Forwarded by a faculty member:
From: “Haynes, Leticia”
Date: July 12, 2018 at 6:10:36 PM GMT+2
Subject: Fliers recently discovered in Sawyer Library
Williams faculty, staff and students,
On Monday, July 9, a faculty member reported finding a large number of copies of a flier in the library stacks. The fliers contain content that is hard to interpret overall, but some of the images and statements are clearly offensive to college values. This was the second such flier found in the library in the past week. Images of both are below.
1) How are these images “clearly offensive?” I realize that the Confederacy is, in and of itself, offensive to many Ephs but are we really required to erase history? I hope not!
2) How can the “statements” here by offensive? Aren’t they just accurate Bible quotes?
3) What is up with the Star of David?
One nice aspect of these controversies is that they provide an excuse to learn some history. Below, from Wikipedia, is an actual Confederate $500 note.
4) The third image from the e-mail is, obviously, problematic.
The link to a Democracy Now story is perplexing. Democracy Now is a lefty news network, not the usual information source (I assume!) for nativist troublemakers. Is the intent here to heighten the contradictions on the left? I really don’t know.
Back to Haynes’s e-mail:
Independent of content, outside materials may only be distributed on campus with college permission. Leaving the fliers in the stacks was a violation of these rules.
Really? The College has a history of only enforcing rules against those whose politics it dislikes. The student group Uncomfortable Learning was repeatedly hassled about violating “rules” that Williams never enforced against liberal student groups.
I also find this phrasing confusing. Does the College require permission for outside groups to distribute stuff (which seems sensible) or for the distribution of “outside materials”? That seems nuts. If Williams Democrats want to distribute “outside materials” — like a flyer from the Bernie campaign — do they really need “permission?” I doubt it! I suspect that this is just sloppy writing (and thinking?) from the Administration.
Using security footage, and guided by information from the new report, Campus Safety and Security (CSS) isolated pictures of the individuals we believe responsible. By sharing this information with counterparts at nearby schools CSS was able to help police identify one of the people, who, we learned, resides in another state. He is now banned from campus.
Note the subtle spin. Why bother telling us that he resides in “another state” unless they want us to think that he is far, far away and that we don’t need to worry about it? But if that other state is Vermont, then this guy might live closer to campus than Pittsfield!
Meanwhile, CSS received a corroborating report from a witness who had seen the second individual in the Sawyer lobby during the July 4th reading of the founding documents. The individual was carrying an American flag on a short pole, and inserted themselves into a peaceful student protest at the event. A photo of this person is also included below.
1) Kudos to Hayes and Klass for their transparency. The more details — like these photos — which they provide to the community, the better.
2) Can anyone parse the symbol on the hat? UPDATE: Thanks to comments below, seems that this is just a standard “FD NY” — New York City Fire Department — hat.
3) I assume that the “peaceful student protest” referred to is those folks dressed in black who marched in the July 4th parade and then went to the reading. Was every single one of them a student? I have my doubts!
If you have seen them, or have other information that may aid in identifying them, please contact Campus Safety and Security at 413-597-4444. Once a person is banned from campus any attempt to return is considered trespassing and the trespasser may be subject to arrest.
We would like to thank CSS, our colleagues at Bennington College, the Williamstown Police Department, and the Williams community for helping protect the inclusive environment the college is committed to upholding.
Leticia S. E. Haynes, VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity
Steve Klass, VP for Campus Life
1) The reference to Bennington College makes me think that the banned person lives in Vermont. Does anyone know what group he is associated with?
3) There are many other issues to discuss here. Worth spending more time on?