholeness: Restorative Justice and Repairing Harm – Session 1, Schapiro 129
Athlete Activism in the Age of Colin Kaepernick, Bronfman Auditorium (002)
Red Means No: Accessibility at Williams , Paresky, Class of ’58 Lounge
Julissa Arce – Community Forum, Griffin 3
Lecture and Discussion with Mixed Media Artist Titus Kaphar, The Clark Auditorium
In the Blood Performance, CenterStage, ‘62 CTD
Space to Think, Henze Lounge, Paresky Center

3:45-5:15 P.M. Community Forums
Step Into the Circle, Griffin 3
The Alt-Right and Anti-Semitism: The View from Charlottesville, Library Forum
Restoring Communities to Wholeness: Restorative Justice and Repairing Harm – Session 2, Schapiro 129
Imposter Syndrome Storytime & Discussion, Dodd Living Room
How to Protest the College, Hopkins 001
Making Empanadas with Chef Miguel, Paresky Bakeshop, (pre-registration required)
In the Blood Talk-Back, CenterStage

4 – 5:15
A conversation with mixed media artist Titus Kaphar, Titus Kaphar, WCMA

5:30-7 P.M. Dinner Dialogues
Storytime: Examining Masculinity for PoC, Driscoll Lounge
Breaking Barriers for Women and POC in the White, Male World of Construction, Mission – Dennet room

7:30 P.M. Evening Keynote: Janet Mock in Conversation, Chapin Hall – note time change!

9:00 P.M. Evening Events
Wouldn’t It Be Cool If?!, Baxter Hall

I have a lot to say about all that!, Paresky Quiet Room

9:00 P.M. Pizza Party!
Baxter Hall, Paresky

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